How to Cultivate Culture Remotely with Dustin Tysick, Ep #37

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This is a podcast episode titled, How to Cultivate Culture Remotely with Dustin Tysick, Ep #37 . The summary for this episode is: <p>How do you maintain culture when casual conversations are few and far between? How do you establish any sort of work-life balance when you’re at home 24/7? In this episode of Content Callout, Dustin Tysick—the VP of Marketing &amp; Growth at Jostle—shares what he’s found to be helpful to build and maintain a great work culture.</p><h2>Outline of This Episode</h2><ul><li>[1:15] Maintaining culture remotely</li><li>[4:14] Establishing culture with new hires</li><li>[6:55] How to set boundaries</li><li>[10:13] Features and benefits of Jostle</li><li>[11:26] Competing in the software space</li><li>[14:34] Cultivating a new culture in an old school space&nbsp;</li><li>[20:19] Dustin’s podcast: People at Work</li><li>[23:51] The concept of connection&nbsp;</li><li>[30:09] Learn more about Jostle</li></ul><h2>Resources &amp; People Mentioned</h2><ul><li>The People at Work&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">podcast</a></li><li>Kids Interrupt Dad&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">YouTube Video</a></li></ul><h2>Connect with Dustin Tysick</h2><ul><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Jostle</a>: FREE for up to 15 people</li><li>Connect on&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">LinkedIn</a></li><li>Follow on&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Twitter</a></li></ul><h2>Connect With the Content Callout Team</h2><ul><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"></a>&nbsp;</li></ul><p><br></p><p><strong>Subscribe to CONTENT CALLOUT on</strong></p><p><a href=";ct=podnews_podcast" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"><strong>Apple Podcasts</strong></a><strong>,&nbsp;</strong><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"><strong>Spotify</strong></a><strong>,&nbsp;</strong><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"><strong>Google Podcasts</strong></a></p>
Maintaining culture remotely
03:44 MIN
Establishing culture with new hires
02:47 MIN
How to set boundaries
03:11 MIN
Features and benefits of Jostle
01:10 MIN
Competing in the software space
03:03 MIN
Cultivating a new culture in an old school space
05:47 MIN
Dustin’s podcast: People at Work
04:37 MIN
The concept of connection
05:11 MIN
Learn more about Jostle
00:45 MIN

Amanda: Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us on the Content Callout today. We've got a great guest today. His name is Dustin, and he's the VP of marketing and growth for Jostle. So Jostle is a platform that helps companies be connected, but we'll let Dustin tell you about it a little bit more. So stay tuned. Here's the episode. Hey, Dustin. Thank you so much for joining us on the Content Callout today.

Dustin: Hey, thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to it.

Amanda: Awesome. So you know what? Let's dive in. Let's talk about Jostle, because you are the VP of marketing there. So why don't you give us a 30- second elevator pitch and tell us all about Jostle?

Dustin: For sure. Yeah. So I call us kind of the reluctant intranet. It's not so much a tagline, but we're in the intranet space, but we do it a lot differently. So we focus on getting up and running really fast, giving people great access, no matter which device they're on, and just connecting the company together, kind of no matter where their people are.

Amanda: Very cool. So let's talk about that a little bit, because, obviously, the world, for the last year, has been remote work, remote work. I think for the most part, a lot of corporations were not doing remote work before, or I feel like it was a smaller percentage, but now I feel like literally everyone I know is doing it. So let's just talk about maintaining culture and how you really do that when everybody is separate, like us, ourselves. We all work from home, but we're also not even in the same cities. So let's talk about that a little bit.

Dustin: For sure. Yeah. I think maintaining productivity is pretty easy. I think most of us found that when you switch to remote work, it's not like work fell off a cliff, but the culture side and feeling close to people and those casual conversations in the kitchen or just at your desk when you take a break, those go away, unless you take the intentional time to do it. So I think that's why a lot of people were honestly kind of stressed after a while. They started off like," Yeah, remote work's awesome," and then after a couple months, they're super lonely and annoyed at seeing faces. So we found it tough, and we use our own product. We focus on culture, we write about culture, and even we struggled with it quite a bit. So I think the key there really is just intentionally making time for those little side conversations and not getting caught up in," Oh, this isn't work- related" or any of that. Schedule time for a coffee break with your team and refuse to talk about work. There's so many games you can play, too, and lots of fun ways you can have it. So yeah.

