You’ve heard of FOMO already, right?
This is for all of you folks at home who would never click that link to Wikipedia:
Fear of missing out or FoMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social angst  is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”. FoMO is also defined as a fear of regret, which may lead to a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event. In other words, FoMO perpetuates the fear of having made the wrong decision on how to spend time, as “you can imagine how things could be different”.
Working as a team lead at Automattic, on our flagship product, WordPress.com, is a wild experience for a lot of reasons.
Continue reading “Working Remotely, Thinking Globally, and FOMO”
Something you all may or may not know about me is that I am a big fan of Mexican food. Well, I say that but I suspect what I’m really a fan of is American Mexican food, which is probably a different thing.
Growing up we had your standard Family Taco Night fairly regularly – hard shelled tacos, ground beef, the quintessential starter taco.
I’m not ashamed to admit that Taco Bell introduced me to soft tacos. I had to learn about them somewhere, and I think at the end of the day Taco Bell as a gateway drug into new taco horizons is an acceptable origin story.
Continue reading “Feasting and Flexible Work”
Working in a fully remote environment creates some unique challenges. One piece, that I’ve written about before, is the need to intentionally make visible one’s work.
This intentionality comes from the nature of the remote environment: we don’t have the natural day-to-day contact, the sort of diffusion of knowledge that one can gain from being in the same physical space.
Similarly, the need for feedback, for eyes on your work and your working style, is a very real need, and one that can be hard to figure out in a fully remote enviroment. I’m outlining here the way my team and I currently approach it – this approach has developed somewhat organically, out of company-wide surveys and smaller team discussions, and it’s working pretty well as far as I can tell. Like anything and everything we do, when it stops working, or when a better way to do it comes around, we’ll change!
Our current feedback structure has three types of feedback, each of which is quarterly, on a rolling basis. This means we end up engaging in one type of feedback every month. The three types:
- Peer Reviews – where each member of the team reviews one random other member (including me!) on ticket and live chat transcripts.
- 3-2-1-Oh Roadmapping – where I meet with each member of the team, and we chat about what they’re good at, what they’d like to be good at, and how I can support their journey.
- Leadback Surveys – where the team anonymously provides me feedback on how I’m doing as their team lead. Yes, there are Likert scales involved!
In this way we’re able to provide feedback to one another, I’m able to understand how folks are feeling and how they see their personal professional journey, and my team is able to help me understand how best to serve them.
Leading a team at WordPress.com is a great opportunity – I wrote about my approach this a little bit before – we’re a fully distributed company, and we’re always able to switch things up, iterate on our work as well as our meta-work, the labor that enables us to work at our best.
Continue reading “Communicating with a Remote Team: One on Ones”