cover image The Year Without Pants: and Future of Work

The Year Without Pants: and Future of Work

Scott Berkun. Jossey-Bass, $26.95 (305p) ISBN 978-1-118-66063-8

The title is taken from an inside joke among members of author Burkun's former team of employees at popular open-source blogging tool and content management system. A former Microsoft manager who helped launch Internet Explorer, Burkun (Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds) took the job at Automattic Inc., the San Francisco-based web-development company that runs WordPress, with the intent of writing a book about his experience immersed in what he calls "a work culture %E2%80%A6 from the future." WordPress powers about 20 percent of the entire Internet and thrives on freedom and experimentation by proudly encouraging employees to work remotely, to use Skype instead of e-mail, and hold meetings in locales ranging from Portland, Ore., to Athens, Greece. Berkun, who worked at the company from August 2010 to May 2012, writes with unflinching honesty about his experiences and lessons learned as a team leader in an organization with few boundaries. He highlights the organization's strengths (applying them to all levels of work) and weaknesses. Not surprisingly, the book often reads like a series of blog posts, with almost as much emphasis placed on interpersonal adventures as on the refreshing, invigorating promise of what work can be. (Sept.)