Episode 355: How to Manage Asynchronous Remote Work With Kendra Dixon, Director of Operations for Parabol

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Episode 355: How to Manage Asynchronous Remote Work With Kendra Dixon, Director of Operations for Parabol

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Table of Contents

I’m hoping that what we’re seeing now is people that are actually experimenting with remote work. Now that we have, like what you mentioned, the work environment of which you want to create, not that you were forced to sit in, but whether that’s at a coffee shop or a co-working space, there’s ways to kind of find how you thrive in that and then the resources that a company can give their employees to thrive in a remote environment.

Episode 355: How to Manage Asynchronous Remote Work With Kendra Dixon (@kdixon), Director of Operations for Parabol


Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive workplace leader. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com as she sits down and gets to the bottom of trends, tools, and case studies for the business leader, HR, and recruiting professional who is tired of the status quo. Now, here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:52.06] Welcome to the Workology Podcast sponsored by HR Benchmark Survey. You can take our HR survey at www.HRBenchmarkSurvey.com . I am team remote work. I love working remotely, but there is a whole other level of remote work that I don’t think people are talking enough about and that’s asynchronous work. So imagine level five on Super Mario Brothers and you’re level and up to six, and that is asynchronous, same game, the remote work game, but a whole another level of remote work. So that is what we’re going to be talking about today. And today, I’m joined by Kendra Dixon. She’s the Director of Operations for Parabol. Kendra leads operations at Parabol with over 15 years of experience building and managing teams in remote work environments. She came to Parabol from Techstars, where she managed the first remote accelerator supporting startups focused on the future of work. Kendra lives and works near San Diego, California. Kendra, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Kendra Dixon: [00:01:55.69] Thank you so much.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:01:56.89] Yes, this is going to be such a fun interview and I think so much help is needed in the areas that we’re going to be talking about today. But first, let’s start with some background. How did your early career trajectory lead to your current role?

Kendra Dixon: [00:02:13.75] So I was born and raised in San Jose, so I was in the midst of Silicon Valley when I graduated, and so I was heading in the path of tech that’s kind of what was surrounding me. But really what led to remote work was, I was ready to start a family and I didn’t want to kind of sacrifice what, wanting to be a mom, but also not wanting to sacrifice my career. And so I really started looking at how can I do both at the level I wanted to do it and remote work. This was back in 2005, so it wasn’t like there was a whole lot of opportunity for that. I was pretty much creating it for myself and looking for ways that I could have more flexibility and still have both of those things in my life. And that’s really what kind of forced that. And I’ve been working remotely since then.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:00.67] I love that and I love that you have been doing that since 2005. For me, it was 2007. And I think this is such an example of that you can still have a career, a successful career and do it remotely.

Kendra Dixon: [00:03:15.03] Yes, absolutely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:03:17.10] Tell us a little bit about Parabol and its remote culture. How do you handle things like all-hands meetings or company announcements?

Kendra Dixon: [00:03:25.60] Yeah. So Parabol is asynchronous by default. So we kind of look for does something really need to be a meeting or can we handle this asynchronously? And that has been able to help us with time zones, making sure that we’ve got all voices heard across the company. From, when it comes to announcements, we’ve, Slack is really where we live and breathe most of the workday. And so we’ve got an announcement channel so people know to be keeping an eye out on that. If it’s something that we need somebody, everyone to take action on, we’ll probably also bring those to the weekly action meeting. So the team leads are bringing those, making sure everyone kind of hears and knows about those things. And then when it comes to, oh, and then also from like an announcement of our metrics like the leadership team meets every Monday, we record our core metrics while we’re going over them and then we post those in the announcement channel as well, so people can just kind of stay up to date with where things are at. When it came to things like all-hands, it was really fun to kind of look at it as like, okay, if we’re saying we’re asynchronous, does this need to be a meeting? What does this look like in a remote environment? And so we have been experimenting for almost a year now where we actually call them AMS, where it’s kind of like ask the leadership team anything that’s currently on your mind and we’ll set it up as an asynchronous retrospective where there’s like, what kind of questions do you have? What concerns do you have? What comments do you have? And we give people the way to kind of anonymously put all that information into a retrospective.

