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In my 23+ years as a career software developer and technologist, I’ve worked for a lot of companies and run a couple of my own.  Sometimes I work from my home office and sometimes I work at the company headquarters.


I love it!

Some people need to have face-to-face interactions and live contact with people or they go nuts, but I’m not one of them.  I LOVE working remotely from my home office. I’ve designed and built my own office furniture (that sounds more impressive than it is) and made my home office, a sunroom with windows on 3 sides, my personal sanctuary.  One of the things I love about Tomitribe is that everyone works from their own sanctuaries.

Does this remote work impact productivity?  No. In fact, I think we are more productive because we are not distracted by noise from co-workers, cube drop-ins, bossis-interuptus, and long lunch breaks.  Some of us meet nearly every day using Google Hangouts and we have a once a week meeting where everyone is there (even though it’s voluntary) and we just talk. It’s really fun working with everyone at Tomitribe.

We are global

Tomitribe is based in Santa Monica, California but many of the Tribe’s key engineers reside and work in other countries.  Here is a short list of the countries we work from: United States, Canada, Brazil, Guatemala, the UK, France, The Czech Republic, Portugal, and Germany.  That’s a pretty amazing spread for any engineering staff.

The flexibility to hire and work with people anywhere in the world means that Tomitribe need only hire people who (a) are the best at what they do and (b) can work from home or a shared workspace.  Of course, personality also sets a bar. In essence you have to be a giver, not a taker. You have to have a kind nature. No cut throats allowed. I love that because I can’t stand smarmy people and I’ve worked with more than a few in the past.

A better life

This globalization of the Tribe essentially frees up a lot of capital but also a lot of time and effort because the people are not required to go to the same building in the same city every day.  It also increases the happiness of the employees because we have the flexibility of working from home. We and don’t waste a nanosecond commuting to and from work. That’s great for the environment but just as importantly great for everyone’s families. Do you have to pick up the kids at school? Go for it. Do you need to see a doctor? Please go.

I’m my case, all four of my kids (ages 10 – 16) are home schooled and while they are very involved in activities outside the house, I get to see them throughout the day and we will often have lunch together – dinner is harder because of so many activities. For me, being in close proximity to my family is pure gold.

I’m not the only one with a family, it’s awesome to have a meeting with a co-worker and be able to see their little girl in the background playing with toys or have them hold a baby while you chat. That might seem unprofessional to people who think the workplace should be shrine to capitalism but for me it’s how the Tribers prefer to roll.


Richard Monson-Haefel

Richard Monson-Haefel

Richard has more the 24 years of experience as a professional software developer and architect. He has written five books on enterprise Java including EJB, JMS, web services, and software architecture. He has served on the JCP executive committee and multiple expert groups, is the co-founder of OpenEJB and Apache Geronimo, was a Sr. Analyst for Burton Group (aka Gartner), and is a celebrated public speaker.

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