Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

book remote office not required

“You’d be amazed how much quality collective thought can be captured using two simple tools: a voice connection and a shared screen.” ― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required


Remote came up from David started working remotely with Jason from Copenhagen, Denmark way back in 2001, by responding to a post on a blog about programming. Since then they have grown the company to 41 people with 30 of them living and working from outside of Chicago. They’ve built Basecamp, Ruby on Rails, and many other products and projects together as a remote company.

Remote contains all that they’ve learned and the reasons why this new way of working is ready for prime time.

About the book, “Remote” 

The “work from home” phenomenon is thoroughly explored in this illuminating new book from bestselling 37signals founders Fried and Hansson, who point to the surging trend of employees working from home (and anywhere else) and explain the challenges and unexpected benefits.  Most important, they show why – with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo — more businesses will want to promote this new model of getting things done.

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The Industrial Revolution’s “under one roof” model of conducting work is steadily declining owing to technology that is rapidly creating virtual workspaces and allowing workers to provide their vital contribution without physically clustering together.  Today, the new paradigm is “move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace.”  According to Reuters, one in five global workers telecommutes frequently and nearly ten percent work from home every day. Moms, in particular, will welcome this trend.  A full 60% wish they had a flexible work option. But companies see advantages too in the way remote work increases their talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens their real estate footprint, and improves the ability to conduct business across multiple time zones, to name just a few advantages.

In Remote, iconoclastic authors Fried and Hansson will convince readers that letting all or part of work teams function remotely is a great idea–and they’re going to show precisely how a remote work setup can be accomplished.

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“It won’t be as easy, but lots of things that are worth doing aren’t easy. It just takes commitment, discipline, and, most important, faith that it’s all going to work out.” ― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required

About the authors:

Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary.

Jason Fried, founder of 37signals
Jason Fried, founder of 37signals

37signals’ products include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. 37signals also developed and open-sourced the Ruby on Rails programming framework. 37signals’ products do less than the competition — intentionally.

37signals weblog, Signal vs. Noise, is read by over 100,000 people every day.

Jason believes there’s real value and beauty in the basics. Elegance, respect for people’s desire to simply get stuff done, and honest ease of use are the hallmarks of 37signals products.

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David Heinemeier Hansson is a partner at 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary.

David Heinemeier Hansson - Remote
David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails and partner at 37signals

David is also the creator of the Ruby on Rails programming framework that powers all the products at 37signals as well as Twitter, Hulu, Yellow Pages, and thousands of other major web applications.

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Quotes :

“If you run your ship with the conviction that everyone’s a slacker, your employees will put all their ingenuity into proving you right.”― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required

“Say you spend thirty minutes driving in rush hour every morning and another fifteen getting to your car and into the office. That’s 1.5 hours a day, 7.5 hours per week, or somewhere between 300 and 400 hours per year, give or take holidays and vacation. Four hundred hours is exactly the amount of programmer time we spent building Basecamp, our most popular product. Imagine what you could do with 400 extra hours a year. Commuting isn’t just bad for you, your relationships, and the environment—it’s bad for business.”― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required

“The bottom line is that you shouldn’t hire people you don’t trust, or work for bosses who don’t trust you. If you’re not trusted to work remotely, why are you trusted to do anything at all? If you’re held in such low regard, why are you able to talk to customers, write copy for an ad, design the next product, assess insurance claims, or do tax returns?”― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required

“Part of the problem is the perceived need to fill a whole day with management stuff, regardless of whether it’s called for or not. All those dreaded status meetings, interruptions for estimates, and planning sessions have a curious way of adding up exactly to a manager’s workweek. While monitoring output is sometimes quite important, it’s rarely a forty-hour-per-week position. Ten hours maybe, but few full-time managers have the courage to limit their presence to that.”― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required

“One of the secret benefits of hiring remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance. When you can’t see someone all day long, the only thing you have to evaluate is the work. A lot of the petty evaluation stats just melt away. Criteria like “was she here at 9?” or “did she take too many breaks today?” or “man, every time I walk by his desk he’s got Facebook up” aren’t even possible to tally. Talk about a blessing in disguise!”― Jason Fried, Remote: Office Not Required

Remote Book on Amazon

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