Kendra Dixon: [00:04:56.08] Then the leadership team can take that information, group it, and then we together will record, typically through Zoom or Loom, the answers to all of those and then post those inside of Slack for everyone to comment on, and that’s where kind of the follow up conversations can happen. But we really, we’re doing that once a quarter now and it’s working really well for the reasons I said in the beginning, where everyone has a chance to get their voices heard. It’s not those that are like brave enough to ask the question in front of everybody. We’re all together. Or anyone that happens to be in a completely different time zone from myself, can still get their question answered. And so that’s been working really well and we’ve gotten some great feedback from the company and the employees in terms of that form of communication for those types of questions.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:44.91] So for those people who don’t know, can you explain what asynchronous working is?

Kendra Dixon: [00:05:50.44] So asynchronous means not all happening at the same time. So essentially we will start it online and people can put in their information. And then at a certain point in time we say, okay, you have until, we leave the board open for, say, five days. You can get all of your information in there over the course of those five days at your convenience, the way you of which have the time to kind of sit down and think about it. So it lets people kind of use, as we call it, the slow brain and think about what they really, what questions they really want to bring to it. And that’s really what asynchronous means is it’s happening at their individual schedule. We put deadlines so that everyone kind of knows if you have until here so that we can keep things moving, but it doesn’t have to be everyone shows up at the same time, whether that’s 12 p.m. or 12 a.m. for somebody and then try to make decisions at a specific date and time. It’s happening moreover a fluid, asynchronously and then that way we can kind of make sure everyone has the chance to review and participate.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:06:56.76] I love it and thank you for sharing it because there’s got to be there’s probably going to be someone that’s like, I don’t know what asynchronous means, but I’ll give you another example. I have a new team member we hired this week. He lives in Brazil. He asked me, when do I need to come to work? And I was like, I don’t care when you work, you work at a schedule that’s good for you. The only time he needs to be present is on our team calls. And his time zone, I’m in the Central Time Zone, he is 2 hours ahead of me, so if he wants to work at 3 a.m., that is totally up to him. And that is what asynchronous work is all about.

Kendra Dixon: [00:07:37.47] Exactly.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:38.85] You mentioned some tools. You mentioned Slack, which I hope that people are familiar with. You mentioned Zoom, which we’re recording on Zoom right now for the podcast interview. But then you mentioned Loom. Tell me, tell me what Loom is maybe for someone who’s not familiar.

Kendra Dixon: [00:07:54.84] Yeah, so Loom is a great way to record your screen and yourself at the same time. And so we have really embraced it for kind of something that needs further explanation or would take too long to, to write everything out to quickly kind of share something. And so we have really started using Loom to maybe you need to give feedback on something and so you can be doing it while you’re recording your screen and then be able to share that. And so we use loom for a lot of that type of communication where something might need a little bit more in-depth detail around it or the nuance of just writing something might get lost. So you’re giving or you want to share, show something while you’re talking, and that’s the best way to do that and still be asynchronous. And then somebody else can just watch it on their time and be able to get back to you and comment on it later.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:08:47.36] I love that. And really, I will say, because we, we do this also at Workology and it really works. I can give feedback in a five-minute video on Loom or other tools and send it over to that team member and they can get exactly what they need when they need it. And we also will use that for training too, screen training, and then other people can have access to have to do something without me having or another member on the team having to retrain and do it all live over and over and over again.

Kendra Dixon: [00:09:20.92] Oh yes, I’ve used it before. It’s like creating SOPs because you can just walk through what you’re doing and then you can create a checklist that might match that. So they’ve got both. You’ve got a physical document, but then if you ever need to go in, you’ve got the video to kind of match to dig into more detail if you needed it.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:36.04] So if you are not sure about remote work, this is the podcast for you to listen to because we’re giving you all our secrets, really. I mean, these are I mean, they’re really, it, honestly, tt’s a challenge. But if you’re intentional, it doesn’t have to be, I think, as hard as everybody is making it out to be. You worked remotely for quite some time before you joined Parabol in 2021. We talked about this at the beginning of the interview. How does your remote work background inform your work now? Tell me about that.