Kayla: Well, you were saying that most people's productivity didn't drop off, because the work's still there, but I think it depends what kind of worker you are as well. I'm very much a collaborative worker. So for me, I did find I really struggled with that. It was like looking at my computer, staring into the void, like," Now what do I do?" So, I mean, it has to be a little bit intentional for me, too, to make sure that I'm on whatever it is, our instant messaging every day. I do take collaborative time with our designer and stuff like that. So I totally get your point, but yeah.(laughing).

Dustin: No, no, I get that as well. Not everyone is cut out for remote work. It is tough for some people to adapt in exactly the ways you described, right? I'm used to yelling over my desk. Not yelling.

Amanda: (laughing).

Dustin: Talking over my desk to people and just asking a question, right? Now that's a really interrupting Slack message. It's tough for sure.

Amanda: Well, and something you'd pointed out before we started recording is you're obviously working from home, and your son's playroom is right above you. Those are, I think, some definite challenges from working from home, especially for parents. If both of you are working from home and kind of keeping the standard hours of eight to four, nine to five, it's like if your child isn't in school or if your child doesn't have other care, it's like wrangling in between here, right?

Dustin: Yeah, totally.

Amanda: It's two jobs. So I think that's also an adjustment that I would say that corporations have kind of had to make in their corporate culture as well, is about openness and that willingness to accept that parents are going to be doing dual jobs, right?

Dustin: Yeah, and I think people get that now, which is awesome. You, too, might remember that viral clip from a few years ago where the guy was doing an interview, and his kid ran in and he basically stiff- armed him out of the room. Nowadays, he would just let the kid come in, and I don't think people would care. It's a really human moment. So I think it's kind of shifted in that way, and traditional work- life balance isn't a thing anymore. It's more like work- life integration and how you make the two really, really work together. So that's one of the positives, I think, of this shift, is we're all just a lot more human and understanding.

Kayla: So I have a question about establishing company culture when you're bringing on new hires and you've never met the person face- to- face. How do you do that?

Dustin: So I did that for the first time. Actually, I've done it twice now. So with the co- op and with the new hire I just had a couple of months ago, to be completely frank, it is really awkward hiring someone remote. You don't get the same vibe that you would get in the office and just the general presence or feel, and there's some intuition there that I think you lose, even on a video call. Then getting them to feel connected to you is hard, because you're just a person behind a screen, right? So I think scheduling those team meetings and just one- on- one meetings where they get to know every individual on the team and say," Hey, go have a coffee with this person virtually and get to know them and take the time," so what we did that helped is we have new hires have those meetings with people all over the company. So if they're in marketing, they talk to someone in dev, someone in QA, someone in sales to kind of build those bridges, which you won't get remote- wise if you're not on that team, right?

Kayla: Yeah, for sure. I mean, we hired Amanda remotely.( laughing). crosstalk.

Amanda: Yeah, you have actually hired three people remotely, because you hired me, Kate... Actually, four. It was DC and Henry. Honestly, that's like half of the team was hired remotely. So it's an interesting process, right? I think the thing about it, too, is it's like sometimes, at least for me, at the beginning, about a year ago, when everything kind of started, I was all about Zoom. I was all about the FaceTime calls. I was all about try to maintain this contact. But then I honestly found myself getting really fatigued, really Zoomed out, which I think is also kind of different than... because working in an office, you can put in your headphones. You can kind of take the quiet time, or during a meeting, it's like not everybody's looking at you. But I feel like in Zoom, if you're not" on," and then the little square place around you when you're talking, the camera flips and you're like," Oh, me now. Okay, cool, cool, cool."

Dustin: Yeah, no, I think everyone is a little sick of being on Zoom calls, as we're on a Zoom call right now. So that's kind of weird to say as I'm one, though.

Amanda: (laughing).No, I get it.

