Culture Factor 2.0

Guinness World Record, and How to Build a Strong Remote Culture by the Expert

Episode Summary

Darren Murph is the Head of Remote at Gitlab. He also holds the Guinness World Record as the most prolific professional blogger, and yes, we’ll ask him about that. Darren claims he’s living the remote dream and has navigated this path when tech and wifi were merely on their way to becoming 3G. He’s ahead of the game in “work from home” and is here on The Culture Factor to lend his expertise to leaders and founders that weren’t ready for this and are still struggling.

Episode Notes

http://www.companytribes.com

https://www.amazon.com/Living-Remote-Dream-Setting-Advancing/dp/1506192130

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenmurph/

 https://learn.gitlab.com/all-remote/remote-playbook

https://about.gitlab.com/company/culture/all-remote/guide/

 https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/hr-talent-management/columns/challenges-and-opportunities-in-the-remote-workplace

https://www.engadget.com/2010-10-05-engadgets-darren-murph-nabs-guinness-world-record-for-most-blog.html

 

 

 

Episode Transcription

Speaker 1:
Welcome to The Culture Factor, where we talk to founders and influential leaders about company culture. We share stories from the C-suite that help executives engage their business from the inside and create a map to transform their culture. Because the truth is culture eats strategy for breakfast.

Holly Shannon:
I want to thank our listeners for joining The Culture Factor and ask that you subscribe, rate and consider leaving a review. We'd love to hear who you'd like to listen to next. And thank you to our sponsor, Company Tribes. They have an app and a virtual experience to help keep your tribe together during difficult times like now and business as usual. How strong is your company culture? Reach out to Paul at companytribes.com.

Holly Shannon:
Darren Murph is the head of remote at GitLab. He also holds the Guinness world record as the most prolific professional blogger. And yes, we'll ask him about that. Darren claims he's living the remote dream and has navigated this path when tech and wifi were merely on their way to becoming 3G. He's ahead of the game and work from home and is here on The Culture Factor to lend his expertise to leaders and founders that weren't ready for this and are still struggling.

Holly Shannon:
So welcome, Darren. How are you today?

Darren Murph:
Thanks so much, Holly. I'm doing awesome. Thanks so much for having me.

Holly Shannon:
Excellent and I'm speaking today with Paul Jones. He's our co-host and co-producer here on The Culture Factor. Welcome.

Paul Jones:
Hey everybody. All right, so Darren, you've got to tell us about the story behind this Guinness World Book of Records holding. I'm so excited to hear about it.

Darren Murph:
Thanks, Paul. Yes, it is true. I have a Guinness World Record. So the story behind this, by the way, the record is, I'm the world's most prolific professional blogger. So you're like, "What does that mean?" Well, in lay terms-

Paul Jones:
That's an amazing title by the way. I mean, anytime you get the word prolific into a title, that is next level.

Darren Murph:
Yeah, I appreciate that. They actually chose that title and I was quite pleased with it. So, in lay terms, it means that I can write a lot, really, really fast. And so the story there is, I was Managing Editor at a consumer tech publication called Ingadget, and there was one day at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, where in a 24 hour span, I managed to publish 58 articles.

Darren Murph:
Now, granted, I actually stayed awake for the entire 24 hour cycle and did almost nothing the next day, just for context. But nevertheless, during this time a colleague said, "Darren, I think you've written more than anyone else on the planet." I kind of blew him off and he said, "No, I'm going to sit here, we're going to do this record application together, or else I'm just going to do it on your behalf." So I said, "Okay, okay, let's just do it. Let's just get it over with."

Darren Murph:
So I applied for the record, a few weeks went by, didn't hear anything, and then I get an email from the headquarters in London and they essentially said, "Hey, this sounds like a really intriguing thing. We're going to put a team of investigators on it. We're going to scour the internet. We're going to see if we can disprove your claim." And I had to provide all sorts of background information, I had to look into our backend data and get timestamps for all of the articles and sent them all of this information. And then a few months later, sure enough, the record was bestowed. So quick side note, if you ever know anyone to have a Guinness World Record, they don't just hand these things out, they're actually really, really difficult to get.