Kendra Dixon: [00:10:09.10] Good question. It’s obviously shaped the way of which I work, so therefore the way of which I communicate. But the things that I look for in terms of shaping what I’m doing right now, it’s really looking at the, building a culture of a company. With being remote, you do have to be more intentional. There are things that you have to, you have to be more intentional to overcome the nuances that are lost when you’ve got your team next to you. Like the casual conversation, those kind of things. So it’s, it’s looking at when I’m, when I want to have influence with my role in operations of the way of which this culture continues to build as we continue to grow is what are the things that we put in place to kind of make sure that we’ve got, we truly feel like we have a culture and it’s not just silos of people working everywhere. And so those are the things that really kind of make me look at how do we, how am I building, how are we shaping the culture of the company. An example of that is we’re starting to do more in-person meetups again. Now that we’ve survived COVID, we’re getting through and we’ve really started to say, you know what, our meetups are more about building trust and connection, even over completing work when we are together. And so that’s been really important as we’re creating some of these upcoming events is what are we doing just to kind of build that trust and connection? Because that’s the most important thing for our in-person time, because we know we can be productive when we are remote and back at our individual workspaces.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:11:41.50] How would you describe Parabol’s role working with companies, many of which do not have remote workforces before we had a global pandemic.

Kendra Dixon: [00:11:50.29] True. So, one of the ways that I [00:11:54.91] love what we’re [00:11:57.38] doing is Parabol is open source, but not just for a product perspective. We’re also that way in terms of how we’re building Parabol. And so every Friday we do a recap of what, what we did that week, what our metrics look like, and we’re posting it on our website. I think we just surpassed 300 posts of these weekly updates of what we’re doing. And so it’s an insight into how we’ve been doing it so people can see for themselves the successes and the attempts, the things that have and, haven’t worked for us. We also have a bunch of resources on our website in terms of guides and blog posts that kind of talk about asynchronous communication, the way of which we use Slack, the way we do asynchronous governance. If somebody has attention around something, they want to change the way we do something, there’s a way to do that and we’ve got a process for it and we share that all externally for people to use. We also love to kind of come up with different templates within our own product to help companies experiment with the way in which they work together and communicate with each other.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:12:57.86] I love that you’re willing to share, and I want to put some of these resources that you’re talking about here on the show notes for the Workology Podcast. So we’ll make sure to include some of these resources because again, like this is, really, I think for someone who maybe is not sure, remote working isn’t working for them, or they want to be better working remotely, there are so many great resources that Parabol, Parabol has.

Break: [00:13:25.07] Let’s take a reset. My name is Jess Miller-Merrell, and you’re listening to the Workology Podcast and it’s sponsored by the HR Benchmark Survey. Take our HR survey at www.HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. And today I’m talking with Kendra Dixon. She’s the Director of Operations for Parabol.

Break: [00:13:44.79] Benchmarking and data is crucial to HR leaders. Workology’s HR Benchmark Survey is an always-on survey and just by taking the survey at HRBenchmarkSurveys.com, you’re signing up to get comprehensive quarterly results, white papers, and other research from the survey right to your inbox. It takes 10 minutes or less to complete. Visit HRBenchmarkSurvey.com.

The Culture at a Remote and Asynchronous Organization


Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:14:11.06] I want to go back a little bit to something that you were talking about. You talked about, we talked about remote work and asynchronous, and then you talked about in-person events. And I wanted to ask if you could talk a little bit about the culture and Parabol and how do you make sure that there is culture in your organization remotely and asynchronously and then in person? How does that all kind of work for you and the organization?