Dustin: Yeah. I think what it is is normally, a meeting is your break from your computer screen as well, and you get face- to- face contact. Now there is no break from your computer screen. It's literally staring at it all day, every day. I think, yeah, everyone is super fatigued. What we've tried to do is work more asynchronously, so more using collaborative documents and sending things back and forth before hopping on a call, just to give people a bit of a break and to do things on their own time.

Kayla: Yeah, I have to say, I'm pretty triggered by that little Slack noise that comes in. I can hear it in my office at eight PM, like," Oh."

Amanda: Do you hear it in your dreams now, Kayla? It's echoing in your dreams.

Dustin: Yeah.(laughing).

Kayla: I hear it right now. It's like you said. It's work- life integration, and you have to somehow learn to set the boundaries with yourself of when you're going to go and look. So do you have any advice on setting those boundaries?

Dustin: So that's really hard. At the start of this, I really sucked at that. So I have two little boys, who are upstairs right now. One of them's asleep. So after work, I want to hang out with them. I don't want to do work. I need that break. But I found myself hearing that noise, sometimes a phantom noise, almost, of a message, and I would go and check. So what I've done is set hours where I just get rid of my phone, and I don't have the technology on me. I go put it in my room. It's on charging. I'm just going to leave it there, not touching it. I'm not looking at work. You do have to block those out. It's so easy to just work all day, every day in this remote work world, and you're going to burn out.

Amanda: Do you find a little twitch, though, when you don't have your phone on me?

Dustin: Sometimes. Yeah.

Amanda: Yeah, because I went on a vacation. This was years ago, but I went on a vacation probably about 10 years ago, and it was to my home country of Malaysia. At the time, doing the cell phone plan or whatever didn't work. So they were like," You know what? Don't worry about it. Just go actually be on vacation." I think it was the first vacation I had actually taken where I didn't have that, and I found myself... It's so bad, but instinctively just reaching for the phone, reaching to check something. Then I was like," This is a paperweight. This is useless to me right now." At the same time, I just couldn't stop it. You know what I mean?

Dustin: It's just habit, right? We're all so used to... I had the same experience, actually, a couple weeks ago. I went with my family on a vacation to a little cabin on a farm, and there was no technology, no cable. I watched VHS tapes is how old- school this was. It brought me back to my childhood. But same thing. My phone was there, entirely useless, and yeah, there were a couple times where I grabbed it and had to stop myself." What the hell am I doing? Why am I even touching this thing?" So it's tough. So my trick is put it on silent and put it in the other room. Turn on emergency calls, of course, just in case. But I find that helps.

Kayla: So has your screen time gone up or down throughout this time?

Dustin: Oh, up, for sure, because I used to have meetings all the time that were just in- person, in front of a whiteboard. Those are all now sometimes using something like Mural, but mostly talking through a screen share on Zoom. So it's gone way up. My wife was concerned about it, actually. She brought me some blue light glasses the other day that just showed up from Amazon, trying to make sure I can still see a few years from now.( laughing).

Kayla: That's so adorable.

Dustin: Yeah, I think-

Amanda: They're useful, though. They actually do really help.( laughing).

Dustin: They do. Yeah. We got my son some, too. So he's up there, this little four- year- old, on his tablet time with his glasses. So yeah.

Amanda: That whole whiteboard feeling, though-

Dustin: Totally.

Amanda: ...there's something about that collaboration or that brainstorming. I personally find brainstorming like this really hard. When you talked about the whiteboard, I'm the type of person where it's like, yeah, going up and just writing things or drawing random things like that, for me, gets my creative juices going. So for something like this, it's almost need to self do it and doodle on a pad while I'm talking to people. You know what I mean?

Dustin: Yeah, definitely. We have developers who do that. They're so used to just writing their solution on the board and walking through it, they will just sit there and write on a piece of paper and hold it up to the camera-

Amanda: (laughing).

Dustin: ...and try to walk you through it. That's as close as he can get. I don't think anyone has nailed that from a technology perspective. Mural's probably the best of used, but still, it's not as seamless as just having a whiteboard up there.

Kayla: So let's talk about some of the cool features and benefits and things that Jostle does. Can you walk us through some of the stuff?