Darren Murph:
So the record at the time was an article published every two hours, 24/7, 365 for four consecutive years.

Paul Jones:
Wow.

Darren Murph:
So it was about 17,000 articles in four years, roughly 6 million words. I'm still writing across the internet today. I think it's up to around 25 or 30,000 posts and 10 million or so words. But the prolific part of the record, I think is why it still stands. Obviously, if you give someone 40 years, they can probably write more than that, but to do it at that clip is going to be difficult. And after I left Ingadget, I stayed there almost eight years. People were asking me, "How did you accomplish this record? Give us some details on it."

Darren Murph:
And it's wild because at the time I said, "Remote work had a lot to do with it." And you got to remember, this was five years or so ago when I wrote this book, Living The Remote Dream, remote work was just a tiny, tiny sliver of the world's population. And it still is, but it's obviously changed a lot. It has been democratized quite a bit, even over the past few months, but I said, "I didn't have a commute for four years as I was compiling this record. Imagine how much different your life could be if you didn't have a commute for four years." And that was the statement that really unlocked people's brains to start thinking about, "Whoa, my life could be totally different if I let my life dictate my life, instead of letting work dictate my life." Because for most people, you just kind of wrap your life around whatever your work schedule will allow, but remote enables you to flip that on its head.

Darren Murph:
A few other factors contributed to this. I started writing about technology just before the original iPhone came out. And once that happened, technology became a part of culture. And so our demographic exploded, the amount of content that we can write exploded, we had a small team. I love storytelling, I had amazing mentors and editors, Peter Rojas, and Ryan Block, the godfathers of tech blogging, they were my mentors. Very, very fortunate and grateful to have those two gentlemen to kind of show me the ropes. A lot of that went into it. It was a fully remote team, we were globally distributed around the world and we worked with people that love deficiency.

Darren Murph:
I remember this one time we gave this [inaudible 00:05:26] our developer and said, "We have a three click process, can we make it two?" And they managed to make it two, and that shaved off five or 10 seconds per article. Extrapolated over 17,000 articles, that's quite a significant, yeah, it's a lot of time. So it was a fun era in life. I don't know that I could do it again, I require a little bit more sleep these days. But yep, it's hanging on the wall, man. It's something I'll always be proud of.

Paul Jones:
That is incredible. And I noticed on your Read Me profile that you have a picture of you fist pumping your son. And I think that's cool how you said, you know, you want to be able to design your remote life around your life, not necessarily design your life around work, but design your life around being home. And so I think that picture's really cool.

Paul Jones:
So, remote had a lot to do with working efficiently to get that record sounds like?

Darren Murph:
Oh absolutely. It would've not been possible to do without remote. If I had to commute into an office every day just to write content for the internet, it would have been a much more inefficient way to live life. You sleep less, you explore less. It's just less fulfilling. And for me, I've found out early on that if you could decouple the results that you're driving from geography, from where you are, it opens up a whole new pallet of opportunities.

Darren Murph:
I think remote is life's greatest cheat code. If you can figure out a way to get your work done outside of an office, the same office every single day, your opportunities are endless. And one of the things I try to encourage people to do is to simply use their imaginations. What is possible if you don't have a daily commute? The options are almost so overwhelming, you kind of need to sit down, open up a blank sheet of paper and start writing stuff down because you're going to have a wealth of opportunities and you're actually going to need to determine what the best yes is.

Darren Murph:
So for my wife and I, we love to travel. We've managed to travel to all 50 States. Actually in the first five years of our marriage, we drove a motor vehicle in all 50 States. So we didn't just fly through them, but we actually visited all 50 US States. We run a clip of 10 per year. And that was while I was achieving this world record. So it's not like I had to take five years off to explore the world, I actually explore the world in the same five years that I achieved a world record. There's no way that's possible without remote. There's absolutely no way that would have been possible if I would have been doing that with two weeks of vacation a year, trying to wrap these very complex road trips around weekends. It's simply not possible.

