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AMA on Friday, April 10th, on all things remote work Edited

Bridget Community Manager Apr 05, 2020

Hello Community members!

On Friday, April 10th, from 12-1 PM PST, Leah Ryder and Chris Kimball from the Trello team will be LIVE on Community to answer your questions.

Leah Ryder is the content and brand marketing team manager for Trello at Atlassian, and works remotely from her home office in Victoria, British Columbia. As the co-producer of Trello's ebook on "How To Embrace Remote Work," downloaded over 250,000 times, Leah believes that remote is no longer the future of work—it's happening now and it's here to stay. 

Chris is a design leader at Trello who’s currently on a mission to understand distributed collaboration. For the past 5 years, he served and grew Trello’s distributed design team while working from a home office.

In case you missed their talks from Remote Summit 2020, you can watch the recordings here: 

Feel free to submit your questions before the AMA goes live - Leah and Chris will be sure to address them when the time comes. 

We look forward to reading your questions - don't hold back! 

11 answers

5 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

Congratulations on the book! I must admit I've downloaded it and sent it to my boss!

How difficult was it to get together?

leahr Atlassian Team Apr 13, 2020

Thank you! My colleague, Lauren Moon, and I decided to put it together but we were both managing some time out-of-office without overlap (and we lived 3,000 miles apart) so we ended up putting it together on a hand-on, hand-off asynchronous system over a few weeks. The process was actually very smooth and very remote-friendly so we kind of enjoyed putting our advice to an extreme test and creating it without being able to coordinate in real-time.

Like Jessie_Rogers likes this
1 vote
Answer accepted
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

What are your golden rules of remote working?

Do you think they would be different if you were only remote working during the current crisis and not all the time (asking as someone who is remote working 'until all this blows over' then I'm back in the office!)

leahr Atlassian Team Apr 13, 2020

My golden rules of remote working are:

  • Put effort into creating a distinct space with the right tools and equipment where you can feel productive and focused on work. This also helps create boundaries around your personal time, too. (And take a real lunch break.)
  • Don't keep work on your personal phone. You'll check it from bed, on the weekends, etc. and that's not healthy.
  • Always be communicating with your team. Take work time to socialize on chat or join non-work remote-friendly events—you will be more productive working remotely so you'll have plenty of time to get your work done. 
  • Use face time with your manager every week to has out your top priorities so that you're always working on the most high-impact projects. Then use Trello and your calendar to batch deep work time and shallow work/meeting time and be rigorous about setting daily to-do lists and sticking to your schedule. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment every day in a structured work environment, and then you'll be free to log off at a reasonable time and enjoy the perks of no commute and having more ownership over your time!

Does this all work in the current COVID remote work conditions? Definitely not. What we're going through right now is exceptional and distinct. Our spaces might not be ideal, our personal lives are hectic, and the stress of it all can impact our productivity. But if you feel up to trying to put some of these rules in place, you might be able to carve out a little normalcy among the chaos. Above all, be really kind to yourself and your teammates and just do what you can. This is not what remote work is normally like!

Like Jessie_Rogers likes this
0 votes
Answer accepted
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

When working in a distributed team, how do you cope with conflict?

leahr Atlassian Team Apr 13, 2020

Conflict is really tricky because research has shown that conflict is exacerbated in a remote setting. Basically, we can't get as many social and physical cues from each other to truly understand the nuances of a line of chat or a late night email. The biggest way to prevent conflict on a remote team is context. 

Asking a question like "hey, got a sec?" without any context can be read as positive or negative depending on a million little factors. Always add context to your communications if you're in a hurry, if you're writing from your mobile phone, if you don't have the full story on what you're asking about, etc. (Context can be added information as well as emoji and GIFs.) 

And never let a conflict play out over chat or email. Always escalate to a video call without hesitation so you can talk face to face and clear the air.

Like Jessie_Rogers likes this
0 votes
Answer accepted
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

What led you to join Trello/Atlassian?

leahr Atlassian Team Apr 13, 2020

I joined Trello 4 years ago, before we were acquired by Atlassian. A main motivation for me was the strong remote work culture, as this was something I really wanted in my next role! As a content creator and brand person, I was also attracted by the fun, delightful approach that Trello takes in its communications, and their awesome blog, which I now get to manage on a daily basis.

Like Jessie_Rogers likes this
0 votes
Answer accepted
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

How long did it take you to get your home office perfect, or is it a work in progress?

leahr Atlassian Team Apr 13, 2020

I think it's always a work-in-progress but I've pretty much got my system down now:

  • Good natural lighting on my face for Zoom meetings.
  • A laptop, laptop stand, large monitor, mechanical keyboard, and mouse for my main computer equipment.
  • Really good office chair and cushioned mat to pair with my sit/stand desk.
  • A physical whiteboard for ideation and brainstorming. 
  • A record player so I can stay amused by playing different albums throughout the day!
Like Jessie_Rogers likes this
0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

Random - who came up with the Trello logo and how?!

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

How does your family cope with you working from home? Do you have hard and fast rules? How long did it take to implement them?

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

Apart from Trello (which is obvious), what other systems make it easier to remote work?

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

Have you always remote-worked? If not, was there a transition? Have you got any hints and tips for transitioning from 'office' to 'home-office'?

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

What was the motivation for writing the book (which I have to say, is amazing!)?

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 10, 2020

If you weren't remote working for Atlassian, what would you be doing? What's your dream job (but not the one you have!)?

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