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(Home-) Office ?
W-JAX 2013

Matthias Lübken

Martin Lippert

Director Software Development – Adcloud

Principal Software E...
„Beginning in June, we’re asking all
employees with work-from-home
arrangements to work in Yahoo!
offices.“

Marissa Mayer
...
„Remote work is on a rapid ascent, and
not just among hot tech companies like
Github, Automattic, or thousands of
others. ...
The ideal setting

•

One big office, no commute and
travel
Everybody loves to work from

9–5

•

•

Trust all around

•

•...
You have to choose!
Some choose the office
!

•

Face to face communication

•

More creative environment (?)

•

Social context

•

Water cool...
Some choose the office
•

They don’t trust their employees

•

They want to stay in control and want to keep an eye on ever...
The agile history
•

Created in an office context

•

Work with the existing people of the
company / team
Agile

•

Remote ...
But remember …

You choose!
… this is a compromise.
Some choose remote work
•

Best talents available

•

Family flexibility

•

People are different, so everybody works when ...
We think…
...

both ways are possible

...

both ways are equally good

...

each way focuses on different aspects
Some examples
Github
• Biggest Git / SVN hoster

• Optimize for happiness with
side projects

• > 150 people, 2/3 remote
• Family-friend...
Automattic
•

The people behind
wordpress.org and
wordpress.com

•
!

Everyone starts with
support

•

Data-influenced not
...
37Signals

•

36 employees around the world.
13 have desks at the HQ in
Chicago.

40h work week. Distributed
around the cl...
Other examples
•

37Signals

•

Copyblogger (source)

•

Automattic (160
employees)

•

YouNeedABudget

•
•

•

•

•
•

Ka...
How does it work?
#1
You need to trust people
#2
Aim for total transparency
#3
You need a strong vision
#4
You need face time
#5
Build a remote as default culture
Personal lessons learned
•

Technology still sucks 

(for certain tasks)
Don’t forget to call it a day

•

Know how you wo...
Conclusion
•

Remote work is a viable option

•

Remote teams can be equally good / efficient / effective 

as co-located t...
Thanks!

Matthias Lübken

Martin Lippert

Director Software Development – Adcloud

Principal Software Engineer – Pivotal

...
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Home- (office) ?

A talk about our view of office vs homeoffice work. Our starting point for hopefully an ongoing discussion.

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Home- (office) ?

  1. 1. (Home-) Office ? W-JAX 2013 Matthias Lübken Martin Lippert Director Software Development – Adcloud Principal Software Engineer – Pivotal matthias@luebken.com, @luebken mlippert@gmail.com, @martinlippert
  2. 2. „Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices.“ Marissa Mayer President & CEO of Yahoo! Photo-credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/
  3. 3. „Remote work is on a rapid ascent, and not just among hot tech companies like Github, Automattic, or thousands of others. [...] Worse than simply being late to that party is to try to turn back the clock and bait’n’switch your existing workforce.“ David H. Hansson 
 Ruby on Rails creator Partner at 37 Signals Photo-credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jesper/
  4. 4. The ideal setting • One big office, no commute and travel Everybody loves to work from
 9–5 • • Trust all around • • The best people available on the planet • • • Highly creative environment • Productive for all with right amount of meetings Highly passionate with a common culture Open, honest and direct communication Shared vision, clear goal and few management
  5. 5. You have to choose!
  6. 6. Some choose the office ! • Face to face communication • More creative environment (?) • Social context • Water cooler kitchen talks
  7. 7. Some choose the office • They don’t trust their employees • They want to stay in control and want to keep an eye on everybody • It is a company policy, whether it makes sense or not • They want to save money
  8. 8. The agile history • Created in an office context • Work with the existing people of the company / team Agile • Remote work was always “alien” • Most agile people don’t want to work remote
  9. 9. But remember … You choose! … this is a compromise.
  10. 10. Some choose remote work • Best talents available • Family flexibility • People are different, so everybody works when he/she is energized and in the flow
  11. 11. We think… ... both ways are possible ... both ways are equally good ... each way focuses on different aspects
  12. 12. Some examples
  13. 13. Github • Biggest Git / SVN hoster • Optimize for happiness with side projects • > 150 people, 2/3 remote • Family-friendly • No managers • No deadlines • No Meetings • No workflows • Invest in internal 
 tools • Inspired by opensource work • Asynchronous discussion with pull requests & chat http://zachholman.com/posts/how-github-works/
  14. 14. Automattic • The people behind wordpress.org and wordpress.com • ! Everyone starts with support • Data-influenced not driven • 190 employees • Vision: enabling people to publish • Autonomy, empowerment and trust • Philosophy: transparency, meritocracy, longevity • Tools: P2, IRC, IM, Skype
  15. 15. 37Signals • 36 employees around the world. 13 have desks at the HQ in Chicago. 40h work week. Distributed around the clock. Use screensharing and screencast • Weekly discussion thread: “What have you been working on”. • • Ruby on Rails inventor. Product company: Web collaboration software • • • Office are interruption factories and remote work is almost Zenlike • Meetings are a rare treat Company get together • Customer support is staffed during office hours • Four hours overlap for collaboration and team feeling
  16. 16. Other examples • 37Signals • Copyblogger (source) • Automattic (160 employees) • YouNeedABudget • • • • • • Kalypso LP Mozilla • • UniversalMind (65 employees) • Basho (115 employees, 50% remote) SoftwareMill • • AppendTo (23 employees) GrantStreet • • LullaBot (35 employees) MySQL (70/30) GitHub (100 employees) • AsmallOrange StackExchange (50/50) Genuitec • Art & Logic (70 employees) • • • 10up MCF Technology Solutions ProofHQ Treehouse http://scottberkun.com/2013/how-many-companies-are-100-distributed/
  17. 17. How does it work?
  18. 18. #1 You need to trust people
  19. 19. #2 Aim for total transparency
  20. 20. #3 You need a strong vision
  21. 21. #4 You need face time
  22. 22. #5 Build a remote as default culture
  23. 23. Personal lessons learned • Technology still sucks 
 (for certain tasks) Don’t forget to call it a day • Know how you work best • • • Brainstorming sessions don’t work well via Skype • Face-to-face is different than for non-remote teams Get out of the House • Eliminate distractions • Work in a productive space • Use collaboration tools
  24. 24. Conclusion • Remote work is a viable option • Remote teams can be equally good / efficient / effective 
 as co-located teams - or even better • “Do, or do not” - mixed settings suck
 
 
 Is remote work the preferred option for new companies?
  25. 25. Thanks! Matthias Lübken Martin Lippert Director Software Development – Adcloud Principal Software Engineer – Pivotal matthias@luebken.com, @luebken mlippert@gmail.com, @martinlippert

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