Jake Bartlett
Customer Success Manager
January 20, 2020

Interview with Jake, a customer success manager for Atlassian

Jake was burned out on the San Francisco lifestyle—see how he transitioned from working in-office to working remotely for a remote-friendly company.

How did you get started with remote work?

I was working with Atlassian/Statuspage for a few years and was getting burnt out on the San Francisco lifestyle.

I wanted to keep my job, but I didn't want to live in San Francisco anymore.

So I started looking into the possibility of working remotely. I'm thankful to have a remote-friendly boss and to work for Atlassian—they've been taking a lot of steps to be more remote focused.

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What are you working on?

I help some of our biggest customers ensure they're achieving their goals with our product. I work closely with our product, marketing, and support teams. Most days include a couple of customer calls, and various internal meetings, along with some writing.

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What's your typical work routine?

I like to wake up early and get my day started before everyone else.

There's something about waking up early that feels like a "hack"... like I'm beating the system somehow, haha.

I really value a quiet morning. Typically my morning involves a quick dog walk, making coffee, eating breakfast, and then getting to work. Some mornings I'll dedicate to exercise, and I'll be honest, that should probably be more of a routine... I'm getting there! To start the workday, I'll check Trello for outstanding tasks and due dates.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

Photo of Jake's Office

Photo of Jake's Office

Yes, this is a must-have for me. I have a dedicated office, and that's all I ever use it for. I need to be able to shut off work, and I find that's a really effective way of doing it.

Prior to being a full-time remote worker, I would work from home occasionally, but my days were never really that productive. I was easily distracted.

But now that I have a dedicated workspace for doing work, and all of the tools and things in place to be productive, it's been a really easy transition for me.

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How do you stay on task?

I identify daily tasks and do my best to get them done. Sometimes they get pushed back a day or two, but I always try to be realistic with my goals, or else I just get discouraged, and when I get discouraged, I procrastinate... and then things really get behind.

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What do you like about remote work?

The freedom and quality of life it allows. The lack of commute. The ability to see family more often. The ability to live where I want, not just where my job is. Also, the opportunity to create my own office space vibe.

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What do you not like about remote work?

I definitely miss the "water cooler" talk, team lunches, and sometimes I miss the buzz of working in a big city.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

Trello for daily tasks and long-term goals. Slack, of course... all day, every day. Confluence for documentation and note-taking/information sharing. BearApp for personal notes. CloudApp for sharing screenshots. I also use Gmail and Google Calendar.

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Do you have any advice for remote workers?

I'll be honest; I'm only four months into full-time remote work. I've worked with remote teammates for years, but I'm pretty new to remote work as a full-time thing.

That said, I did a lot to prepare for this change, and I think that's my advice to others: prepare. Read blogs, read books, listen to podcasts. Get ready for the change.

Buy a good desk, get a dedicated workspace, and get things that will make your office space comfortable and conducive to work.

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How do you decide priorities?

I consider due dates, customer impact, team impact, and level of effort. If I can knock out some low hanging fruit in 5 or 10 minutes, I might just do it as long as that means I can still get the more important stuff done. Knocking out some small tasks right away helps build momentum for the rest of the day.

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How do you know when to push yourself vs rest?

My emotions typically signal that. If I'm getting impatient or start feeling in a bad mood, I probably need a break.

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What are the biggest issues when companies try remote work?

From my perspective, the most successful remote companies appear to be the ones who started off remote. That's all they know, so every part of their company, culture, and employee experience is built around "remote."

I think companies who have been around for a while and then try to adopt a remote mindset... I think that it can be difficult unless you really do your homework.

Thankfully, my company, Atlassian, really did their homework.

We have a dedicated team focused on building a remote culture. For me, making the transition from an office worker to a remote worker was pretty seamless.

Atlassian had the information, tools, and processes in place for me to move into this new way of working and be productive right away. I was really happy with how easy the transition was, and I credit my employer for that, but I also credit some of the prep work I did to get ready for the change.

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What does your future look like?

Great question! I'm super passionate about the entire customer experience, so I think I'll always work with customers to an extent.

There are so many great opportunities in technology, and I'd like to continue challenging myself and learn new things. I don't plan on going back to an office any time soon. I'd like to continue the remote lifestyle for a while.

Although, I am considering visiting a co-working space once or twice a week to be around more people. I don't know if I'll always work remotely, but I'm definitely excited and energized about it right now.

It's been a really positive thing for my mental health and overall happiness.

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Jake Bartlett

Jake is a customer success manager at Atlassian Statuspage where he helps companies build trust with their customers through better incident communication. He is passionate about creating exceptional customer experiences, solving problems, and creating content that educates, informs, and inspires. Outside of work, he loves to explore new places, try new food, play music, and spend time with friends and family.

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