Le Web: Automattic and the virtual workplace
The Ignite talk at Le Web I’m most interest in: Sara Rosso from Automattic
No-one is inspired by a cubicle-filled office. But we’re locked into thinking about productivity as something that happens in an office. But what should that be? Some people are more productive at home, at the beach, in a co-working space. But remote workers are still viewed with suspicion in most businesses.
Automattic, makers of WordPress.com, are completely distributed. They don’t have an office. Their staff are scattered all over the world. Rosso lives in Milan…
How do they do it? Private chat on IRC, Skype and a bunch of internal blogs are the key communication tools. It means that all the information and discussions in the company are searchable as soon as you join. IRC is their “showing up” in the office. Everyone needs to be a self-starter, though, they need to manage themselves, and they need to over-communicate on their progress.
Companies need to be distributed because they can recruit from a bigger pool of talent. You can move beyond the idea of the Apple Store-radius of recruitment.
They meet once a year (at least) for a mix of fun and work.
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