Paul Jones:
Sure.

Holly Shannon:
You know, it's interesting. I wonder if your LinkedIn profile or other people will start to ... you might've created the classically trained remote worker. Like you've been doing it for 14 years. To me, that just blows my mind. People are just now experiencing it. Companies are so overwhelmed with COVID and they had to send everybody to work from home, but you've been doing it for so long. What could you share as the head of remote, how can other companies take a page out of your book?

Darren Murph:
The first step is to take a step back, take a deep breath and realize that crisis induced work from home is not the same as intentionally designed remote. That's the first step. We're in strange times right now, don't conflate the two.

Paul Jones:
That's a good point.

Darren Murph:
The second step is to realize how easy it is now. I started working remotely before 3G was a communications protocol. I don't know if anyone remembers the original iPhone, how slow it was on edge, but imagine trying to get work done on that. We have near ubiquitous LTE across midsize and major talents around the world now. We have Zoom, we have Slack, we have laptop batteries that will last 16 hours. My first laptop, I think the battery lasted like 18 minutes or something ridiculous. It was like actually that probably helped my efficiency. I thought, "Well, this battery is only going to last 18 minutes, so I better get to writing." Yeah, that nice forcing function on that.

Holly Shannon:
That was the first million words you've published.

Darren Murph:
Yeah, exactly. It's like, "How many words can I write in 18 minutes? Let's see what's possible." But really, it's not about tools and technology. The only thing standing in the way of remote taking over en masse is management culture that is far too steeped in tradition, and it's time to just break away from that. It's time to recognize that there is a better way. If you think back a hundred years ago, when the assembly line was introduced, there were probably a significant amount of people that couldn't fathom changing the way they manufactured things to adopt this new technology that would make things a lot more efficient.

Darren Murph:
We've all had the internet for decades now, why are we not fully taking advantage of it? And a lot of managers are just steeped in the way that they've always done things and it's just easier to keep a ball rolling than it is to pause for a second and consider an entire new landscape of opportunity. And that's what I would encourage leaders to do. This is actually a gift, you've been given a gift to pause. The entire world is pausing with you. You don't lose any time because no one is moving forward right now, we're all in the same pause. You're unlikely to ever get this opportunity again.

Darren Murph:
And I think it's a great litmus test for leaders in businesses of who actually takes advantage of the pause, who actually considers, "If we're making a move, do we really need to box everything up and port it to the next iteration of whatever our business is? Or can something stand to be left behind? Does this give us an opportunity to rethink what our workflows are? Does this give us an opportunity to rewrite what our culture is?"

Darren Murph:
To me, that's the most influential power of remote is rethinking what life and work can be and how they intersect. This is our opportunity to reconsider those two.

Holly Shannon:
Yeah, I agree. I feel like it's an opportunity to look at company culture more deeply because everything is democratized. The playing field has been leveled, right? Everybody's having the same thing happen at home. Maybe two people working, kids are home, you're homeschooling, there's no daycare. There's no camps, there's no school. It's really, really interesting. And it's an opportunity, I think like if companies are flailing, if they've had issues before, this might be that golden opportunity. But I guess, how do they do it, right? Like, do they stay a hundred percent remote now, or is there a blend? Is there something you would recommend having been, I mean, you're a hundred percent remote and that works for you, but not all companies can function that way, right?

Darren Murph:
Sure. First of all, I would say question whether or not all remote is for you. A lot of companies have told their employees, "Hey, we can't all work from home. It's never going to work." And then shockingly overnight, even in the most sub optimal conditions ever, it actually does work. Now, it might not be the best, but it works. So you're already starting to break down preconceived notions.

