Member Month AMA: 🥳 Acing async work with Tammy Bjelland

Meghan ✭✭✭
edited June 2022 in Café

@tammybjelland is an async rockstar and this week's AMA guest! As founder of Workplaceless, Tammy is an expert in remote work and shares how she uses MURAL to aid in day-to-day projects. One of my favorite things she shares is how she has used MURAL for a few projects outside of office hours (which I recently attempted, too)!

Read on!

Favorite or last project in MURAL

Professionally: At Workplaceless we do so much in MURAL, both internally and for external clients! One of our regular internal meetings is our biweekly alignment meeting, which incorporates both sync and async elements so the team can align on all the things that are happening.

I created automations using Zapier so that action items that are added to the MURAL get automatically added to our project management tool. It’s been really helpful in making sure that action items don’t get missed. 

Personally: My husband and I built a house last year and we used a MURAL to design and organize everything. I still use it to reference all sorts of things—what was the name of the paint color in my office? What was the brand of that light fixture? How big are the windows? It’s amazing how many times it comes in handy. 

What’s currently inspiring you?

Springtime in Virginia is beautiful, so spending time outside has been inspiring me lately! I love going on walks on the various trails in my area. 

Your company, Workplaceless, encourages remote work! How did that mission shift before and after the pandemic? 

Before the pandemic, we spent a lot of time educating leaders on the benefits of remote work. Now that employees and leaders have experienced those benefits first-hand, we don’t have to spend much time talking about the pros of remote work at all.

Now we get to focus on the mindset, skills, and behaviors that individuals, leaders, and teams need to succeed in remote and hybrid environments. Additionally, we’re seeing more and more organizations recognizing the importance of incorporating more asynchronous communication in their processes. 

Your first remote work began in the tech world. What industries have you enjoyed watching lean into async work? Which industries do you imagine require more support?

Insurance and financial services are two industries that I’ve seen embrace remote work more now than ever before—we’ve been working with some forward-thinking companies in these spaces and it’s been so inspiring to see how even companies in very traditional spaces are able to push themselves to think differently about how work gets done.

Manufacturing is definitely one industry that requires more support, primarily because there are still many jobs that do require people to be on-site. When non-frontline workers get access to flexible options, this brings up major concerns about fairness. It will be very interesting to see how manufacturers deal with the growing demand for flexibility from the workforce. 

What’s the latest async work project you’ve done that you’re proud of?

Workplaceless just launched our latest eCourse: Async at Work. I’m immensely proud of this project because it captures all of the essentials of how anyone can improve the balance of asynchronous and synchronous communication, all in 45 minutes. 

What Golden Rules do you suggest for leaders managing async employees and/or students?

  1. Set expectations, follow them, and hold others accountable. 
  2. Not everything has to be a meeting. 
  3. Documentation is your best friend. 

If you could ask our Community members any question, what would it be?

What are some of the async-first practices that you’ve implemented in your teams, and what difference have they made? 

Til next time! Thank you @tammybjelland for your insight and for sharing your experience with our Community!


  • Awesome insight, @tammybjelland!

    I've been fully remote since 2014, and I love the freedom I get back when async work is going well.

    I love Geekbot automated check-ins on Slack. It helps me feel dialed into my team without constantly bugging them to get updates. Geekbot and Asana keep me sane. 🙌