Kendra Dixon: [00:14:39.26] Sure. So as I did mention before, we are, we kind of default to asynchronous and me coming in to Parabol a year ago now, that was even a welcoming learning curve for me. Even though I’d been remote for so many years, there was still the default to hop on a call or hop on is create a meeting so that we could meet and discuss about it. And so I’ve appreciated this last year kind of really looking at what it means to do asynchronously well and that really comes down to like written communication. Like how good are you at writing things down so that somebody else can come in and clearly understand what you are asking for, what you need, and so getting really good at asking for what you need. And so these skills are obviously just great skills to have, but it just proves that you can do it asynchronously if you just take the time to actually really think about what you’re communicating and what you need. And that’s what I think is such an impressive piece of our culture within Parabol, and one of the things that stands out for me coming in, not coming from a, even though I was remote, but not coming from that asynchronous environment.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:15:51.15] You just describe another level of remote work because again, you were saying like, oh, let’s hop on a call or let’s have a Zoom meeting. But the next level, if I’m thinking about remote work, like a video game, like Mario Brothers or something is like once you pass a level five, you go to level six and then level six is the asynchronous component. And some things are the same like some of the characters in that previous level, you see. But there’s just different layers of complexity and challenges that you don’t face or that you, that are just different when you are not all working at the same time. But in my experience, also too, I do love asynchronous work because also my team is working when I’m sleeping. So we can be a 24 seven operation and I can go to bed and then all the things that I wanted to get done in the next 24 hours are already complete.

Kendra Dixon: [00:16:52.71] Yes. And also, it really makes you think at what’s really an emergency, what, and what can like give more thought. What can wait for quality feedback or what do you really need that is urgent right now. And so it makes you kind of prioritize things like force prioritization instead of everything needing to be urgent. And right now, which I’ve also appreciated because it’s amazing how many things truly were not emergencies and worked themselves out because you could go through that, that process. But yeah, and I, I love how you just said it’s like that next level because I really feel like that for me in terms of just how good you have to get at communication, which just serves you as a person, but it also serves the company when you’re writing things down and you’ve got that to work through together.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:45.21] Yeah, no. The communication piece and planning like you can’t just be all crazy and be like, Hey, we have a big fire drill that we’re going to do today because, or here’s the new priority that’s just come on everybody’s plate because everybody might not be working in that moment. So you do have to be real, intentional and organized and like you were saying, have SOPs, and a system that and tools that people can access if they have questions. Because what you don’t want to happen is for something to take five more days because there’s back and forth around questions of clarity.

Kendra Dixon: [00:18:20.79] Exactly. And that’s where, you know, when you see when something has taken too long, it’s that moment to kind of stop and pause and say, okay, what broke? Was it the communication? Should this have been elevated to a meeting? Like you’re able to kind of look back at those and say, okay, where did the system break because it shouldn’t slow you down, if anything. Like your point is, there are people still working when you’re sleeping, it should speed you up. And so if that’s not happening, it’s a matter of looking at, okay, well, where, where in the process did it break down?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:18:50.53] This makes me think of a long time ago when I worked at corporate and I worked at Home Depot, and those were back in the days where we didn’t have Zoom, and you just basically sat on conference calls all day and somebody decided that there would be no more conference calls ever again and that we would just use Live TV from the executive team talking about priorities. And I mean, we couldn’t live without conference calls. However, the week before the change where there were going to be no conference calls, I had more conference calls that week than I ever had my entire life because everybody was trying to get in. Right? All their communication the old way before we move to the new way. And I think that when I think about like what’s happened to us over the last two and a half years, there’s still a lot of people who want to operate in that space. And there is a better way if you’re willing to, like you said, be organized and plan. But it just made me laugh because, oh my gosh, I think I was probably on 25 conference calls that week. It was a ridiculous number. And then everybody for like three weeks didn’t have any conference calls. And of course, we couldn’t function without some form of communication because there was really no replays.

Kendra Dixon: [00:20:09.01] There was no Slack.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:20:10.27] No, there, there wasn’t. I mean, there were still interoffice memos that came in those manilla envelopes back in that day. So kudos for, for trying. But it didn’t, it didn’t really work for us. One question I also wanted to ask you was what do you see as the most important benefit for an organization who’s shifting to remote work?