Darren Murph:
I know quite a few companies that are smaller and more nimble, they may only have one office. They're never going back into it because they've been forced into a situation where they have to build this remote muscle and learn how to collaborate and communicate without being in the same physical space. And now it's a gift to actually leave the burden of real estate behind, and they're going to do that. So, if you're in a position where you can consider that or consider a program that would unwind your reliance on geography and offices, now is the time to do that.

Darren Murph:
It is not going to be the foreign concept that it once was and I think it's actually going to be flipped on its head. You're soon going to have to justify why you would keep real estate. If you're going to have to spend money on retooling the inside of it for social distancing anyway, the justification for that is going to be more significant. Now, some companies can justify it. If you run an automotive garage or a hospital, things that are very high touch, obviously you're not going to go remote overnight. But for many digital industries where your output is primarily knowledge or digital based, you should really consider it.

Darren Murph:
For companies that are leaning into hybrid, where a subset of their people commute into an office each day, sometimes by choice, maybe their home isn't amenable to remote work and a subset defaults to working offsite, the biggest thing that you can do to get ready for this is to keep your leadership team out of the office for a significant amount of time. If your leadership is the first people to run back into the office the minute that it's allowed, it will send a very clear and convincing message to everyone in the company that the epicenter of power and the epicenter of culture is still at the office. And even if you tell them you support remote work, it really won't mean as much because you're not staying outside of the office.

Darren Murph:
So all of this remote muscle, when all of this remote fluency that you've built will start to wither away because you're not practicing it on a daily basis. So that's the thing, stay out of the office. If you want to let some people in, because you know, they got to get out of their home, they're in a one bedroom apartment with a significant other and four kids, totally fine. But the leadership should say, "We're going to stay out long enough to actually get this remote thing right. Because we want our culture and our workflows to work at all times."

Darren Murph:
The second thing is to write down what your culture is. So GitLab, where I work now, we have over 1,200 people in more than 65 countries, no company owned offices. We've been remote by default since the very beginning. Our first three employees were in three different countries. Remote was just how it was. Early on the founders were sensible enough to write down their values and not just the values, but thousands of words underneath each one called sub values, that exemplify how a value is lived out in a remote setting. Now, this is crucial for companies right now to write this down. Start with a blank sheet of paper and ask yourself, "What is our culture? What do we want our culture to look like?" And if you're not satisfied with the answer, write it down right now of what you want it to be and start working towards that change.

Darren Murph:
The crucial thing to understand here is that no office or headquarters should have any precedence over any other vessel. So an office should be equal to a WeWork, which is equal to a spare bedroom, which is equal to a hotel room, which is equal to an airplane seat. You get where I'm going with this?

Holly Shannon:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Darren Murph:
Your culture and your workflows need to work anywhere. Four walls and a roof. It's not more important than any other four walls and a roof. And I think that's one of the biggest takeaways here in this great remote migration of like, "Hold on, how much importance have we been putting on these four walls? Has the office decor and the loudest voice in the room really been dictating our culture?" Because that's dangerous. And now is your opportunity to change that.

Darren Murph:
Again, I have nothing bad on offices. Even at GitLab, we will happily reimburse a coworking space or an external office because we know not every home is amenable to remote work, but we make it clear that our culture is in our people and the way we treat others and the way we treat our colleagues, it has nothing to do with a certain office that you do or don't go to. And for companies leaning into hybrid, it is really, really important to get this right. And it's going to be hard. You're fundamentally managing an offsite experience and an onsite experience and trying to keep those level is going to be difficult. It's actually going to be impossible to keep them fully level in a hybrid setting, but you can at least work towards that so that people outside of the office don't feel ostracized.

Paul Jones:
It seems to me, Darren, that it really comes down to intentionality, being more intentional with your values, being more intentional with your culture. When you have an entire workforce under one roof, culture is just going to kind of naturally happen organically for better or for worse. Have you noticed the same when you have a group of people working remotely? I mean, I guess culture's always going to exist organically, but what kind of change have you seen when you're trying to lead a culture remotely?

