Distributed Work is Real

Yesterday I met up with a friend for drinks who was in town for work. The company she works for has been around for almost two years — the product is live and operational — yet this was the first time she was meeting her teammates in-person. The company works 100% distributed.

“How do I compare in real life to what you expected?” one of the engineers asks my friend. She explains to me that the she speaks to this engineer some days for hours at a time, discussing product and ops, but they’ve never met. They have inside jokes such as “Pajama Tuesday’s,” when she sleeps late and works in bed in her PJ’s.

The engineer proudly introduced himself to me as “one of the original employees.” He lives in Europe, found out about the business online and has worked remotely ever since. The designer I met lives in Maine, where he can finish his work but also gets to enjoy the outdoors.

Here’s what I found so interesting — despite the fact these employees had been working “together,” spending their workdays “together” for the past two years, they essentially knew each other in-person for about as long as I did!

The future of work is ever so changing, and the concept of distributed work is real. Whether it’s a smart strategy for startups is another discussion…