Kendra Dixon: [00:20:34.84] From a company’s perspective, I have to say that it’s, you just open yourself up to a larger and more diverse talent pool because you are able to recruit from anywhere. Now we, we’re experimenting with do we really mean anywhere? Like are we okay with any time zone or is there some that might be too far of a delay? So then somebody having to wait too long to kind of hear from someone and that’s we’re slowly kind of figuring that out. But yeah, it’s been able, we’re able to find people from all over the world and that is also matching who our customers are. So now we’re we have people within the company that match the people using our product. And so that’s a great advantage for us as well. And then from a people perspective, because that’s really what drives me is we’re able to create a work environment that is people first, they get to kind of decide what environment they can thrive in as a, as an employee. And that’s really what them thriving only helps us from a company perspective as well. So those are really the two main reasons. It just makes sense to me to want to be a part of a company that is remote.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:44.20] I mean, I have access to so many amazing people. Just have to be self aware, especially if you’re not only hiring remote people in the US and in other countries. For example, we’re recording this. This week was Memorial Day. So Monday a lot of my team was off that are US based and then I have a number of people who are in Kenya. And today, Wednesday was a holiday for Kenya. It was kind of their Independence Day. So I just have to be flexible and also my team has to communicate because I didn’t know. But somebody sent me a note, hey, I am not going to be on the team meeting because I went to festivities and I didn’t get, I’m not going to get back in time. So you just have to be flexible for those kind of moments and open to, to cultural shifts or holidays that you might not be aware of. Or norms. I also work a lot with organizations in Israel and their work week starts on Sunday. It’s Sunday through Thursday. So I know that if I message them on Friday, I’m not going to get a response till Sunday.

Kendra Dixon: [00:22:51.79] Yep. And I mean, that’s why again, if you, the more asynchronous you can make your communication style, the easier it is to do just that. It’s funny because we have our company calendar and yes, we’ll have everybody’s, you’ll see all the different holidays and the flag. We put the flag next to it to know what country is on, what kind of holiday. So, you know, and then we actually came up with country leads so that they can then make sure that the holidays are getting updated. So there’s somebody because we’re just too small of a team from an HR perspective to have a team managing this. So we picked an individual for that country to kind of make sure that they communicate, let everyone else know on the calendar what their countries. And then we have core Parabol ones where we know everyone will be off. And so yeah, we’ve been managing it that way. So it’s fun to see the different calendar markings that are on there.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:23:43.23] Yeah, I love that. I think that’s a really smart way to make sure that you’re inclusive and no one feels like they’re left out or that they have to work on a holiday.

Kendra Dixon: [00:23:54.36] Right.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:23:55.56] Let’s talk about advice for HR leaders. How can they better support or support our hybrid workforce? And my other question, which I feel like is the million-dollar question, how do we keep everyone involved at the same engagement level when you are remote or hybrid?

Kendra Dixon: [00:24:12.18] That is one of the most important questions on the engagement side, I feel like a broken record, but asynchronous communication is probably the best answer I could think of from a hybrid workforce. Because when it’s written down, when you have, you’re giving everyone the time so that they can respond when it works for them based off of what you need, then it doesn’t matter if they’re sitting next to you or if they’re three time zones away. And so asynchronous, just from a communication perspective, I think helps level the, I don’t want to say level the playing field. It just makes sure that all the voices can be heard and that you can actually not miss out on somebody that happens to be in a different time zone, that could have valuable input to add to what you’re doing. And then from a, there’s you don’t want to punish those that are in person by saying, you know, we’re not going to social, we’re not going to social events and those things because these people wouldn’t be able to participate. It’s just making sure that when you’re working on things and you’re making, if you’re defaulting to asynchronous communication, everyone is getting to be able to have a voice and then you can have the social opportunities for those that happen to be within a particular region.