Dustin: Yeah, for sure. So the main benefit we get from it, because we use our product internally every single day, is it just puts everything in one place. So instead of jumping over to Google Drive for your files and then jumping to Slack for a message and then going somewhere else, like your email, to check for company news, we built all those components into one platform. So we view it kind of as your virtual office with everything from kind of those casual discussions and casual conversations to video updates from the CEO. So the benefit there is you know exactly where to go when you need anything for your company. So I think it saves them that context switching, which can be really tough.

Kayla: Yeah. I mean, that's a huge benefit. I think as project managers and communications people, we've all probably dealt with the situation of document control and having 25 different spreadsheets going around. That's not the right spreadsheet. So I think that's an incredible benefit.

Dustin: Yeah, you just get to the point where you just rename the document. It's version 4, version 4.1. crosstalk.

Kayla: (laughing). Final, final, final.(laughing).

Dustin: Exactly. It's never final.( laughing).

Amanda: Yeah, it's always interesting to see people's namings. So it's like," This one's final, I swear."( laughing).

Amanda: So

Amanda: then let's talk about before, kind of, obviously, about a year of COVID and working from home. So you guys were in the software space, trying to compete, trying to get attention. How was that for you guys pre- COVID, when everybody was basically forced to work home and we were more in the world of it was kind of gradually changing a little bit?

Dustin: So we're in kind of an interesting space. So intranet historically, we've all used some giant beast of one that we hated at a company, probably. So there's an opportunity for us in that sense to actually be an interesting solution and have a personality in our content and in our marketing and just sell differently than kind of those big behemoths, like Microsoft, who sell SharePoint. So that was kind of our niche that we were focusing on, was being one that would actually build a following, rather than," Oh, this is just the thing my company uses." So that was the benefit, for sure. The challenge was, like I said, everyone has this old, clunky intranet that we have to somehow find a way to unseat, and they're usually static, so you just go there and you check stuff and you don't interact. But that was okay, and that was the status quo. So that was an uphill battle. We have seen since the switch to remote work that people realized," Oh, shit, I need to figure out my company culture and need a way to connect my people, or they're going to leave and be miserable." We've actually seen an uptick because of that, and people seem to be getting what we're doing a bit more now. So it's been interesting that this really unfortunate situation kind of opened people's eyes to some things maybe wrong with the workplace.

Amanda: Yeah. Well, I think also there was a point where people were starting to misunderstand culture, where they were starting to say it's like... There was a point in every job description, you saw," Go for beers on Friday. There's free coffee. There's free food." It's like don't get me wrong, those are very lovely things to offer your staff, and those are lovely things to have, but that's not culture. To me, when somebody is talking about a company culture, especially with everything that's gone on in this world, is it do you understand that people are parents and that they have commitments or not parents, but sometimes they have dependents that they have to take care of? Is there that leeway for them to adjust their working hours? What is your diversity hiring policies? Where are we at with different policies, and what are we doing? So it's like, for me, I think that's the cool thing about it, is that I think people do misunderstand culture.

Dustin: I agree with that totally. To me, I agree with all those topics. The two things that kind of sum up what it means to have a good culture in my eyes are that you feel connected and that you feel safe. Most of the other things you've mentioned kind of fall under that. You need to know," What is the vision of this company? Are we all working for the same thing? Do I feel like I know what's going on?" You need to feel like," I can share my voice, and I can be open. People are going to respect me for me," and that includes the whole diversity and inclusion. So yeah, it's really those two components, and I think we see that more and more now, how important that is.

Kayla: Yeah. It's interesting to me. I think that everyone kind of defines culture a little bit differently. I kind of define it as how we do things around here. So for me, I feel like younger companies kind of have a better understanding of establishing that, like you said, how to feel safe, how to feel connected, and also how we do things around here, whereas some of the more old- school companies, they have a culture. They might not understand that they have it, and it might not be good. I know that this is a sweeping stereotype right now, but how do you teach kind of an old school company how to change and develop their culture?

