Automattic – the Company of the Future – HR 1

When we think of work, we think of a job, of regular hours, a place, of lots of meetings etc. But that is not how the organizations of the future will be. Here is what they will look like!

5 reasons why your company should be distributed

I’ve noticed a new trend in Silicon Valley. More and more startups are beginning life as distributed companies, and investors and partners are starting to accept it as normal. Our company Automattic is distributed, and I’m ready to sing the praises of running a business in this way. BTW, I thinkdistributed (“evenly spread throughout an area”) is a better description than the more commonly used virtual (“nearly real or simulated to be real”) for a company that has people working from all over the place instead of a centralized office. In Automattic’s case, we currently have over 50 employees spread across 12 US states and 10 countries.

Here are my top 5 reasons why you should consider the distributed model for your company:


I think that this is indeed the future – the full text follows here

As with all good network designs – most of the direct and indirect costs of the organization go away.

The capital costs are shed and are taken up by the nodes. People work from their place. With their gear. Huge expenses off the table. Huge potential to have the best gear for the staff.

Most of those interruptions go away – who can get any work done at the office these days?

Most of those silly meetings go away.

With NO Commute – so they get hours of time back a day. Let’s say 2 hours a day. 10 hours a week. 40 hours a month. (That’s a working week). 12 weeks a year! That is a lot of dentist visits, plumber visits, time with kids and spouse, time to nap, time to do whatever. And all this time was pulled out of the air as a result of not commuting.

Then of course there are the direct costs of commuting – the car, the transport. It costs $9,000 a year to run a car fully costed. How about coffee and lunch? What do you spend today? $5.0 – $20 a day. That is $1,000 – $4,000 a year for coffee and lunch! How about clothes? I used to buy 2 suits a year as a man. Women can’t get away with that. How much does going to work cost you in clothes? $2,000 – $5,000.

Daycare – well you might still want to send your kid off to daycare but now you might be able to do this locally and walk there. You will not have that pressure at the end of the day to juggle that project and getting to daycare on time. If your child is sick, you have options. And with all the money you have saved on the other things, you can afford a good one.

They live where they want. Huge choice given back. Not only can you choose what part of town, but what town or even country.

Then firm can also hire from a market of 6 billion versus from the local pool – the full talent pool of the planet is open to you.

The costs of travel to meet and hang out now and then are tiny compared to what is spent on a conventional organization.

The communication tools that connect you all now are all but free as well. The Skype offices have big screens that are ON all the time – so you can look up and call out to a colleague in another city as if she was in the next room – for free!

So why not your office? Well if your organization is all about control, then this will never happen. if your organization is all about process and not results, this will never happen. If your organization hires people who don’t have the skills to deliver, this will never happen. If your organization is like this – why are you still there?

1 thought on “Automattic – the Company of the Future – HR 1

  1. Pingback: IBM – Also Moving to the Workplace of the Future | Rob's Fast Forward Blog Posts

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