Output > Input


Interestingly enough when you work remotely it’s much easier to determine your actual – not imagined – productivity than when you show up to an office. In the office you get “free productivity” points for seat warming. In remote work you’re not.

Unlearning to put emphasis on hours logged can prove difficult at first. So many of us have been trained from grade school, that being “present” (with an emphasis on physical often to the detriment of our mental presence) is the most important thing. Remote work defies these traditional beliefs about productivity.

If you’re working for a fully remote company, the focus is likely to be on the completion of the projects and tasks you’re assigned. The vast majority of these companies are not interested in having a full accounting of your every move over the working week. You’ll demonstrate your contributions at weekly meetings or daily check ins.


The value of quality work is uniquely appreciated in remote settings. Folks are less concerned with how you kept yourself busy and much more concerned with what you were able to deliver. If you spent your time putting together the bare minimum, people will start wondering what you’ve been doing all day. If the work you produce is thoughtful and thorough it won’t matter if you spent an hour or a day on it.

Understanding what it means to deliver quality work is well detailed across many industries. In his book, “Quality is Free”, Philip Crosby articulates the importance and impact of doing quality work. Organizations will survive or thrive based on the quality of work delivered. Ploughing through and hoping for good results aren’t the characteristics of quality work. As assistants it can be easy to get distracted in the doing, what I refer to as “band-aid thinking” in my most recent article Ideation & Iteration: The Art of Strategic Problem Solving. This kind of thinking is short-sighted. Concerned with our fix-it rate, we dispatch with problems or tasks instead of solving them for the long term. Understanding the importance of investing the time and effort in quality up front will ultimately save resources over the long haul.