Our favourite blogs and podcasts about the future of work
September 5, 2019

At Surf Office, we’re always looking to stay on top of the latest trends in the future of work, managing remote teams and enhancing collaboration opportunities, and podcasts have quickly become one of our favourite ways to stay up-to-date.

For today’s blog post, we prepared a list of some of the best blogs and podcasts on the topics of working remotely, the future of work and managing a distributed company. They’re awesome resources and one’s we find ourselves tuning into regularly to learn what’s new.

Featured are some of the greats such as Zapier and a Zapier alternative! Along with some less familiar names in the world of remote work culture. Trust us, give them a listen and you’re sure to hear some amazing insights on successfully establishing and managing remote and distributed teams.

1. The Distributed Blog

There are very few people on Earth more qualified to talk about remote work than Matt Mullenweg. This podcast (and blog) is the brainchild of the founder of WordPress, one of the largest distributed companies in the world. Starting off with a handful of like-minded individuals, he saw WordPress become a giant with 900 employees scattered across 68 countries, all working remotely.

Recommended reading/listening:

  • The American Dream is Broken by Stephane Kasriel, the CEO of Upwork. Besides managing the largest group of freelancers in the world, Upwork itself has 1,500 employees, most of them remote. Stephane talks us through how Upwork functions and explains why the way we work right now is broken.
  • Another episode worth listening to is the one with Arianna Simpson, who entered the spotlight in March 2019 for tweeting that “remote work is mostly bullshit”. In this episode, Matt and Arianna discuss the nuances of her statement and some of the downsides of remote work that have bothered her as an early-stage investor.
2. The GitPrime blog

GitPrime is a company that focuses on data-driven engineering. Located in Colorado in the USA, they have hundreds of employees working remotely from different parts of America. Their blog is an excellent resource on remote and distributed work, with discussions including some of the leading names in the world of remote working.

Recommended reading:

  • Leading remote and distributed teams, notes from a webinar featuring engineering leaders from MailChimp, Buffer and PagerDuty. These experts discuss issues such as how to keep remote teams in the loop, how to deal with time zone differences, how to know if engineers are a good fit for remote work and much more.
  • Moreover, Scaling Engineering Teams from 5 to 500 is an interesting discussion on effectively growing a successful engineering team and how remote work fits into the bigger picture of running a business. This post is also a summary of a webinar which GitPrime hosted and is available to watch in its entirety online as well.
3. REWORK podcast

When you talk about remote work, there’s one name that pops up in every discussion – Basecamp. This extremely successful company was founded in 1999 and currently has over 50 employees in 32 different countries. The REWORK podcast was launched by Basecamp cofounders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson to discuss bootstrapping, work culture, remote teams and much more.

Recommended listening:

  • REWORK Mailbag is an episode where Basecamp co-founders answer questions submitted by listeners, ranging from the reasons big companies don’t use Basecamp, all the way to how their support team works.
4. The Help Scout blog

You may already be familiar with Help Scout, one of the biggest customer service software providers in the world. The team itself consists of members in 60 cities around the globe who get by with the help of transparency, video conferencing and company retreats held twice every year.

Recommended reading:

  • For further consideration, you can also check out How our Design Team Collaborates Remotely, a mini-guide on communication and collaboration for designers in a remote setting. Instead of the usual fluff on remote collaboration, the Help Scout team gives actionable tips and examples from practice.
5. The Zapier Guide to Remote Work

Zapier really needs no introduction as one of the pioneers and leaders of remote work around the globe. Based on their own experience of running a remote team of 200 people, the team put together this eBook, designed for companies and individuals that want to make a start with remote work or just improve their current practices. You’ll learn things like…

  • How to hire remotely
  • How to build a culture in a remote team
  • How to create a remote office
  • How to avoid burnout in a remote setting

And much, much more. If you’re a remote team leader, employee or just interested in the minute aspects of remote work, this eBook is a must read.

6. The Remote.co blog

If you’ve ever looked for a remote job, this has probably been one of the main websites where you’ve looked for openings. Besides having an excellent job board, Remote.co has one of the most useful blogs on remote culture out there. The articles are split into three useful categories:

  • Work remotely (on how to best perform in a remote environment)
  • How to build a remote team (on establishing and hiring a remote team)
  • Remote management insights (on how to manage remote teams)

There are far too many great posts to recommend, so we suggest you start off with the Work Remotely category and move your way through the posts from there.

7. Yonder.io’s podcast

Launched in 2013 as a side project of Lullabot, Yonder was envisioned as a round-table conference for distributed and remote team leaders. In 2016, Yonder broke off to become a project of its own. Nowadays, it’s a blog and podcast talking about the challenges and benefits of remote work. Its main purpose is to advocate for remote work and build a movement to create more remote companies.

Recommended listening:

  • Another episode worth a listen is the one with Evelin Andrespok of Toggl, where she talks about the challenges and benefits of running a remote team scattered across the globe.
Wrapping up

Besides these excellent podcasts, we couldn’t finish this blog post without suggesting that you check out our own podcast, More Beach Meetings podcast, where we discuss remote work, distributed teams, the future of work, remote team culture and much more. Happy learning!

More beach meetings: Surf Office podcast about Company culture, Remote work & Distributed teams

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