Sunday, September 29, 2013

Remote: Office Not Required

“One day offices will be a thing of the past” ~ Richard Branson

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced not for sale copy of REMOTE: Office Not Required. The book does not go on sale until next month. Co-authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the founders of 37signals, a trailblazing software company, and the makers of the world-famous project management tool Basecamp, along with Backpack, Highrise, and Campfire. Their first book, Rework, was a New York Times bestseller.

Millions of workers and thousands of companies have already discovered the joys and benefits of working remotely. In companies of all sizes, representing almost every industry, remote work has steadily grown year after year. Unlike the rush to embrace the fax machine, adoption of remote work has not been as universally accepted as one might have thought.

The technology is here; its never been easier to communicate and collaborate with people anywhere, at any time. But it still leaves a fundamental people problem. The missing upgrade is for the human mind.

Just like we could not imagine a cell phone smaller than a toaster in the 80’s, some companies still believe that you cannot get great performance from employees unless they show up at an office. Just like it was once thought that distance learning or “online classrooms” were a passing fad, that an online education or college degree from an online university was somehow not the real thing: 

Welcome to the new world of Smartphones, iPads, University of Phoenix and Khan Academy.

In the future, everyone will work and learn remotely, including the people sitting across from you. Leave your office at the office. Lose the soul sapping commutes to the corporate office or to the local college campus. Virtual is the new reality.

Remote work allows you to remove the final barriers to do the work that you were meant to do, with the people you were meant to do it with, in the most rewarding and profitable ways possible. The decentralization of work (and of education) is no longer fodder for futurists, it’s an everyday reality.

I have asked Jason and David to co-keynote our annual membership meeting of the If one or both of them can make it to New York City that will be wonderful. Who does not welcome a reason to visit Times Square? But if a trip to the Big Apple is not in the cards, a live interactive webinar with HD video that can be recorded and archived on the NYDLA website will be just fine.

“The future is already here, its just not evenly distributed” ~ William Gibson

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