Dustin: It's hard, because a big part of, in my eyes, a good culture is transparency. Some of those big companies are kind of old- school companies, depending on the industry. They are not about transparency at all, unless it's like reading everyone's email that everyone in the company says and any of that Big Brother stuff. Some industries, you need that, but what we say is as a product and as a company, we don't want to change your culture. We want to reflect who you are as an organization so that everyone, when they go to Jostle or they go to the office, they know what you stand for." This is what I signed up for, and this is what I'm part of." So I think people do, when possible, kind of self- select for a culture that fits them, and I don't think you can really change everyone, right?

Kayla: Yeah. It's interesting. I mean, sometimes we're also even hiring people that we want to fit into a culture, but maybe that's not the right way to get the culture we want, either.

Dustin: Yeah. It's the whole culture fit versus culture add thing, right?

Kayla: Exactly.

Dustin: Yeah, and I always talked about culture fit and thought," Oh, that makes so much sense." Then the more I thought about it, we're just going to all be the same person, and that is a horrible thing. So we started to focus that as well, like," What does this person add to the team? What new dimension do they bring from a personality perspective, from a background perspective?" Yeah, it's definitely something to consider.

Kayla: How do you go about figuring that out?

Dustin: So that is really, really hard to figure out, because everyone's in interview mode. They're putting their best foot forward. They're saying what they think they should say, and rightfully so. That's kind of how it works. We try to make our interviews as casual as possible, and it's usually a group interview by the second round. So me and my team get along really well. We joke. We're super friendly, very, very casual. So when you bring someone into that, it kind of lets their guard down on both ways. They get to see," Oh, these people are crazy. I don't want to work with them" or" I love these people," and we get to see it as well. You can kind of see the differences and what they add usually in that conversation.

Kayla: I mean, I can't really comment on being on the receiving end of a group interview, because I've never had to do that.

Kayla: But

Kayla: Amanda, you have.

Amanda: Yeah.

Kayla: Did you find that it did make you feel like you're more part of it and that you get a window? Was it intimidating?

Amanda: So it depends. It depends. I've done it four times now, and I think if you do it the way Dustin is talking about and you're keeping it more casual, you're keeping it more group environment, it can be really great, because you get an example of the team that you're heading into, because you can't make everybody do Myers- Briggs( laughing) and then try and fit everybody in. But it kind of gives you an example of you can test personalities, right? You can kind of see where the clashes are going to be, and sometimes as a manager, you can look at your team and be like," Okay, you know what? We kind of need somebody who has these softer skills, not these hard skills, but these softer skills." So maybe we'll add somebody in that kind of space, right? So you can kind of see that. On the flip side, when it isn't done in a more casual space, it can feel very like a firing squad as the interviewee. I went to an interview with a university institution, and obviously way more regulated, more union, obviously going to be more formal. But each person, it was like each person was taking their turn to fire, and they had scripts. It was just a lot. I was sitting there, and they were all lovely people, but it was like these rapid- fire questions of some of the more standards, like," Where do you see yourself in five years? How are you going to increase ROI?" You're just like," Oh, okay." So it's like there's almost no time to recover. But then, in a sense, I guess that also tells you what that kind of culture is going to be like, right?

Dustin: Yeah. Totally, and I think interviews should be a two- way conversation. I'm not a fan of the throw a whole bunch of questions at this person. I mean, maybe if for the role, you really need to test how they handle stress-

Amanda: (laughing).

Dustin: ...maybe it makes sense, and it depends on the role and sometimes you do need to do that. But yeah, I think you're right. It can feel like a firing squad and you're just sitting there, waiting, and these people are trying to throw questions to see if you screw up. I also maybe have a non- conventional take on those type of questions. I think if you ask those questions, you're just going to get a scripted answer, and you're not going to learn a lot. So it's kind of tough.

Amanda: I don't care. I mean, maybe that sounds bad, but it's like I don't care where you're going to be in five years, because I just don't think that we're in the stage of the game where anybody is banking on spending 25 years with one company anymore, right? That was very much Boomers, our parents' generation. Honestly, in a company that I was with before, I spent 10 years with them, and I was one of the few. 10 years in one company now is very uncommon. So I find it interesting, especially now, with all the job shifts and the layoffs and furloughs and everything like that, is that people are looking for their next long- term gig. I'm like," Take the year contract. You might love that place and then find some way to stay, or think about it. If you hate it, you did the year contract. It's on your resume. Move on." Right?

