Tammy Bjelland
Founder and CEO
June 17, 2019

Interview with Tammy, founder and CEO of Workplaceless

Learn how this founder and CEO of a remote work resource and certification program handles the triumphs and trails of location independence.

How did you get started with remote work?

I started working remotely for an edtech company in 2011. I was moving back to the US after several years in Spain, and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to live, so I focused on trying to find a job that would let me live anywhere.

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What are you working on?

I’m the founder and CEO of Workplaceless, which creates learning programs for remote workers and teams.

We’ve launched four products so far:

  • Remote Work Certification (for those new to remote work)
  • Leadplaceless (for managers of remote teams)
  • Goplaceless (for companies who want to go remote)
  • Trainplaceless (for remote facilitators).

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What's your typical work routine?

I usually wake up between 6 and 7, when I have coffee and breakfast.

I start my day by journaling, which helps me focus.

I start work around 8. My workday usually consists of meetings, strategy work, instructional design, and course development tasks. I work out in the middle of the day around lunchtime, then get back to work around 1:30. I try to finish the workday between 5 and 6.

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How has your routine changed over time?

Remote work has had a big impact on my overall health when it comes to sleep—as someone with chronic insomnia, this has been life-changing. From middle school on, I used to set an alarm to get up super early no matter what time I went to sleep.

A couple of years ago I tried not setting an alarm in the morning to let myself wake up naturally, and that’s made a huge difference for me. I sleep better at night, and my body wakes up when it needs to.

I’m naturally an early riser, so I don’t worry about oversleeping, and since I work remotely, even if I have morning meetings I don’t need a lot of time to get ready in the morning.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

Yes! This is so important to me. Some people work well with constant changes of scenery, but I love having a routine and a dedicated workspace. We renovated our basement a few years ago, and I work from there.

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How do you stay on task?

When I journal every morning, I write down the three most important things I have to do that day. The goal is to get those things done before doing anything else.

I also keep track of my time using a Google Sheet, and keep track of all the tasks I have to do (and my team is working on) in Asana.

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What do you like about remote work?

For myself: the freedom and flexibility to work when and where I want.

For the world: remote work provides opportunities that have previously been unavailable to many people due to location restrictions.

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What do you not like about remote work?

The hardest part of working remotely for me is setting clear boundaries between “work time” and everything else.

It’s way too easy to fit in work in the evening or on the weekends, even when I know some things can wait until the following workweek. However, this is not an insurmountable challenge—every week, I get better about setting boundaries.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

Google Drive, Slack, Asana, Evernote, and a standing desk.

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How do you decide priorities?

I ask myself the following questions:

  • What will actually make me feel accomplished?
  • What will have a direct impact on the success of my business?

Based on the answers to those questions, I determine my daily, weekly, and monthly priorities.

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Do you have any advice for remote workers?

Remote work has incredible benefits, but it also comes with real challenges, like isolation, lack of visibility, and lack of training.

Reflecting on the challenges that affect you personally and professionally will help you identify resources to help yourself.

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Tammy Bjelland

Tammy Bjelland is the Founder and CEO of Workplaceless, an elearning company that trains teams on how to work, lead, grow, and thrive remotely.

With her background in higher education, publishing, edtech, elearning, and corporate training, she is committed to developing learning solutions that drive and support the future of education and the future of work.

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