Kendra Dixon: [00:25:30.74] And then you can also have the opportunities to do like when we’re going to do an all company and we’re getting everyone together, then we’re making sure that we’re doing a lot of cross functioning so there, so that people from different circles within the company can be meeting each other when we actually do get to meet up in person. And then we’re experimenting with some regional ones so that it’s slightly more cost-effective and yet we’ll get some people that they might not see each other, but they live close enough that we could do a regional meetup and let people see each other that way so that we’re, we’re keeping people engaged and they’re feeling like they are a part of the, the culture that we’re creating, even if it happens to not be the same, they’re on the same team. It’s just other ways to still build that connection and be remote.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:26:16.87] Pre-pandemic, I have a friend who works in HR and it’s a large company, fortune 100, and she was one of the only remote people in, at the organization. In HR anyway. And they would have their birthday celebrations and she would not get invited. Right? Because she was the only remote person on the team, so they just didn’t think to invite. And I think that now, especially, if we’re going back to hybrid, we can’t have an excuse for that. So we need to come up with something simple and it could be just really easy. Like everybody at the office records a happy birthday video to that person. They send them the video and then maybe a little cupcake is delivered to their home. And it doesn’t have to be super complicated or overdone. We don’t have to invite everyone to a happy hour where everybody has a cocktail or whatever, but just the little things to acknowledge. Because while I love working remotely, it can be a little lonely. So you do have to try to find ways to keep your people engaged and excited and making little efforts.

Kendra Dixon: [00:27:31.91] Yes. Yeah. It’s how do you add a little bit of fun so that they kind of feel there’s just connection besides just the, the work being done. We did a, for, right before we, we closed for the two last weeks of the year. And so it’s not necessarily Christmas break and it just depends on where you are. And so we wanted to do some kind of thing for everybody to just kind of have fun and get together. And so we did a, a scavenger hunt.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:28:01.79] Yes.

Kendra Dixon: [00:28:02.60] So the, the second week of December is kind of a way to just bring fun to everyone. Before we went on break, we did a scavenger hunt in your own local area. So we had a whole bunch of ways to, of things they had to go find and, and sort out and they had to take pictures or take a little video. And so we did all of that remotely, wherever you happen to be. And yet it was a way for us to kind of all share it with each other. And so it was really fun to kind of see the feed going through for that we actually use, there was a third party company that we could sign up so that they could post directly with the, the thing, the scavenger list that they had to find. But it was a really fun way to kind of do something here local where I happen to be and somebody else in another country was doing the same thing. We were sharing it, whether it was posting your favorite mug or it was go finding a fountain somewhere in a square. So that was a great way to kind of add some fun and do it remotely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:29:00.17] I love that. I love that. What would you say is the biggest draw for candidates that want to work at Parabol?

Kendra Dixon: [00:29:07.49] I would say we definitely advertise a lot that we’ve limited meetings so that you really get, we give people a lot of autonomy to figure out the way they want to work. And so I think that is a draw for a lot of people that find their way to Parabol. And then I think the second one is really the fact that we are building a product that we use ourselves to help us work better at remote work. And so getting to kind of be a part of solving the problem and then being able to share that then with others and make it easier for everyone else as well. So I think that’s really the two things that I hear a lot about when candidates are kind of excited to, to come and work with us. What, what brought them there it’s really what we’re building and the way of which we’re, we’re building it.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:29:55.38] I love that. And I’m sure the candidates are like, this sounds great. I, I’m hearing so many people that are like, my company’s making me go back to work and I’m out of here. I’m finding me something else that works with my life in my schedule. Not everybody’s like that. There are people who are like, Yay, we’re going back to the office. It’s so exciting. And I love, I love those individuals. I think that’s great. It works for them. I sometimes do like to go to my office and work, but I really like working in bed and when I want and when, when it works for my schedule and wherever I want.

Kendra Dixon: [00:30:30.27] Exactly.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:30:31.02] Is there anything else I haven’t asked about today that you want to share?

