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Work Check

Author: Atlassian

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Do emojis belong in the workplace? Is it time to ditch the daily standup? Are no-meeting days worth the hype? Work Check takes your most pressing questions about the ways we work together remotely, and hashes out the best arguments on either side.

Join host Christine Dela Rosa and a team of debaters to challenge the status quo on the ways you think about or show up for work.
24 Episodes
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Ever been to a cringey Zoom social hour at work, playing online trivia or doing awkward icebreakers with your colleagues? Sometimes virtual socializing at work is great…and sometimes it feels like a waste of time. But in workplaces where IRL hangs aren’t possible, should we really skip socializing altogether?For our first ever live show, recorded at Atlassian's Team '23 conference in Vegas, debaters Deb Lao and Marshall Walker Lee took to the stage to debate this thorny topic.  Deb defended virtual socializing, citing the benefits of a workplace BFF and the value of dedicating work time to culture building. Marshall countered, making the case that so many of these Zoom hangs are so poorly executed, they should be canceled so more organic team bonding can flourish.
Does your calendar look like a game of Tetris, meetings on top of meetings from Monday to Friday? Or do you cringe when someone pops a meeting invite into the middle of your deep work afternoon? Now, how would you feel if you had a whole day of your schedule totally cleared? Today’s episode explores the promises and problems with implementing a No Meeting Day for your team.Debater Rani Shah is a superfan of the practice and has been doing No Meeting Days for years. She’s supported by Dr. Vijay Pereira, who shares his research on how No Meeting Days can boost autonomy and decrease feelings of micromanagement. New debater Deb Lao joins to argue against the practice, supported by meeting expert Mamie Kanfer Stewart who pitches some alternative ways to solve your meeting woes. 
Are your work chats filled with emojis? Or are they all text, all-the-time? In this episode, we debate if emojis belong in workplace communication at all.Debater Maren Hotvedt points out the problems with emoji, including cringe-worthy misinterpretations and accessibility challenges. She’s joined by accessibility researcher and assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology Dr. Garreth Tigwell, and qualitative user experience researcher Esha Shandilya. Emoji super-fan Shannon Winter advocates in favor of emojis as a culture builder and tool to express identity, with support from Tomoko Yokoi, entrepreneur and researcher on digital innovation at International Institute for Management Development and ETH Zurich. 
Maybe you call it a daily stand up. Maybe it’s a huddle, or even a status meeting. But has your team stopped to ask if these daily meetings are really working for them?Today’s episode digs into the benefits and pitfalls of the remote stand up – from aligning with your team, to leading with empathy, to meetings that really could have been an email. You’ll hear from Marshall Walker Lee in defence of daily stand ups, with support from Matan Talmi, the co-founder of Spinach.io, and Kate Sullivan, head of legal at EasyJet. New debater David Shaw says ditch the synced meetup, with support from corporate humor comedian and Supermeme.ai co-founder, Sanjeev Yencee.
Are you the type to send Slack messages around the clock? Or are you more likely to close your laptop for the day at 5pm sharp? Today’s episode is all about setting boundaries with workplace communications — and it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. Debater Shannon Winter argues in favor of sending messages anytime – she’s backed up by Chase Warrington, head of remote at Doist who shares practical tips to set team-wide expectations. Kelvin Yap argues against after hours messaging, with support from organizational psychologist, Dr. Archana Tedone, who shares the unavoidable pressures of workplace chatter. 
Does turning your camera on during video meetings fill you with dread? Or do you look forward to seeing your colleagues' faces on calls? Today, we debate whether teams should default to having cameras on or off in virtual meetings. Get ready to dig into the surprising impacts that cameras can have on creativity, engagement, and even career advancement.Debater Maren Hotvedt argues in favor of keeping cameras on, supported by Juraj Holub, co-founder of Remote People and former chief meeting designer at Slido. Marshall Walker Lee comes out swinging against the practice, with help from industrial-organizational psychology professor, Dr. Kristen Shockley. 
Season three of Work Check is out March 7th! This season is all about debating the way your remote or hybrid team is collaborating, with questions about the best ways to Zoom, ping, Slack, or DM your teammates.Join Christine Dela Rosa and a team of debaters for new episodes every other Tuesday.
