The Holloway Guide toRemote Work

Improve the way you work together—even when you’re apart.

A comprehensive Guide to building, managing, and adapting to working with distributed teams.

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The Holloway Guide toRemote Work
This guide is a comprehensive resource of start-to-finish advice from the world’s top remote work experts. It’s a game changer for the future of virtual jobs.Laurel Farrer(founder and CEO, Distribute Consulting)

Everyone should have access to expert knowledge.

Companies are increasingly struggling to afford office space and hire and pay talented employees in expensive cities. More and more, employees want flexibility and choice in their work—to be near family, to be rid of time-consuming commutes, to have lower costs of living. These operating costs and hiring pressures—paired with an explosion of in-home broadband access, smart phones, and cloud-based tools—make remote work an intriguing option for a growing number of companies. But anyone who has spent enough time working remotely knows that it is an ongoing and dynamic series of tradeoffs for everyone involved.

Luckily, the people contributing to this guide have been involved in remote work for over a decade. We’ve been at large companies with work-from-home policies, hybrid companies navigating the complex interactions of offices and remote employees, to all-remote startups that don’t have any offices. We’ve seen how remote work can unblock hiring obstacles, save money, and provide employees with more satisfying, meaningful, and healthy careers. We’ve also seen dysfunctions in nearly every domain, from treating remote work as a privilege for a select set of people, to isolated, burnt-out workers left to their own devices. Those trying to build effective remote teams can benefit from these experiences, and avoid costly mistakes.

The lead authors of this guide, Juan Pablo Buriticá and Katie Womersley, lead large distributed engineering teams at fast-growing startups (Splice and Buffer, respectively). Additional contributors include Andreas Klinger (Angel List), Job van der Voort (Remote.com), Hiten Shah (FYI), Brenna Loury (Doist), Laurel Farrer (Distribute Consulting), and many more. We cover practices at companies like GitLab, Trello, Zapier, and many more, with the goals of helping managers design what works best for their company and employees, and helping employees make the most of their remote experience.

We believe remote work is a viable and important element of modern work that stands to reshape significant aspects of how companies, employees, and economies function. With the right foundations and practice, companies and employees can approach this complex, ever-changing landscape with knowledge and confidence.

Does this sound like you?

  • I’m worried my team won’t work well together if they’re not all in the same office.
  • I want to hire someone in another country, and I have no idea what that entails. Where do I start?
  • I’ve heard remote teams have to write everything down. Is that true? How would we get any other work done?
  • I’ve read blog posts saying companies that are entirely remote do better. Should we ditch the office and have the entire company be distributed?
  • How do people handle time-zone differences in remote teams?
  • What tools do remote teams use for tracking projects or collaborating?

Table of Contents

Why Remote Work?
What Is Covered
Who May Find This Useful
What Makes This Guide Different
We’d Love Your Help
What Is Remote Work?
Remote Work Benefits
Remote Work Myths and Pitfalls
Principles of Successful Remote Teams
Working Together When Apart
Remote Communication Concepts
Key Remote Communication Channels and Tools
Remote Collaboration Ground Rules
Staying Aligned Remotely
Remote Team Agreements and Protocols
Making Decisions Remotely
Remote Meetings
When Things Go Wrong
Remote Company Culture
Managing Distributed Teams
Hiring Remote Employees
Compensation for Remote Employees
Onboarding Remote Employees
Remote Team Integration
Remote One-on-Ones
Goal Setting and Feedback for Remote Teams
Morale, Mental Health, and Burnout in Remote Teams
Sharing Difficult News with Remote Teams
Being A Successful Remote Worker
Is Remote Working Right For You?
Key Strategies For Remote Working
Skills for Successful Remote Work
Setting Up Your Remote Office
Being Professional Outside an Office
Personal Health
Legal, Tax, and Operational Concerns
Employees vs. Contractors: An Important Distinction
U.S. Employee Concerns
International Employees
Appendix A: Remote Tools and Companies Marketplace
If you work remotely in any capacity, this guide is a no-brainer and will pay for itself in a week. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel—it provides a playbook for making remote work, work.Luke Thomas(founder and CEO, Friday)

Researched, written, and edited by experts.

Written by practitioners. Edited by professionals.

Lead Authors

Katie Womersley (Buffer)
Juan Pablo Buriticá (Splice)

Contributing Authors

Haley Anderson
Paul Maplesden
Paul Millerd (Boundless)
Courtney Nash (Holloway)
Steph Smith (The Hustle)

Contribution and Review

Greg Caplan (Remote Year)
Matthew Damm (Fenwick & West)
Ryn Daniels (HashiCorp)
Stephan Dohrn (Inside Out Coaching)
Rodolphe Dutel (Remotive.io)
Laurel Farrer (Distribute Consulting)
Jody Grunden (Summit CPA Group)
Andreas Klinger (AngelList)
Morgan Legge (Convert)
Paul Maplesden
Paul Millerd (Boundless)
Darren Murph (GitLab)
Kristen Pavle (Meaning)
Dan Pupius (Range)
Hiten Shah (FYI)
Jonathan Siddharth (Turing)
Dave Smith (Packet)
Steph Smith (The Hustle)
Kevin Stewart
Luke Thomas (Friday)
Judy Williams (The New Stack)
Job van der Voort (Remote.com)


Courtney NashLead Editor
Rachel AndrewEditor
Carly GillisEditor
Rachel JepsenEditor
This guide is an epic undertaking. It’s an incredibly comprehensive look at all aspects of work as they pertain to distributed teams.Daniel Pupius(founder, Range)