The Language of Remote Work

One of the early adopters of remote work was Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress.

He now runs Automattic, Wordpress’s parent company, with 1300 employees who are all remote.

Except they don’t call it remote. They call it distributed.

For Matt, language matters. No one wants to be remote. 

Remote implies isolation and individual work. 

It suggests avoiding the office, and management.

Distributed changes how we frame work.

Distributed opens up possibilities. 

Someone is working throughout the day. There are fewer meetings. 

Asynchronous communication breeds thoughtfulness. 

Results matter, not how many hours it took to accomplish them.

The whole world is the talent pool. Location doesn’t matter. Customer service is available 24/7.

For most, the names used may be semantics. But they do change the conversation.

Most of us talk about remote work.

We should be talking about distributed instead.