Where are the five steps today

Matt Mullenweg - father of WordPress - on the future of work (which he has been living for years).

The American Matt Mullenweg is known in digital circles. Not only is he the one who launched WordPress, which is used on over 50 million blogs, or was a board member of GitHub, he is also considered one of the pioneers of the so-called "New Work" movement.

In the current Covid 19 crisis situation, he gives tips on how others can arrive where he is already:

The 5 Levels of Remote Work - Where Are You At?

According to Mullenweg, most of us are currently on one of five levels of working remotely. These levels provide an overview of the status of the organization and the chance for success in the crisis and afterwards - when “New Work” finally just becomes “Work”.

Level 1: Unintentional Action.

The company has not taken any deliberate measures to support remote working, but employees can get the ball rolling by being home on isolated days and having access to certain documents via smartphones and laptops.

Stage 2: recreating the office online.

Most organizations are located here today - especially those with a long tradition.

Here employees have access to video conferencing software (e.g. Zoom), instant messaging software (e.g. Slack or Teams) and e-mail. However, instead of redesigning the work to take advantage of the new media, the teams ultimately replicate online what they would do in the office.

Stage 3: Adaptation to the medium.

At level 3, organizations begin to adapt to and use the medium. Mullenweg refers to shared documents (e.g. a Google Doc or in Office 365) that are visible to all and are updated in real time during a discussion. This creates a common understanding of the documents and resolutions discussed and eliminates the risk of information loss - time is saved.

Level 4: Asynchronous communication.

"I do it when it suits me best." This is the nature of asynchronous communication.

The reality is that most things don't require an immediate response. In most cases, an e-mail or an instant message is sufficient, which the recipient replies when it suits them.

If something is really urgent, the way you communicate should reflect it. Pick up the phone or tap that person - figuratively - on the shoulder, but only when it is really urgent.

Level 5: Nirvana.

Here the distributed team works better than any other team in personal contact - asynchronous, independent, agile.

The pros and cons of each of these levels:

The five steps by Matt Mullenweg are explained in detail by the entrepreneur and podcaster Steve Glaveski on his Medium blog and gives an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages for companies:


Podcast tip:Matt Mullenweg on the 5 levels of remote work and the future of work after Corona.

Matt Mullenweg recently made a guest appearance on Sam Harris Making Sense podcast to talk about the five levels of dispersed teams (he prefers "dispersed" to "distant"). We recommend listening: