Till the beginning of the pandemic you, your boss or your team are still trying to replicate the way you work at the office.But remote means you must think of yourself as a small business owner, with your boss as your client. The book titled Remote, Inc  shows you a new approach, based on the mindset and habits of people who flourish while working outside the office some or all of the time. Interview with Robert C Pozen.

Hi Robert, why did we write this book?

Robert C Pozen: Because millions of people started working from home during the pandemic,and they need practical guidance on how to do so — to maximize theirproductivity and job satisfaction.    

What is the most important idea in the book?

Robert C Pozen: When working from home, you need a different mindset from working in the office.Don’t think of yourself as an employee who takes daily directions from your boss.Think of yourself as a small business owner, with your boss as your client.Your client sets your objectives, and together you agree on a detailed set of deliverables.But then it is up to you when and how you achieve these deliverables.It’s this relative autonomy that allows you to be productive and happy as a remote worker.

What trend is just emerging that you believe in the most?

Robert C Pozen: As countries reduce the health risks involved with this pandemic,companies will struggle with the question of where their employees should work.In our view, most companies will move to a hybrid model with several days at home,and several days in the office.   This is what we call the Goldilocks plan –not too much or too little remote work.   But the exact combination of work at homeand the office will depend on the nature of the job, the structure of the company,and many other factors.


What key piece of advice would you give to remote workers?

Robert C Pozen: When you go to the office, your day has a natural structure.But when you work remotely, you have to create the structure of your work day.It is easy to spend the whole day at video meetings and conference calls set up by others.So the key piece of advice is this — set your priorities for the week and the day,and make sure that over half of your time is allocated to your own priorities,rather than passively responding to the priorities of others.

In a nutshell, what is the next topic that you will be passionate about?

Robert C Pozen: I am a trustee of the IFRS Foundation, which is establishing a sustainability boardto develop uniform standards for company reports on climate change and otheraspects of sustainability like human capital and corporate governance.I feel strongly that investors and citizens need a set of uniform reporting standardson sustainability for publicly traded companies.  

Thanks Robert C Pozen

Thank you Bertrand

The book: Remote, Inc: How to Thrive at Work Wherever You Are, Robert C Pozen, Alex Samuel, Harper Collins, 2021.

Robert C. Pozen is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was chairman of MFS Investment Management and vice chairman of Fidelity Investments. He served on President Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security and was also secretary of economic affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was associate general counsel of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Caplin & Drysdale. The author of six books, Pozen lives with his wife in Boston, Massachusetts.