After participating in Atlassian Remote Summit 2020 I've got several interesting answers for you.

The world is changing rapidly and recent events serve as a fair example of this. Remote work has not only become the trend of recent years but an ultimate necessity. This allows us to continue functioning, learning, and, yes, growing. Chris Campbell, the Head of Design in Atlassian, observed an interesting phenomenon. Employees tend to increase their productivity, when working remotely from home. But there is another side of the coin.

Atlassian Summit
Atlassian Summit

2 Days of watching videos and webinars can be actually fun

Atlassian organises a huge Summit each year. They invite all partners, marketplace vendors, sponsors, and others. The 2020 event, due to the pandemic situation, the format was different: instead of a big conference hall there were many desks in each of our homes. Instead of a big stage, with spotlights focused on it, there were thousands of laptop monitors in all corners of the world. Instead of a big buffet table, each of us had our favourite snacks and drinks. But, the most important was - we all were present there, completely diving into the world of something new.

The event itself consisted of best practices, customer use cases, inspiring stories. Atlassian showed how they are changing the future of teamwork for all teams. There were many speakers from Atlassian. Whether it's a department head of Trello, Senior Engineer of Jira, or Marketing Manager of Confluence - all took their part. It was also interesting to hear speeches of partners - St. Jude Hospital, Intuit, Slack, and many others. There was a huge range of topics covered during 2 days. Some of them more technical while others - more motivational and inspiring.

I tried doing it my own way:)

Our team devoted entire 2 days for full participation in the Summit. There were sessions that we all wanted to watch but decided to do it the smart way. We divided the topics between each other, each of us giving preference to the ones they like. I carved out 1 simple rule - to take notes with key takeaways and followed it all the way to the end.

There are 2 sessions that stand out for me and to my thought - have a huge impact. They help us to answer 2 important questions:

How are we going to work in future?

What can we do to perform better?

Beyond Being There - High Performing Distributed Teams
How are we going to work in future

What I like about this session is that Chris talks about the phenomenon of working remotely from a positive perspective. He gives his tips and best practices on how to get the most out of it.  The next Silicon Valley is the Internet: the majority of distributed teams are even more effective than office teams. People who have the opportunity to work remotely tend to stay with the company longer. Yet, to achieve success, you'll need to keep in mind few things:

  • pick a dedicated office at home (desk, chair, a door that closes);
  • timezones are crucial. Some overlap is very important - the more, the better;
  • make the playing field equal if possible (one remote - all remote rule).

And here goes my other side of the coin! While the productivity of remote work increases social connections, unfortunately, decrease. This is why it is crucial for us to invest in the social side of the story. Develop a simple habit of being nice to people and make sure to include the socialising part during the working time. This can definitely make miracles.

Elite teams run on full tanks. How full is yours?
What can we do to perform better

Another session can serve as a great answer to our second question - What can we do to perform better?

Molly emphasises the importance of having your tank full to perform at your best. As a former soccer coach she is using examples from sports to help illustrate that. Physical competition and motivation in sports are the same as motivation at work and having a desire to play the successful game.

Like the player, who lost the match, we can encourage our colleague, who is in a bad mood by simple actions. Whether it's appreciating your colleague for quick bug fix, praising for delivering fantastic demo presentation, or just complimenting for nice print on T-shirt. It all leads us to psychological safety - one of  the key factors in creating a positive environment in a team.

Product team having fun on Zoom call
Remote work can be actually fun

My most important lesson from Summit

While being impressed and inspired by this event I highlighted 1 key takeaway. And I want to share it with you guys: "Rather think about what you're are going to achieve than how you're going to achieve it." Remote work serves as a great proof that we can achieve the same result even being present in different parts of the world. Our small Jexo team is distributed among 2 countries and 3 cities. We all work remotely. Not only we are proud to deliver high quality products, we are also ready to help and support others in being together while located far, far away.