Darren Murph:
The biggest benefit is that as culture starts to change organically at scale, because your culture is written down, everyone can challenge it. And so you see early on when things are starting to change. So when I joined GitLab, I was employee 700 or so, and we're almost double that now. Unquestionably, it feels different now than it did when I joined. And I suspect when it doubles again, it will also feel different. It's just natural when you get more people at scale, things start to change. There's more to coordinate, there's more people to consider, there's more people to talk to, there's more emotions, there's more voices. It's awesome, but it is what it is.

Darren Murph:
When you're in a remote setting everyone is hyper sensitive to the culture because the culture is written down. So if you sense or feel something changing, evolving, morphing, some of it's for the good, some of it might not be for the good, but everyone can look at the single source of truth, everyone can go back to the values page and say, "Is what I'm seeing aligned with what our culture is?"

Darren Murph:
In an office for far too long, it's been really difficult for people in companies, in a co-located space to really reconcile that. It's one of those things that you just sort of feel that the culture might be morphing or changing, but no one can really put their finger on what's happening because it's not written down. And the simple exercise of writing it down allows every single iteration and evolution of culture to be checked. It creates the system of checks and balances where you check every change that you see against what's written down.

Darren Murph:
And in some cases you may actually update your values because you've seen a positive evolution and you think, "Okay, this was something awesome that happened because a new person or a new team joined our company, and we want to make sure that this is written down so that other people know how to exemplify it." But then you may see some things where you say, "You know, we're actually becoming what we don't want to become. Let's take intentionality to really reinforce this part of our culture that will help prevent whatever we're seeing." And I actually think, I just want to point out quickly that none of this is exclusive to remote. So even for leaders who think we're going back to the office, at least in some way, still do this. Because this will still make your culture stronger and more resilient even if a subset of your company goes back into the office.

Holly Shannon:
How do you feel, how can they reconcile these values if there's no water cooler anymore? You know, there's that when you're in the office, there's the sense of connection. There was places where you can sit down with people and have a conversation, whether it be personal or professional. And that builds into the values, right? So, now that it's work from home, how do they stay true to the values, the sub values? Where do they reconcile?

Darren Murph:
So, you need to sit down for this one, because I'm about to blow your mind. But, in any office building, in any office building ever, someone decided to build a lobby. The lobby just didn't come with the concrete. Someone said, "Hey, we need an entrance area, and we're going to put a coffee machine here, and we're going to create pathways in this way to funnel people through it."

Darren Murph:
What I'm getting at is that the water cooler conversation, the lobby, those atmospheres, they were created in a physical space. And if they were not, if you walked into an office that did not have a lobby or did not have an obvious place for people to sit down in public, to gather, water cooler conversation would not happen. It's not because people are together in the same place, it's because something was intentionally designed for a certain outcome.

Darren Murph:
So in a remote setting, the people group has to do the exact same thing. You have to create, whether it's a Zoom meeting, a Hangout meeting, whether it's a virtual trivia, whether it's a virtual scavenger hunt, whether it's a calendar for coffee chats or getting your kids together for a Juicebox chat, informal communication has to be structured, it has to be planned, it has to be thought about, it has to be a metric of a part of your company.

Darren Murph:
If you just wait for spontaneity and fate to create these things, it's not going to happen. Just like if you bought an office that didn't have a lobby and you just waited for a lobby to spontaneously show up, it's never going to happen. You have to be intentional about building a lobby in an office, you have to be intentional about building the virtual lobby in a remote setting. And for a lot of companies, they weren't there for the construction of their lobby, so they just kind of take it for granted. But at some point, someone built that lobby and it's now on companies that are working in a remote environment or a hybrid environment, to create that.

Darren Murph:
And no doubt, if you have people going back into a physical space with a physical lobby and the people that default to working outside of the office, you don't create one for them, you will unlevel the playing field yet again. And it's important to make sure that both sets of those individuals can come together in one place.

