Ever wonder what it’s like to work at Tandem? In this series, we’re taking a peek into the everyday life of Tandem’s team members.
I’m a morning person, but begrudgingly. I know that my brain works best in the morning, but I hate waking up earlier than I have to. Now that Tandem is remote-first, I’ve been able to strike a deal with myself where I can “sleep in” later than I would have if we were going to the office, but still shower, prep, and get to work a little before others so that I have time to get myself organized for the day.
I usually log in for the day around 9am or shortly after. I try to not check email at night or on the weekends, but I usually check Slack and email as I’m getting ready for the day so that I can sit down at my desk and get started immediately.
I organize my personal life and work tasks in Asana, so I usually start there for the first 15-ish minutes of my day. My philosophy is to get everything out of my brain and into a system so that all my brain is doing is focusing on the task at hand, rather than trying to both resolve tasks and plan others in the background.
First, I check all the inbound “stuff” (new emails, unread Slacks, messages in any other system) and ask myself, “Can I resolve this in less than two minutes?” If the answer is yes, I just do it and it never makes it into Asana.
If the answer is no, I make a task for it in Asana, assign it a due date of when I need to think about it (which might be 10 minutes from now) and give myself a prompt of my first step or the link where I need to go. That way I know that I can fully forget about it and focus on more important tasks until I need to deal with it, and that I’ll have all the context I need to complete it well when I do return.
Finally, I prioritize my list of tasks, brainstorm any new tasks I need to add for five minutes, and then start working down the list.
10 a.m. tends to be Team Sync O’Clock! I bounce between several projects, so I’m with different project teams on different days of the week — but they’re almost all internal syncs where we try to transfer cross-functional knowledge. It’s like Show-and-Tell, but for the work we’ve done.
Today, I’m with the engineering team that’s working on a messaging application for a major utility provider. The client had an active weather event where they needed to use the system over the weekend and will have another one this week, so we’re discussing the best ways to get them helpful information and get releases ready for production environments in a way that won’t break their application during the stress of a real-time critical use case.
Lightning Round happens at noon, where all of Tandem does a quick check-in. It’s nice to hear what everyone’s doing, but it’s honestly all about seeing everyone’s pets.
I try my best to get away from my computer for lunch. Earlier in the pandemic, I had my work setup on my kitchen table, but I realized that it didn’t give me enough of a mental break to eat where I was working. For me, the act of eating somewhere other than my desk really lets my brain rest.
I usually make a smoothie or heat up some leftovers, and then read an article on my phone or do a quick call with a friend.
By 1 p.m. on a Monday (the day I’m writing this), I know the rough sketch of what my day and week are going to look like. I have a few daily project standup calls with the Tandem team and clients between now and mid-afternoon, but today I’m prepping for a few sales and engagement calls I know are happening over the next few days. I made an agenda for a pre-kickoff call tomorrow and I set up a call with one of our partners to touch base on an ongoing sales opportunity.
I have a sprint planning call for one of our projects. Our engineering sprint ends after tomorrow, so this call is to go over our prioritized backlog with the client and get approval on our initial plans for next sprint.
Then I also have a sales call with a partner that I set up earlier. Also, I made some tea to get through the dreary winter weather this afternoon.
This was a normal Monday: lots of morning meetings, a few impromptu calls, but also a fair amount of time to prep for the week throughout the day.
I’m often in calls until 4:30 or 5pm, but today I had some meeting-less time to finish planning my week. I logged off right around 5, but not before double checking my Asana list and re-prioritizing for tomorrow. I usually also try to log out of Slack on my computer so that I’m not getting pings after hours.
I usually do a workout after work: I’ll go for a run, do a solo workout in my apartment, or do a group workout with some friends on Zoom. Then I cook dinner. I made a resolution for 2020 to grocery shop more intentionally and vary up my go-to recipes, and the result was that I averaged a new recipe tried per week for 2020, which is double my original resolution goal! After that, I usually watch a show, read a book, or call a friend to catch up.
Do you want to work with Josh and the rest of the Tandem team? Check out our Careers page to apply for our open positions!