Dustin: Yeah, and I think hiring managers are a little more accepting of that now. I mean, if it's three months at a gig here, three months at a gig there, that could be a red flag.( laughing).

Amanda: Yeah.(laughing).

Dustin: That might be a little much, but if it is a year and a half and they move up to a higher position somewhere else, I don't think most people judge now. I don't. So I agree. Get in, figure out if it's a right fit, and learn. As the manager on the team, realize you're here to help those people progress, whether it's at your company or not. If you train someone and they advance and then five years from now, they're CEO at some awesome company, you should be proud of that. You shouldn't be like," I should have kept that person in that role." So it kind of goes both ways.

Amanda: Yeah. I mean, that's kind of an old- school way of thinking.

Dustin: Totally.

Amanda: We're talking about the old- school way of," Yes, you stay here, and you only work on our stuff. You don't check a personal text or email, and you better not have a side hustle, because if you do, you should be spending that time getting better on my thing." I think that mentality is finally starting to go the way of the dodo, at least in my experience with the fantastic jobs I've had in the last few years.

Dustin: Yeah, I agree that it does seem to be going away.

Amanda: Yeah. So let's pivot a little bit and talk about your own podcast, because you have one.

Dustin: Our podcast is called People at Work. We have this kind of vague title because the topics are quite vague on purpose. So we didn't want to just talk about," What is your company culture?" every single day, because everyone does that. So basically what we do is we pull in people who have interesting backgrounds either building their business or helping companies through a really difficult transition and how they manage employee engagement all the way to mindfulness coaches or someone who focuses on meditation. So it's kind of the whole gamut of things that can help people at work. Why we launched it really is we were having a lot of these conversations, anyways, and they were just disappearing, because we were just talking to these people, because they were interesting, and we wanted to be able to promote that and get that out there a bit and share those conversations.

Amanda: That's awesome. How many episodes have you guys done?

Dustin: It's been a while since I looked. 60 something.

Amanda: (laughing).

Dustin: It's been about a year. We've been doing at least one a week, sometimes two. So yeah, it's been awesome, and I've got to meet a lot of really, really interesting people on it.

Amanda: Very cool. What's your most memorable story from the podcast? We'll tell you ours after this.( laughing).

Dustin: Yeah, it was actually just one guest who I found super interesting. So he basically grew this giant restaurant empire, has restaurants all over the States, like 30 restaurants. Sold it for a bunch of hundreds of millions of dollars. But he started as a dishwasher and was, in his words, the laziest, worst employee in the entire company. Then he had this epiphany of," I love the restaurant business. I need to change this, and I need to get going." Then within three years, he was running a bunch of restaurants, then launching his own, and just this whole story of how he came to that realization and, because of that, how he treats his employees so well, it was just a super fascinating story for me.

Kayla: I love that. I love meeting people who have done way more than me.( laughing). I feel like," Yes, give me the little nuggets out of your brain."( laughing).

Dustin: Exactly. Yeah.

Kayla: Because the information should be free, and it should be free- flowing, because how many people are actually going to take the exact formula that you give them, like," This is how you grow your social media account to a million people"? You can give them the information, but how many people are actually going to take that information and do what you did? So I really love that, and I love free- flowing information. As amanda was saying( laughing), we've had some pretty interesting guests on our podcast as well.

Amanda: Yeah. Great guy, great guy, super interesting conversation.

Kayla: Yes.

Amanda: Chose to be inebriated when we started. Chose to keep doing that as we recorded, so the insights got more interesting as time went on, as you can imagine.( laughing).

Dustin: Yeah, totally. I have not had that experience yet. We'll see. By the time we get to episode 100, maybe I'll hit that milestone.(laughing).

Kayla: (laughing).Maybe you'll be the inebriated one in episode 100, popping champagne.

Amanda: (laughing).

Dustin: That is a lot of episodes. It is time to celebrate if we get there.

