Richard Branson thinks offices will be dead in 30 years. But Marissa Mayer wants people in the cube! What's all the controversy? Drawing from Mozilla and the market, this short presentation myth-busts common objections to distributed work teams and provides specific tips to make them effective.
Takeaways & Tips From
and the market.
“In thirty years’ time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to
look back and wonder why ofﬁces ever existed.”
1050 paid staff
10,500+ active contributors across all continents**
13 ofﬁces in 9 countries and 6 time zones
Inﬁnite # of wikis
* InsertWilliam Gibson quote here
** yes, including Antarctica
The Unevenly Distributed Future*
…we’re seeing more of these
Building on this legacy of open source….
So what’s the problem?
“I’ve always said,telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard.”
— Michael Bloomberg (2013)
"People are more productive when they're alone...they're more
collaborative and innovative when they're together"
— Marissa Mayer (2013)
Downplays individual thinking time as part of creative process.
Breakthrough Ideas Only Happen in Person
Being remote doesn’t mean you never see your coworkers.
And really….how many breakthrough ideas can a company digest?
"If a worker’s motivation is slumping, it’s probably
because the work is weakly deﬁned or appears pointless,
or because others on the team are acting like tools.”
It’s Difﬁcult to Stay Motivated / Build a Strong Culture
The perfect case for face-time-ism
Welcome to the Brave New World where your work is
the ﬁrst thing to get you noticed
If You Aren’t There, You’ll Be Forgotten
Remote work magniﬁes existing work attributes, while providing
lots more beneﬁts.
•Communication: intentional, concise, thorough & clear
•Organization, punctuality, availability & responsiveness
•Risk of overworking
•Culture: values, protocols and conﬂict
Good news: you can manage these factors.
And it’s really worthwhile to do so.
•Assign a buddy
•Ensure introductions and protocols are addressed in
addition to tools and infrastructure
•But: do not expect all tools to work for everyone.
Thou Shalt Onboard Swiftly and Thoroughly.
* *These tips are to optimize working remotely;
* they don’t cover things like taxes, legal stuff
Be Open. Really Open.
•Post work plans, status reports, even goals
•Document discussions in easily-locatable spots
•Plan to say and post similar things on multiple channels
•Be on passive channels e.g. IRC and indicate preferred availability
on your proﬁle e.g. phone book page
•Limit 1:1s to individual development vs. tasks & activities
Meet In Person on a Regular Basis.
•Hack & Work Weeks
Build Real Boundaries.
Separate work & home devices & spaces
•“Thou Shalt Overlap” with
your colleagues at least for part
of your day
Study of Mozilla
Homa Bahrami, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Sync vs. Async
REMOTE by 37Signals
“How I Built a Startup While Traveling to 20 Countries”
“Homeless On Purpose”
Diane Tate — @tbiz