Will you ever go back to your office? Tips on how to fully embrace distributed work.

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Some tips on distributed work from Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Wordpress and CEO of Automattic.

embrace distributed work

To many of us, remote collaboration is a forced new reality, to Matt Mullenweg (founder of Wordpress platform) and CEO of Automattic, work from locations of your choice is a norm for over a decade, now with 1000 employees spread across 70 different countries.

On the Making Sense Podcast with Sam Harris, Matt shares his tips on achieving truly frictionless remote collaborations. In the podcast, distributed work refers to remote work without a central location. Although a reactive measure to the pandemic, remote work will generate behavioral changes longterm. The lockdown allows companies to explore how true professional autonomy could help both teams and individuals achieve beyond what they normally would under the same roof.

Podcast found here:

Mastery, purpose, and autonomy are three things that matter in motivating people, according to the book Drive by Daniel Pink. The freedom to choose to work remotely, work from home, and work with a routine of one’s preference - if done wrong, could disrupt collaborations and social bonds, if done right, could largely increase one’s sense of autonomy, thus increasing productivity and enhancing results.

One benefit coming out of the pandemic would be our freedom to choose where and how to work. The positive impact of structuring highly productive and motivating distributed work will reach beyond the pandemic. Here is a summary of Matt Mullengen’s tip on how to reduce friction, empower individuals, and achieve an autonomous and motivating working environment.

  1. Don’t try to track what your team is doing. Time tracking or monitor surveillance can be counterproductive. It will make people feel less engaged and less autonomous to perform their best work.

  2. Writing clear and quality communication is very important. While tones can be misread in texts, the right punctuations and a full context can help bridge the gap.

  3. Good audio equipment facilitates smooth communication. Microphones and audio conferencing speakers can reduce noises, interruptions, and lags during a conference call, thus best simulate a real-time conversation.

  4. Asynchronous work is the ultimate goal of remote working. Instead of working remotely at the same hours, asynchronous work gives people the freedom to design their daily routine. Although workflow may appear to take longer to complete, an asynchronous structure will allow individuals to contribute and make the best decisions on their own.