A ‘Remote’ review

Remote‘ the new book by the team from 37 Signals is an interesting thing.

In some ways it feels like the first ‘mobile first’ book I have ever read. The format – a series of short essays (barely more than blog posts) loosely stitched together into themed chapters seems perfectly targeted at people snatching a few minutes of reading in their day on whatever is the most convenient device. For me this has meant reading most of the book on my Nexus 4 while commuting.

Which is perhaps ironic because the recurring theme in this book is that commuting is an expensive waste of time, bad for the environment, your health and the economy. Basically it is the ‘big bad’ of the book.

The little bit of maths early on in the book showing how much time you waste commuting a year was a but if an eye opener for me as I’d never done my own sums. It was a large number!

Mainly I found the book reassuring in a way as it reinforced all the lessons I learned about ‘working from home’ when I was at Jisc and while I’ve never really had the opportunity to implement those lessons regularly since it is good to know they remain valid.

My management style (if its even evolved enough to call that!) seems to predisposed to the kind of environment the book proposes and while it seems a no-brainer I really see value in the idea of swapping machines (ie from laptop to tablet) to clearly draw a line between work and play.

Also I echo the sentiments about avoiding isolation by getting out and working amongst people. Escaping the commute is my long term goal but I need the buzz of people to work.

I know a lot of people who work remotely, some even blog about it 🙂 it clearly has its own set if challenges and is not for everyone but one day (not anytime soon I hasten to add) I’d like to see how I’d cope 🙂

4 responses to “A ‘Remote’ review”

  1. I’ve worked remotely for about 3 years now and I can’t stress enough how important it is to hey out of the house. Coffee shops are okay, but finding a local coworking space is a much better idea. I couldn’t find one in Liverpool so some friends and I set up doesliverpool.com which has made a huge difference for those times when cabin fever strikes.

  2. I agree – in my short time freelancing a few years ago I got a desk at a coworking spot in Bristol – it also helped me structure my day better (coffee shops in Bristol seem to mainly be like crèches these days so not ideal!)

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