Human beings are pretty adaptive creatures, but we really love our routines.
This year has been a whirlwind and we’re barely halfway through it. The whole never-in-our-lifetime global pandemic has certainly made adapting to new anxieties, dangers, and norms markedly unique. While it’s difficult to authoritatively say, it isn’t much of an exaggeration to reason that the future of work — as we know it — is going to be permanently changed once we’re on the other side.
For many, one of the more uncomfortable changes has been the switch from working in an office to working from home. Now, remote work, WFH, telecommuting, etc. have long been long-standing points of contention throughout many industries. Naysayer, evangelist, or somewhere in between, wherever we’ve fallen on that spectrum of opinion, COVID-19 didn’t care. Millions of people, thoughts on WFH notwithstanding, needed to adapt.
Remote-flexible and distributed work environments aren’t as rare as they once were, though brick-and-mortar office structures have been holding on to practices that might be fine when teams are together in the same building, but less so when they’re apart. When suddenly faced with the task of adapting to a work style that’s far from the established norms of millions of organizations, countless other variables were added to workers’ plates while still needing to be productive, efficient, and adaptive on the fly.
Looking at this from a content development perspective, the efficiency of the content development process can be rocky at the best of times. Now, with the best of times being a distant memory, content teams have been faced with new challenges, one of which is collaboration from afar in the midst of drastically shaken routines.
From company-wide project management to team-specific processes, millions of professionals are in the same boat. That boat ride has been a choppy one. This discussion is meant for teams and individuals navigating the work-from-home process, whether they’re WFH veterans or newbies.
The Australia-based company, Atlassian, has been a key player in helping teams collaborate and communicate, regardless of location. Naturally, speaking with them on the subject seemed like a good call, so I got in touch with Sarah Karp, Atlassian’s Senior Content Design Manager. We spoke about WFH, content development, staying sane while staying safe, and some helpful strategies to consider while adapting to this new world of work. Enough out of me, here’s our chat, broken up by what we discussed. These responses have been minimally edited for clarity and flow. Enjoy!
Interview Contents (For Skipping Around)
Question 3: What can you tell us about this unprecedented shift to fully working from home? Who does it impact most? Who do you think it impacts differently and who, if anyone, doesn’t it impact at all?
Question 5: Let’s talk content. COVID-19 has affected what content we’re developing, but it’s also affected how we develop it. What was your content development process like before the pandemic and what has changed in those processes since?
Question 7: How would you recommend other teams replicate or make use of those principles in their own processes? How might content teams who are inexperienced with content development implementation while WFH, use some of those strategies with their own teams?
Question 8: How do you think companies have needed to approach professional performance differently during this crisis? And what ways have you noticed this, either with yourself personally or among your own team members?
Senior Content Design Manager, Atlassian
Sarah is a content design manager, problem solver, and vegemite lover. Her eight years at Atlassian have taken her from San Francisco to Sydney, where she currently manages a global team of content designers who create the documentation, UX writing, and content strategy for our business team products.