6. Making Remote Work Work
Apr 10, 2019
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More than half of the employees who work on Heroku are remote or distributed employees, meaning Heroku is what you might call remote-first. Host, Chris Castle, brings together five Heroku employees who have had interesting distributed employee experiences. They share some personal stories and discuss setting boundaries, self-awareness, timezones, and some advice for others interested in distributed work.

Raúl Barroso is based in Madrid, Spain. He compares his experience working at Heroku HQ with his current experience as a distributed employee, working from Spain with a team across Europe and the U.S. He also shares his thoughts on the phrase “remote employee” vs “distributed employee” (hint: use “distributed” if you are serious about fostering a culture that values distributed employees as equals to those at HQ).

Alasdair Monk is based in the UK. He published a blog post in September 2016 titled Making remote work: What we’ve learned at Heroku discussing distributed work in three categories: working asynchronously, working together, and staying aligned. He reflects on his experience in the past two years since writing that post and also shares his perspective of UX and Design work as a distributed employee.

Jon McCartie lives way up in northern Idaho by the Canadian border. He and his wife decided to spend 1.5 years with three kids (ages 7, 5, and 2) traveling around the western U.S. in an RV. Oh, and he did this while working on the Customer Support team -- successfully. He shares some fun stories of video meetings with gorgeous views, choosing the right size RV, and using a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot as your family’s primary internet connection. Here is a picture of Jon’s “office”.

Annie Sexton currently lives in Austin, TX. For most of 2017, she was a “digital nomad” fulfilling a life-long dream of hers. She started with a month in Thailand, and then went to Japan, Bali, Morocco, Croatia, Slovenia, back to the U.S., and then back to Thailand, and then Panama. Her Instagram makes it look glamorous, but she says, “it’s easy to romanticize the lifestyle of working on your laptop on the beach drinking coconut water, but it’s just not like that.”

Niklas Richardson is based in the UK. He shares why and how he put his desk in the garden. He poured a foundation and then bought a pre-fab shed that he had insulated and electrified. Here’s what Niklas’s beautiful backyard office--aka garden oasis--looks like, and also the website he mentions in the podcast showcasing other beautiful sheds.

Links from this episode

  1. Alasdair Monk’s blog post Making remote work: What we’ve learned at Heroku
  2. Website with other beautiful sheds Niklas mentioned
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