Darren Murph:
And I tell people the best way to get this right, is to work remote first, which means you're going to need the people in the office to actually bypass the physical lobby, go to their respective cubicles or seats, open up their laptop and hop in the virtual lobby. Because that is the only way that both teams can connect. You can't just teleport the remoters into the lobby. So the people that go in the office, again, the office is just a place you'd go to work remotely. And it's going to take a lot of forcing functions to make sure that genuine connections happen from people that are in the office with people that are outside of it. It's not impossible, but it will take an immense amount of intentionality.

Holly Shannon:
We've had some great interviews with some great leaders and they have been somewhat shocked at how they've become almost a little more connected, how different departments within their company that maybe never really saw each other, even physically when they had a physical location, are connecting on a different level with whatever virtual treatment that they use, whatever platform that they use. So it's actually interesting that they're able to still feel connected, right?

Darren Murph:
I completely agree with that, and we've seen that even at GitLab, when you're forced into isolation, you recognize just how relational and communal we are as human beings. And you get really innovative in figuring out ways to maintain connection, because you realize that relationships are the bedrock of life. And it's really easy in the business of life to kind of forget that, until you're forced into a situation where you're isolated and you think, "Whoa, okay. The thing that actually mattered was the relationships I have with people, with neighbors, with family, with community."

Darren Murph:
And even at GitLab, we had this situation where so many people had kids at home, they were doubling as homeschool teachers, and we have this Slack channel called Parenthood and all of our parents can get together and talk about applications that they're using or lessons that you're using, or any sort of parenting help that we want to share across six continents. And it sort of dawned on us that if parents had free time in their schedule, we could just collectively turn some Zoom cameras on, invite our kids into the room and let them sing, dance, show off toys and culturally explore with other people and other countries, across six continents.

Darren Murph:
So, although we're forced into our homes, our kids are forced into our homes, this is the kind of cultural exploration that would have been impossible had they actually been at school. So what appeared to be a sacrifice, what appeared to be a major bummer, actually opened up the possibility for these kids to connect with people in countries and continents they had only seen on a map. Now they're getting daily genuine interaction with people in completely different continents. That is amazing. Using the tools and technology we already had, it cost zero dollars to implement this. All it took was a shared Google sheet where people could coordinate schedules and then they just let their kids have fun.

Darren Murph:
Any company could do this and it has built amazing bonds amongst the parents in our company, and of course their children. Now, when they go back to school, they can say, "Hey, I met someone from Kenya and Iceland." I mean, that's pretty amazing, and I don't think anybody would have anticipated that would be an outcome of the pandemic, but that's what innovation in relationships can get you.

Paul Jones:
This is such a great look. This is such a great look, and I think, well, first of all, commercial real estate agents are going to hate this interview, Darren. So, you know, watch out for that.

Darren Murph:
I don't know Paul, here's my challenge to that. Take a skyscraper in San Francisco. To get people back into that, you're going to need to spend millions of dollars retooling what the inside looks like to maintain social distancing guidelines. So if you're spending millions of dollars anyway, you can just go one step further and convert the offices into apartments and actually contribute to solving the other major issue that San Francisco has, which is a housing crisis.

Darren Murph:
The building is already there, there is a massive amount of demand for housing, and now there's massive amount of imagination to work somewhere else. I see a solution.

Paul Jones:
That's interesting.

Darren Murph:
And I think real estate developers are savvy enough to understand if we have demand for this space and we have to spend money to convert it one way or the other, let's just throw a bed in there and a lamp and call it an apartment. And the person that used to be working in here is probably going to move to Boulder and have a much better life doing the work they were doing.

Darren Murph:
So, I know people are quick to say, "Oh, this is the end of the skyscraper." I'm not so sure. I think we're going to help solve the housing crisis. I think everyone wins in this. It doesn't seem like too far a stretch for me.

Holly Shannon:
What a unique perspective. I never even would have thought of that, but it's a great solution. It's a great solution.

Paul Jones:
I think too, you know, kitchens usually sell houses. In the near future you're going to see kitchens and private offices selling houses, per your point.

