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Listening out loud: how Fabian Lopez works on distributed teams

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic served as a forcing function to re-evaluate the way teams worked together. In fact, many companies are re-learning how to collaborate with their teams. As some move towards being a fully distributed workforce, Atlassian included, we are interviewing those who have worked on distributed teams before so that we may learn insights and share them with customers along the way.

In the second interview in the 2020 "Listening Out Loud" series, Fabian Lopez, an Enterprise Tools Administrator, discusses his practices while working on distributed teams. A few themes from our chat included:

  • Discussion accessibility will even out: in hybrid models, conversations continue after attendees leave a conference room and remote dial-ins do not get the benefit of engaging in those same conversations. On distributed teams, adding more intentionality to when conversations are happening and who should be included tends to level the playing feed.
  • Sharing information needs to be more intentional: we pickup work habits about our coworkers visually, often without knowing. But without these cues, we need to drop status updates in our messenger applications, express how we're feeling emotionally when something big happens (even if not project-related), and even share personal life updates to make sure team members feel connected as humans.
  • Recognition on distributed teams require non-verbal cues: while celebrations can be intentional in meetings, we don't always have meetings right when a feature updates, content goes live, audiences are reached, insights are discovered, etc. So, it's important to write out congrats on messages, acknowledge teammate contributions in reports, include a celebrations section in a newsletter, etc. After all, from managers to individual contributors, there needs to be accountability of what everyone does and recognition for follow through on goals and demonstrating impact need reinforcement.

 

 

 

2 comments

Thanks @Christine P_ Dela Rosa @for the opportunity.

The bottom line is the “bidirectional trust”. From employer to employee and viceversa.

(the added Spanglish is just to add some Latin flavor, inclusion and diversity :) )

Like Dave Liao likes this

Absolutely, @Fabian A_ Lopez _Community Leader - Argentina_ Florida_ California_! Accountability and trust from multiple directions is a little less obvious for those who relied on visible observations for that, and so we have to lean more on trust now as well as find new ways for accountability.

Like Dave Liao likes this

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