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“REMOTE is the book that 21st century business leaders have been waiting for”
-Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author

“profound advice from guys who’ve succeeded in the virtual workforce arena”
-David Allen, international bestselling author

REMOTE: Office Not Required

#1 in three business categories on Amazon.com.

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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.

Meet some of the fantastic people who make working remotely for Basecamp such a success.

Take a look inside REMOTE.
Read a few sample chapters.

Hey, Marissa Mayer, You’ve Got it Wrong: Telecommuting Isn’t A Bad Thing. It’s The Future. In February 2013, Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo!, ignited a not-insignificant controversy when she announced that employees no longer would be permitted to work from home. We think she made a big mistake. Because work doesn’t happen at work... Read the rest of this chapter at Inc. Magazine →

Why Face-To-Face Meetings Are Overrated. You know the feeling. Everyone’s sitting around a table, ideas are building on ideas, and intellectual sparks are lighting up the room. It’s tempting to think that this kind of magic only happens when people can see and touch each other... Read the rest of this chapter at Inc. Magazine →

Cabin fever. Hell might be other people, but isolation sure ain’t heaven. Even the most introverted are still part of Homeous Socialitus Erectus, which is why prisoners fear The Hole more than living with other inmates. We’re simply not designed for a life of total solitude... Read the rest of this chapter at the Signal vs. Noise blog →

Working From Home Boosts The Quality Of The Work. 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... Read the rest of this chapter at Inc. Magazine →

How To Work With Clients You’ve Never Met Face To Face. It may be irrational but, if you’re local, the client often feels that, if worse comes to worst, they can knock on your door. They “know where you live.” But when you’re remote, they’re going to be more suspicious when phone calls go unreturned or emails keep getting “lost.”... Read the rest of this chapter at Inc. Magazine →

The True Challenge of Managing Remote Workers: People Who Work Too Hard A manager’s natural instinct is to worry that her workers aren’t getting enough work done. But the real threat is that they will wind up working too hard. And because the manager isn’t sitting across from her worker anymore, she can’t look in the person’s eyes and see burnout... Read the rest of this chapter at Inc. Magazine →

The Two Biggest Drags On Productivity: Meetings And Managers (Or, As We Call Them, M&Ms) These two staples of work life—meetings and managers—are actually the greatest causes of work not getting done at the office. In fact, the further away you are from both meetings and managers, the more work gets done. This is one of the key reasons we’re so enthusiastic about remote work... Read the rest of this chapter at Inc. Magazine →

Original artwork by Mike Rohde

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Full list of essays included in the book

The time is right for remote work

  • Why work doesn’t happen at work
  • Stop commuting your life away
  • It’s the technology, stupid
  • Escaping 9am–5pm
  • End of city monopoly
  • The new luxury
  • Talent isn’t bound by the hubs
  • It’s not about the money
  • But saving is always nice
  • Not all or nothing
  • Still a trade-off
  • You’re probably already doing it

Dealing with excuses

  • Magic only happens when we’re all in a room
  • If I can’t see them, how do I know they’re working?
  • People’s homes are full of distractions
  • Only the office can be secure
  • Who will answer the phone?
  • Big business doesn’t do it, so why should we?
  • Others would get jealous
  • What about culture?
  • I need an answer now!
  • But I’ll lose control
  • We paid a lot of money for this office
  • That wouldn’t work for our size or industry

How to collaborate remotely

  • Thou shalt overlap
  • Seeing is believing
  • All out in the open
  • The virtual water cooler
  • Forward motion
  • The work is what matters
  • Not just for people who are out of town
  • Disaster ready
  • Easy on the M&Ms

Beware the dragons

  • Cabin fever
  • Check-in, check-out
  • Ergonomic basics
  • Mind the gut
  • The lone outpost
  • Working with clients
  • Taxes, accounting, laws, oh my!

Hiring and keeping the best

  • It’s a big world
  • Life moves on
  • Keep the good times going
  • Seeking a human
  • No parlor tricks
  • The cost of thriving
  • Great remote workers are simply great workers
  • On writing well
  • Test project
  • Meeting them in person
  • Contractors know the drill

Managing remote workers

  • When’s the right time to go remote?
  • Stop managing the chairs
  • Meetups and sprints
  • Lessons from open source
  • Level the playing field
  • One-on-ones
  • Remove the roadblocks
  • Be on the lookout for overwork, not underwork
  • Using scarcity to your advantage

Life as a remote worker

  • Building a routine
  • Morning remote, afternoon local
  • Compute different
  • Working alone in a crowd
  • Staying motivated
  • Nomadic freedom
  • A change of scenery
  • Family time
  • No extra space at home
  • Making sure you’re not ignored


  • The quaint old office
  • Resources
  • Acknowledgments

Reviews from Leaders and Authors

“REMOTE is the book that 21st century business leaders have been waiting for: a paradigm-smashing, compulsively readable case for a radically remote workplace. If you’re intrigued by extreme teleworking, but have your doubts, REMOTE is the place to address them. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about, talk about, and actually apply the insights in this game-changing book.”

-Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

“What you’ll find in REMOTE is profound advice from guys who’ve succeeded in the virtual workforce arena. This is a manifesto for discarding stifling location- and time-based organizational habits in favor of best work practices for our brave new virtual and global world. If your organization entrusts you with the responsibility to get things done, this is a must-read.”

-David Allen, internationally best-selling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

“Remote is the way I work and live. Now I know why. If you work in an office, you need to read this remarkable book, and change your life.”

-Richard Florida, author of the national bestseller The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life

“In the near future, everyone will work remotely, including those sitting across from you. You’ll need this farsighted book to prepare for this inversion.”

-Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick for Wired Magazine and author of What Technology Wants

“Leave your office at the office. Lose the soul-sapping commutes. Jettison the workplace veal chambers and banish cookie-cutter corporate culture. Smart, convincing and prescriptive, REMOTE offers a radically more productive and satisfying office-less future, better for all (well, except commercial landlords).”

-Adam L. Penenberg, author of Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves

“Fried and Hansson show how remote working sets people free—free from drudgery and free to unleash unprecedented creativity and productivity. This workday disruption is necessary if we want to use our new digital tools to full effect. The first gift copy I buy will be for my boss!”

-James McQuivey, PhD, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, and author of Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

“Just like we couldn’t imagine a cell phone smaller than a toaster in the 1970’s, some companies still believe that they can’t get great performance from their employees unless they show up at an office. Virtual work is the wave of the future, and Jason and David do a brilliant job of teaching best practices for both employees and employers.”

-Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation

“Jason and David convincingly argue the merits of remote work, both from the perspective of manager and of worker. For the former, working remotely means more productive teams. For the latter, there is the ultimate luxury: control over one’s environment. Remote work gives you the power to craft your own life, and this book is a roadmap to get that.”

-Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success

“The decentralization of the workplace is no longer fodder for futurists, it’s an everyday reality. REMOTE is an insight-packed playbook for thriving in the coming decade and beyond.”

-Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice

“REMOTE shows you how to remove the final barrier to doing the work you were meant to do, with the people you were meant to do it with, in the most rewarding and profitable way possible—this book is your ticket to real freedom!”

-John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide

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