Do you dream of a four-day workweek? Fantasize on Friday afternoons about the luxury of a three-day weekend? Today’s debate digs into the potentials and pitfalls of the schedule that’s been generating buzz around the world, and asks - is the grass really greener? Debater Kelvin Yap argues in favor of the four-day workweek, supported by Kath Blackham, the CEO of VERSA, a Melbourne-based AI agency that’s been taking Wednesdays off since 2018. In opposition, we have Marshall Walker Lee, supported by Abigail Marks, a professor of the Future of Work at Newcastle University, who shares the dangers of recklessly jumping on the four-day week bandwagon.
To wrap up season two of Work Check, we’re bringing in a special guest judge - Atlassian’s co-founder and co-CEO, Scott Farquhar. Debaters Maren Hotvedt, Kelvin Yap and Eli Mishkin join host Christine Dela Rosa to hear Scott’s takes, and reflect back on the season’s debates.
Every team needs a chat tool – but it’s not easy to know who should be looped into different conversations, or how open team communication should be. We all know the feeling of being inundated with messages in shared channels, and we’ve also been that person left out of a decision that happened in direct messages. So today, we’re debating the merits and pitfalls of open channel communication. Debater Kelvin Yap argues in defense of open channel communication, supported by Matt Abrahams, a strategic communications expert and host of the podcast “Think Fast, Talk Smart”, who shares what we miss when we opt for DMs. Eli Mishkin argues against the distraction from open channels, with the expertise of former technology executive Linda Stone who coined the term “continuous partial attention”. 
The role of the manager has evolved dramatically since the days of barking orders and closed doors. But with modern managers being tasked with managing productivity, morale, development…are we asking too much? Today’s debate digs into how responsible managers should be for the emotional wellbeing of their team members.Arguing in favor of managers taking on this emotional labor is debater Eli Mishkin, joined by workplace wellness consultant Laura Putnam who shares just how much your manager already affects your wellbeing (…and even your heart health!). Debating against this responsibility is Marshall Walker Lee with support from Dr. Mahreen Khan, a Senior Researcher in the People Insights Team at Atlassian, who explains the risks of putting too much on managers. 
Do you add your work friends on Facebook? Tweet at your teammates? Instagram DM other individual contributors? Turns out, most of us do … but should we? In today’s debate, we hear the promise and perils of connecting with colleagues on social media. Debater Rani Shah argues in favor of adding colleagues online, alongside her guest Susan McPherson, author of The Lost Art of Connecting. Maren Hotvedt comes out against the practice, supported by Dr. Casey S. Pierce, an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, who shares the risks of merging your online and work selves.
If a coworker had feedback for you, would you rather they say it to your face, or do you prefer to receive it anonymously? Today’s debate challenges you to think again about the best way to critique your colleagues.  Debater Rani Shah defends direct feedback, with support from Know Your Team’s CEO Claire Lew, who unpacks the cultural consequences of anonymous feedback. And Marshall Walker Lee argues in favor of anonymous feedback, with help from HR pro Osasu Arigbe, who shares a story of direct feedback gone very wrong. 
Have you worn PJs to a Zoom call? Now what about on the bottom half of you, that’s outside the video frame? Today’s debate might make you think a little more deeply about what you’re wearing to WFH, how it’s affecting your performance, and what the history of dress codes can tell us about where workwear is going next. Debater Maren Hotvedt argues in favor of PJs on Zoom calls, supported by fashion historian Deirdre Clemente, who shares the problematic history of controlling what we wear to work. Dominique Ward comes out against the practice, with help from clothing science researcher Regan Gurung, who explains the value of putting in a little more effort. 
Work Check is back for another season of debates, aimed to get you questioning the ways you’re working today. Join Christine Dela Rosa and a team of debaters as they dig into questions about how we collaborate, communicate, or even dress for work. 
