This week Jurgen Appelo interviewed me about remote working. Specifically, he asked:

  1. What is remote working?
  2. How do we know if remote workers are really working?
  3. Can anyone be a remote worker? Or is it only for special people?

Read the original blog post:

So far, this interview has brought up a number of good questions and comments that I want to collect here:

What is the difference between remote working and being part of a virtual team?

I don’t think there is a difference. The discussion about “remote” shouldn’t be about the single person, but rather, how that person is connected to the people he/she works with. Thus the distinction is between being co-located versus dispersed.

What is the proof for “if you don’t have the disciple to get the work done at home, you probably don’t have the discipline to get the work done in the office”? What about peer pressure at the office?

It’s true. I don’t have scientific proof to back this statement up. It was a judgement on my part. And I will agree that peer pressure and having a specific area where work gets done will contribute to productivity.

We’re snowed in and my husband is working remotely because he has to, not because his workplace encourages it!

One of my favorite interviews so far was with Jeremy Stanton where he said “Companies don’t have to have remotes. But if they have communication processes that make it easy for a remote to work with them, then they’re going to be better off. All the things that make it possible for a remote to work, and work well, are things that you’d want anyway.”

You are disciplined, and presume everyone else is too. This is not true.

I don’t presume everyone is disciplined. It’s simply a requirement for being a productive remote worker.