Darren Murph:
Oh, for sure. Look, I live in a really rural pocket of North Carolina. And about 10 years ago, there was a government infrastructure grant, our County did not meet the threshold for FCC's definition of broadband. So we were given a grant to actually lay fiber in an underserved area of North Carolina. And so now my home has fiber. And if you look at the real estate listings in the area now, most of them it's in the first or second sentence, home has fiber. And the reason for this is very simple. Now that remote is exploding, people can move to anywhere where they can get a solid internet connection. And so all of the sudden the actual infrastructure in your home in terms of communication is ranked above things like hardwood floors, granite countertops, square footage.

Darren Murph:
You're like, "All that stuff is fine, but if you can provide a solid internet connection, I'm there." And it is completely reshaping the economic possibilities of small and midsize communities. This is amazing. You don't have to convince some corporation to come in and build a skyscraper and then have to convince local people that, "Hey, the skyscraper is going to look awful, but it's great for our tax base." Forget all that, just build a really livable place and then ask people to bring their own jobs. Provide fiber to everyone, let humans and their own personal ingenuity do the rest.

Holly Shannon:
I think we're going to see a lot of personal ingenuity coming out of this, a lot of innovation. Like you said, it's almost provided a gift in a strange way. Right? In a lot of areas.

Darren Murph:
Absolutely it has. It's one of these things that would we have ever paused long enough to think about these things, if not, for being forced to? And now that we have collectively paused, the great gift in it is the world can collectively talk about this thing in a similar language. For decades people that did work remotely in any form or fashion or workplace flexibility, to some degree you had to kind of find your tribe to understand the words that were coming out of your mouth. Because people that had simply commuted every day and didn't know any different, they didn't even have a baseline to understand what you were saying. And now this great forced remote migration has at least given everyone a common baseline language to work from.

Darren Murph:
And you mentioned earlier, the great democratization of this, I think one of the most powerful things to come of this is it will allow every job seeker in the screen or call to ask HR, "What is your policy on workplace flexibility?" And you will expect that company to have an answer, some form of answer. That is massively powerful for inclusion. That is massively powerful for opportunity spreading to underserved areas, for working parents, for those that are caregivers, for military spouses, for the mobility challenged. The list goes on and on and on. It is massive.

Darren Murph:
It is massive for inclusion and it is really empowering that companies now have to answer to this. So I think that's a super positive thing to happen for all future job seekers, and frankly, for companies that have been ignoring the reality that they can significantly de-risk their business by decoupling geography and results. We needed to get to this place anyway, COVID has simply accelerated this by at least 10 or 15 years.

Holly Shannon:
Wow, this is great. Thank you, Darren. And you've hit so many great points here. We can't thank you enough for coming. I'm going to say that I think we need to also have a part two with Darren Murph because living the remote dream, we might need to dive into that conversation as it becomes a reality for these companies. And instead of it being a nightmare, it could really be a dream, and maybe you can help walk us through that. That'd be really great.

Darren Murph:
Oh, I would love to. I'd love to, yeah. A lot of leaders will default to fear whenever they face any kind of major organizational change like this, but there's nothing to be afraid of. This is empowering. Even for companies, it allows you to scour the world for the best talent, instead of trying to find the talent that will be within a commutable distance of your headquarters. You just need to know how to manage it, but I promise you, there are millions of people out there that are amazing remote leaders, and can't wait to move your business forward if you'll just grant them that autonomy.

Paul Jones:
You know what I love? I love your perspective, Darren, because you have been working remote when remote was extremely difficult. I think a lot of people just getting into this can see some of the challenges, but you see only amazing opportunity. And that is such a unique and valuable perspective because like you're saying, 4G is almost ubiquitous, it's everywhere. And next time you're traveling, I want you to send me a video and see all the places that you're working, because I think that's just such a good point, and I've loved this podcast episode. This has been a blast.

Holly Shannon:
I agree.

Darren Murph:
Absolutely, man. Let's do it again soon.

Holly Shannon:
Thank you, Darren. Thanks for coming on.