Operating rhythms – the reoccurring processes you do with your team, like daily stand-ups or project retros – are a proven way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your team. But can they also help scale your company culture?Join host Christine Dela Rosa and debaters Marshall Walker Lee and Kelvin Yap as they debate if you can operationalize something as complex as culture. In this episode, you'll hear Dr. Tina Shah talk about the power of strong operating rhythms in preventing burnout, and LaunchDarkly's Jonathan Nolen shares how operating rhythms allow his company to live their values in their day to day. You'll also hear from LinkedIn's People Science Team's Tom Nolan about why people trump process in shaping culture, and Indiana University's Dr. Erik Gonzalez-Mulé about the health risks when employees have low levels of autonomy at work. For the transcript and downloadable takeaways, visit https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/work-check.
A lot of people think of annual planning as a necessary evil – but after the past few years of unpredictability and torn-up plans...is it still serving its purpose? Alternative planning methods are out there, but are they really any better? Join host Christine Dela Rosa and debaters Dominique Ward and Kelvin Yap, as they determine the best ways to forecast for the future. In this episode, you'll also hear from Daydream's founder Nels Gilbreth on how annual planning provides alignment and purpose, and strategic advisor Lauren Bourke shares the cultural advantages annual planning provides. Finance director Robin Aitken offers some alternative planning methods that he finds to be more adaptive, allowing managers to be closer to the action. For the transcript and downloadable takeaways, visit https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/work-check.
So many companies are reworking their relationship with diversity, equity and inclusion actions this year, as they should. But for affinity groups within companies, like ERGs or BRGs, developed to support underrepresented groups - what is the best role for leadership to play? Should they be the driving force, or take a backseat role? Join host Christine Dela Rosa and debaters Dominique Ward and Shannon Winter, as they consider the best ways management can support these internal groups. In this episode, you'll hear from DEI consultant Frank Starling on the opportunities for accountability when leadership drives ERGs; and the Surdna Foundation's Mekaelia Davis shares why ERG members ultimately benefit more when they are in the driver's seat themselves. For the transcript and downloadable takeaways, visit https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/work-check.
The offsite is a staple – for individual teams, departments or even entire companies. A chance for everyone to get OOO, bond and get some deep work done. But today, as more and more teams are moving to hybrid or remote working, are they really necessary? Join host, Christine Dela Rosa and debaters Marshall Walker Lee and Shannon Winter and find out if your distributed team really needs to meet IRL. In this episode, you'll hear from team builder Anne Thornley-Brown on why setting goals for offsites is crucial, and Unsplash's CEO Mikael Cho shares the story of building his two companies at in-person offsites. ConvertKit's Charli Prangley defends the trust that can only be built at in-person offsites; while Trello's Leah Ryder takes us into the wonderful world of virtual retreats. For the transcript and downloadable takeaways, visit https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/work-check.
“Agile” is one of the buzziest workplace practices today - all about moving fast and breaking things, and iterating to perfection. The practice has picked up fans and detractors, as more and more companies have left waterfall methodologies in their wake. But is agile the way to go for all teams, and can it actually scale? Host Christine Dela Rosa moderates a fiery debate between Kelvin Yap and Dominique Ward over the limitations and opportunities of agile at scale.In this episode, you'll also hear from Lutron Electronics' Ben Bard about how scaling agile united his company's hardware and software teams, and from Excella's Nicole Spence-Goon about the empowerment that scaled agile gives teams. Harvard's Dr. Heidi K. Gardner joins to share her research about the failure rate of scaling agile; and agile coach Matthias Orgler illustrates the risks of being fake agile, or "fragile." For the transcript and downloadable takeaways, visit https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/work-check.
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Comments (6)

Nuage Laboratoire

text

Apr 18th
Reply (1)

Charles

Watching someone try to remember what they worked on yesterday is slow and painful. Get an optimized standup that runs itself, and focus your time on connection and alignment, instead of status recall.

Apr 16th
Reply

Charles

A daily standup where everyone is prepared, concise, and engaged. Spinach structures your standup and runs it for you.

Apr 16th
Reply

Ana Stubbs

So helpful! Love your content, keep it coming! As a leadership position in healthcare administration, this is excellent knowledge!

Mar 28th
Reply

Juliana Fransis

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Sep 21st
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