The team at Basecamp (previously 37signals) has been for quite a long time one of my favorite examples of a SME capable of reaching a global market as rock stars in their field. They invented the amazing Ruby on Rails as an internal web development tool made open source in 2004. They launched a series of super successful web apps, and now concentrate on their eponymous team communication / project management tool. Seriously they are amazing.
They also published a few books such as ReWork and Remote.
The one you want right now, while you make sense of your life and your work, while attending a Zoom meeting in your bedroom retrofitted in home office, is the latter.
The core idea about Remote is about HR and building amazing teams. The pitch goes like:
As an employer, restricting your hiring to a small geographic region means you’re not getting the best people you can. As an employee, restricting your job search to companies within a reasonable commute means you’re not working for the best company you can. Remote shows both employers and employees how they can work together, remotely, from any desk, in any place, anytime, anywhere.Jason FRIED, Basecamp
And while many books exist on this subject, they all come from case studies from S&P500 companies 20 years ago, or from elitist Silicon Valley startupers. The guys at Basecamp are not. They are regular entrepreneurs not concerned with academic research or buzzwords. They care about work and being efficient at it without wasting time, stress and resources.
More importantly, Remote goes beyond setting up your desk and developing morning routines. It offers a different approach to what is a company when it’s organized by as a network of talent, not a herd of employees. To some extent, this book ended up very influential in the way we organize our own network of consultants, designers and experts. In any case, Remote is a seriously excellent and practical book about building a networked team, without gimmicks.
Think now beyond these next few months of panic and messy adjustment. Which companies will survive afterward? How many companies will bleed talents that in retrospect understood how much antiquated the company culture was? The ease and fluidity companies manage part of the workforce online never was a side perk, it’s been a constant possibility that many have used in very strategic ways.
You can get get Remote here (as always, not an affiliated link, nor paid promo).