Zack’s Remote Checklist

August 7, 2009

“Remote? Hmmm… Let me think about it.”

A hiring manager said that to me recently. Think about it is much better than no, but it isn’t yes. This manager was at a company where everyone was colocated. I needed to convince him that remote could work for his team and make it easy for him to say yes.

Here is a simple tool to convince any manager to let you work remotely: Zack’s Remote Checklist. Use this checklist to show manager that you’ve thought a lot about it and know how to make this work. This list is the bare-bones basics of what an office needs to make a remote team succeed.


There needs to be some way for you to get into the corporate network in a secure way. The cost of these solutions ranges from free to very expensive.

Conference phone

When the group calls you they need a good conference phone. Star phones start around $100 and are well worth the money.

Instant messages

Every team should have a text-based communication system, but it is essential for distributed teams.

Document storage

It can be a wiki, Sharepoint, or a place in a version control system, but every distributed team must have a place to share documents.

Desktop sharing

It doesn’t matter how well you describe something, there is no substitute for letting people see for themselves. Sharing your desktop takes a lot of the guess work and frustration out of working remotely. There are free solutions like VNC and higher end solutions like Elluminate.

And that is it. The cost of entry can be as low as $100. Don’t let potential managers worry about larger issues or costs. You don’t need expensive video conferencing systems or digital whiteboards. Keep it simple to start and make it as easy as possible for your manager to say yes.

Previous post:

Next post: