November 11, 2013

Remote Work, Day One: Trust

Lots of big changes happened in my life recently, one of them is my
workplace. Lucky enough, now I got a chance to embrace the modern
style of work, that is working remotely.

I suppose you know more or less about remote. 37signals has published
their new book, REMOTE: Office Not
, where all the benefits you can
get from remote is described. I’m half way done of that book, and
probably will write another post once I finished it and compared it to
my real experience. So here I’m gonna talk about only one thing, a key
thing, trust.

I’m a true believer of remote work. As in the book says,

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t hire people you don’t trust, or
work for bosses who don’t trust you. If you’re not trusted to work
remotely, why are you trusted to do anything at all?

I totally agree with that. But in reality is, well at least the
environment around me is even every single manager or boss is good and
kind, we still fall into the traditional working style, 9:00 - 18:00+ in
the office, that’s the norm, so dominant, I didn’t even try to convince
anyone to change that.

Fortunately I got a very unique opportunity to do remote work. After the
first day, I should say the biggest and most important “get” is not
about the productivity, freedom or flexibility, although they’re truly
there, it’s about the trust I’ve never experienced at work.

“I trust you. So no matter what, when and where you do the work, I don’t
care, as long as we’re moving forward.” That was pretty much the key
conversation I had. It was a really warm feeling. I don’t know how to
explain it in words exactly, to be honest I did see that remote work
coming before I joined. But when it really happened, I was flattered!
I’ve never got this kind of tremendous trust, it means a lot to me as a
person. I’m sure I’m not gonna waste it.

Trust is the first step to remote work. It’s personal and
If you trust your teammate, with proper tools and
communications I really think remote work will work!

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Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.

He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.