Remote Working [Sponsored by “REMOTE”]
Should your company let its employees work from home? Vooza’s CEO debates Jason Fried, 37signals founder and author of “REMOTE: Office Not Required.” (“REMOTE” shows both employers and employees how they can work together, remotely, from anywhere.)
Welcome to TechTalk.
I'm Roger Bell.
Today's topic remote working.
Should your company let its employees work from home?
Joining me is the CEO and Founder of 37signals, Jason Fried.
He also has a book called Remote, Office not Required.
Also joining me is the CEO of Vooza,
and a staunch opponent of remote working, Matthew Stillman.
Matthew I'll start with you don't you
trust your employees to work from home.
>> Look let's be clear about something I hire morons
who can't be trusted alright they need constant adult supervision.
You can't just have them working from anywhere.
>> And Jason what's your take.
>> Well, where are the people who do your payroll and your accounting and
your legal stuff do they work in your office or do they work remotely.
>> No we hire people outside our office to do all that.
So really you do have remote workers.
You have people doing really important work
for you, but they're not in your office.
>> Yeah, but those aren't my employees, those are people I can trust.
>> Jason, so how should a company get a started with remote working.
>> I think the best way to do it is just like anything.
Take it easy.
See where it goes.
Have a few employees work from home one or two
days a week or maybe even just once every two weeks.
And see what happens.
>> Well, that just seems really unfair.
At Vooza we all suffer equally, okay?
We're miserable at the same time and the
same place and that's the way it should be.
>> Now, one of the advantages cited by remote workers
is they get to spend more time with their family.
Matthew, wouldn't you like to spend more time with your family?
>> God, no.
Hate my family?
Oh no, the whole reason I started a company was so
I had somewhere to go everyday to get out of the house.
Last time I played Twister with my five year
old I got burn marks up and down my back.
>> I, I understand now.
Now, let me ask the both of you.
How do you evaluate your employees?
>> Well, I ask a lot of tough questions You know I look at
an employee and I ask was that person here at 9 AM or 9:05 AM.
Do they take a lot of breaks.
When I walk past do they have Facebook up on their screen.
You know that's the sort of precise
monitoring that's not possible with a remote worker.
I mean that's what makes me such an effective CEO.
It's why people compare me to Churchill.
You know, I don't like to judge people's location.
I just judge their work.
Everyone's on the same playing field that way and
we can look at everyone's work over the internet.
Super easy to do and uh, for us it works out really really well.
>> Matthew, couldn't you just look at your employee's work.
>> Look, I don't understand what anyone here does.
I don't know how to code.
I don't know how to design.
What am I gonna look at some code and be
like this gobbly gook looks better than this goobly goo.
That's why I do the one kind of monitoring that I know how to do.
I make sure employees are in a seat eight
hours a day right where I can see them.
>> I think companies like that are going to
have a hard time retaining talent over the long term.
>> Matthew aren't you worried about pushing some of
the most talented workers at Vooza towards the door?
One thing I can say for sure.
No one here at Vooza has any talent.
Al right, but at least when they're hear I know they're not goofing off.
>> Can you zip me up?
>> People are getting things done.
I know people aren't just surfing.
It's stuck on your hair.
Thank you very much.
>> People aren't just surfing the web all
day, they're not just commenting on blogs, all right?
They're writing code, they're designing
whatever designers are designing here.
They're getting things done, they're marketing, they're getting the
word out there, they're making a dent in the universe.
That's why Vooza's assumed such a leadership position.
You know, 37signals.
Who even knows what.
Steve, I'm trying to do an interview.
>> I'm just saying, it's been key to our strength as a company.
>> Guys, guys.
I'm gonna have to cut you off right there.
We're gonna have to end it right there, but thank you so much to my
guests, Jason and Matt, Uh, don't forget to
check out Jason's book, Remote, office not required.
And Matt, uh, good luck with that.
For TechTalk, I'm Roger Bell.
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