Kendra Dixon: [00:30:35.79] Well, probably just a touch more on what you had just said. I get, not to get on a soapbox. I won’t. But so many people talked about like COVID was like a big remote work experiment. And that frustrates me because that was really just a surviving a pandemic experiment. And we were fortunate enough that many people were able to work remotely. But I had been working remotely. I was not thriving when COVID hit and I was able to keep working remotely. That was a challenge, and I wasn’t always great at it because we were living through a pandemic. And so I’m hoping that what we’re seeing now is people are actually experimenting with remote work now that we have, like what you mentioned, the work environment of what you want to create, not that you were forced to sit in, but whether that’s at a coffee shop or a co-working space, there’s ways to kind of find how you thrive in that and then the resources that a company can give their employees to thrive in a remote environment. And so that’s really what I’m, I’m hoping we’re seeing now is this experimenting with hybrid and remote is because now we have the environment that we can create it the way we want to and not be forced. And I have my entire family home with me while I’m still trying to work like that was not the ideal work environment. And so if people say, I couldn’t do it, I had to go back. It’s like, well, if you built it differently, how could you actually, would you actually thrive in it?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:32:01.05] I love that. I want people to think about work differently. And honestly, my goal is to be able to travel wherever, work wherever, be in another country and work. If I want to go to Mexico for 60 days or Dominican Republic or Portugal. I have a friend who just came back from a trip while he was working, him and his wife the whole time they actually bought a house. So I do believe the world of work is changing. I don’t want to go back to the way that it was before and I really don’t want my team to go back unless they really want to. So I appreciate all your insights. I love hearing what’s working for Parabol because you’re a growing organization, you have a complex HR team, and it gives people something, I think, to really look up to and aspire to.

Kendra Dixon: [00:32:52.89] Thank you so much, Jessica. This has been fun.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:32:54.60] Yeah, thank you for, for taking part in the podcast. I will link to your LinkedIn profile and some resources on the Parabol website. But is there, and maybe they want to join your team. So we’ll link to the jobs career site to maybe they’re like, yes, I need a new gig.

Kendra Dixon: [00:33:13.68] We’re hiring.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:13.68] You are hiring. So, is there anywhere else that you want to direct them to if they wanted to learn more about you and Parabol?

Kendra Dixon: [00:33:20.82] Parabol.co is really the best place to start. And we’ve got all the resources there, whether it’s the blog, our Friday ships, and then all of our job postings as well.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:32.37] I love it. Well, thank you so much for your time.

Kendra Dixon: [00:33:34.98] Thank you.

Closing: [00:33:36.00] If you don’t know already, I love, love, love, remote work. And as soon as my daughter graduates, I’m finding myself a beach and I’m just going to be working from there, travelling all over. That is my plan, 2027, when Riley graduates, that is my mission. And there are a lot of other people who love remote work. The flexibility, whether it’s asynchronous or real-time, there are people who don’t want to go back to the office. And if we want to retain those people or attract new people who are like that, we need to be thinking about remote work. I’d love being able to sit down with workplace leaders at fully remote companies like Parabol. I think we’ll see more of these leadership roles, especially within HR, and I so much appreciate Kendra for taking the time to share her expertise with us today. And I thank you for listening and joining us on the Workology Podcast sponsored by HR Benchmark Survey. That’s HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. Take our HR survey. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who is tired of the status quo and maybe wants to work near a beach or some remote fun island destination. This is Jess Miller-Merrell. Until next time, you can visit Workology.com and to listen to all our previous podcast episodes.

Connect with Kendra Dixon.



– Kendra Dixon on LinkedIn

– Kendra on Twitter

– Join Our Team | Parabol

Parabol as your co-pilot for remote team meetings:

Free Online Team Meeting & Check-in Tool | Parabol 

Free Online Standup Tool for Remote Teams | Parabol

Working Remote & Async:

Async Work: Parabol’s 3 Principles for Effective Communication

Slack Doesn’t Have to be Sync | Parabol

How to Run an Asynchronous Retrospective

Async Decision Making Process Using Slack

Free Online Agile Retrospective Meetings | Parabol

Building Culture:

#280 – Parabol Snow & Tell Day | Parabol

#295 – Parabolisms | Parabol

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