I hope all of you have had a wonderfull start in 2015! As a new year has begun, people ask about week numbers. As I wrote a year ago, there are several numberings. In the Netherlands - where I live - Week 1
is the first week with at least four days in the new year.
After writing Getting Real and Rework (see my blogpost), Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson wrote Remote. This book is all about working (ta-da) remote. A topic they know all about as they founded Basecamp (formerly known as 37 Signals) while living and working in respectively the US and Danmark. Nowadays their employees work at different locations all around the globe.
First of all, the authors explain why one should work remotely. At the office people get distracted by their managers and meetings. The M&M's as they call it. Also commuting takes lots of valuable time. However there's a lof of resistance. Many people, especially managers, oppose to telecommuting as they fear to lose control.
In the following chapters Fried and Heinemeier Hansson explain how to organise the work, the cooperation and the social aspects. They emphasize the importance of human interaction. Therefore they synchronise at least some working hours. People should interact directly even if they use technology like (video) chat. Another important aspect is the provision of services to customers, software support in their case. At last, the book contains some useful resources and tools.
Remote is well written. It's not a novel but it contains tons of useful information about the modern workplace. It's interesting both for companies and employees. It's clearly structured and provides practical advice. Both for dealing with resistance and how to effectively organise the work.
In the West we throw away lots of things. But why dump stuff that can be repaired easily? When goods get a second live, no new articles need to be created. Therefore, no raw materials are needed and less energy will be consumed. Very sustainable!
Repair Café's are local places or meetings where visitor's bring their broken items from home. This can be clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, etc. Together with some specialists, they repair these goods. Tools and (some) materials are in stock.
Visitor's may also drink a cup of coffee or even tea. There's a also reading table with books about DIY, maintenance and repairs.
The first Repair Café was organised in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam during 2009. A year later the international Repair Café Foundation was set up.
In the place where I live (nearby), the Repair Café is located alongside the Fab Lab about which I wrote earlier.