Kayla: Yeah, exactly.

Amanda: Well, you're 60% of the way there now.

Dustin: We're almost there. Yeah, not too bad.

Kayla: That's pretty amazing. What would you do for the hundredth episode? How do you go big?

Dustin: I don't know. So at our year anniversary, we did kind of a thing where me and my co- host both picked our favorite episodes and talked about them on LinkedIn and all that sort of stuff, but that's not enough for 100. So I don't know what we're going to do. It's really hard to celebrate virtually. Maybe by then, we'll be back to kind of normal and interviews in person.

Kayla: Yeah, or you can do socially distanced champagne pops.( laughing).

Dustin: Exactly. It's probably safer that way, anyway, crosstalk.

Kayla: (laughing). Yeah. I mean, as we are working through all this stuff, what even is normal? What is normal?

Dustin: Fair point. Yeah.

Kayla: I have some champagne I could pop right now.( laughing). Why not?(laughing).

Amanda: Yeah, for funsies, right?

Dustin: Yeah.

Amanda: Yeah, I don't know. I think it's really interesting, right? Because it's taking a software like this and teaching people how to... Going back to something you said before, where it's about staying connected, right? Connected can mean so many different things to people. Connected a lot of times can just mean this, right? Being connected, being online. I think that's a very different term in the way you're talking about it, right? Because there is a point of Jostle where it's like connect and make it not about work, connect so that you're connecting to people, right?

Dustin: Yeah, and I think it's the whole gamut. So there's the connected in the work sense. So we have an interactive org chart so a giant company can realize," Oh, that's who my boss's boss is" or" That's who that random person I see in the office all the time is." Maybe that's the first time they've come to that realization, so at least they kind of understand things from a business perspective. But at the same time, our CEO posts pictures of his grandkids when he goes and visits them, and I post stuff of my kid or my dog or whatever. There's that kind of human real time side as well. I think you need both to feel connected. If you're all ping pong and parties and video games, you kind of lack the one aspect, so you've got to find the middle ground, for sure.

Kayla: Yeah. I mean, going back to what you said before about it being really difficult to do interviews over Zoom or whatever and trying to get a sense for who that person is, on the flip side of that, when someone is at home in their element, I think at least I get a little bit, a little bit like," I see your plants behind you." I'm like," Oh, okay. I can see you in your environment." So there is a little bit of the other way, a little yin to the yang, if you will.(laughing).

Dustin: Yeah. No, that's a great point. You get that view into someone's home. To be fair, though, I have a total black thumb. These are my wife's. I can only touch them for today.

Kayla: (laughing).

Dustin: Then they're going back upstairs, or they'll probably die down here.

Amanda: She doesn't even let you carry them upstairs? She comes down and carries them herself?( laughing).

Dustin: Luckily, she's at work, so I was able to carry them this time.(laughing).

Dustin: But

Dustin: yeah, I agree. You get to see how people live. You see their dog pop in, and yeah, it's kind of nice. You do get a feel, and I do think they let their guard down, rather than they're in a suit and they come into this office with white walls and four people throw questions at them. That's not really who they are.

Kayla: Yeah.

Amanda: That's also terrifying.( laughing).

Dustin: Yes, absolutely. Yes.

Amanda: It's also kind of nice. Maybe it's because I've just worked in very casual industries, but I'm really over suits. I'm really over interview gear and stuff like that. I have a lot of friends who are lawyers, and I get that there's a professional aspect that they want to look a certain way and definitely when you're going to court. But I don't know, man. Jeans are great. Like I was saying to Kayla, we laugh now because it's like when we inaudible, we tend to look a little bit nicer, because it's on video, right? We don't want to look like slobs, but it's like the effort now, we're like, "I've got to get dressed today." crosstalk.

Dustin: But only the waist up, right?

Amanda: Yeah, exactly.( laughing).

Dustin: You can wear shorts and pajamas. Yeah.(laughing).

Amanda: Right. You have no idea what's going on underneath.(laughing). Yeah, I just think it's funny how sometimes now we're like,"Oh the effort." Then we're like," Wait. We used to do this five days a week. We left our houses all the time."

Dustin: Yeah, I know. Also, on that note, my commute used to be an hour 15 each way.

Amanda: Holy cow.

Dustin: Yeah. So I would drive to the bus loop, take a bus, take a sky train, which is like the Vancouver version of a subway but aboveground, get into Vancouver, and that was my day. So it was two and a half, three hours a day. Now I get up, brush my teeth, eat something, and walk downstairs.( laughing). So it's such a shift in all of that, right? Everything has changing.

Amanda: Yeah. I was actually laughing the other day because I was looking at my gas tank, and I don't think I've filled it for three weeks now( laughing), because-

Dustin: crosstalk saving a ton of money.

Amanda: Right? But, I mean, in your case, right, I mean, you have a family. Like you said, you have two children. You have a dog and a wife. If you want to live in downtown Vancouver, we're talking you've got to be a millionaire there, right?

Dustin: It's ridiculous. Yeah.

Amanda: So the commute is necessary, right? It's a choice. It's like do you spend that time, or do you spend that money? Usually, it's like," I'd rather spend the time," right?

Dustin: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think companies need to look at it that way as well. If this person's probably burning out a little bit on this commute every day and you're on a bus, maybe you're listening to a podcast, you're not getting work done, it's kind of just a waste of everyone's time. So that's why I think I can't see companies trying to force all their employees to go back to work full- time. There'll be just a giant revolt from the employees, I think, if they try. So it'll be interesting to see what happens once this all pans out.

Kayla: Yeah. I mean, let's be honest. Traffic is grim. The bus is grim.( laughing).

Dustin: Yeah, yeah. Totally.

Kayla: It's grim.(laughing).

Amanda: Well, it's a time- saving measure, right? Because also, if you flip it around and think about it right, it's like the nine to five structure was based from working in the forties and the fifties, where it was when you have the stay at home wife who would cook and clean and take care of everything for you. Then now it's like," Well, there are no stay-at- home wives rarely," or no stay- at- home parents. So it's like," You know what?" In order to balance everything, it's like, yeah, getting that hour and 15 minutes back each way, that's huge for you, right? Especially because your kids are a little bit younger, so it's like you're not doing that rush home to make sure you get to them before they fall asleep kind of thing. So there is that added benefit.

Dustin: Yeah, and I think that's just going to help. It's just a mental wellbeing thing for a lot of people, even a physical wellbeing, if it's that much of a commute. But yeah, you hit the nail on the head there. I used to get home at maybe 6: 30, and then the kids go to bed at 7: 30. Now I just start early. My kid's a monster and does not sleep. So I'm up at 6: 30 or so and getting going early, wrap up by 3: 30 or 4:00, and there's still daylight outside. I still have part of my day. I think that's going to help people be happier, get more done at work. I think it's a net positive all the way around.

Kayla: Yeah, it's interesting. Even though our quality of life got really, really bad, it also got really, really good.

Amanda: Yeah. It's true. I was going to say, I think that's one of those myths that they don't tell you about when you have a kid, that they're like," Oh, yeah. Even when they grow up"... because everybody talks about the babies that don't sleep. It's like no, toddlers aren't great, either. Even as they have progress, they're not great. There's a lot of six AM, five AM calls. My friend has a one-and- a- half- year- old right now, and he acts personally insulted if you do not go get him when he wakes up at five AM. He shakes his crib, and he's actually shook it across the room. He screams like you've offended him by not coming to get him right away. Then my niece and nephew sleep until 8: 30, so she's like," I hate you guys."

Dustin: Yeah. My two- year- old's kind of the same. He will wake up and yell just for Mom. I go, and he goes," No" and pushes me out.

Amanda: (laughing). You're offended, but okay.

Dustin: Yes.

Amanda: (laughing).

Dustin: Yeah, exactly.

Amanda: All right. Well, this was great, Dustin. Thank you so much for joining us today. Let's take some time now, because there is a free version of Jostle that's out now. So let's talk about where people can find you, where people can find Jostle. Let's talk about all the things.

Dustin: Awesome. Yeah. So they can go to jostle. me, and what we did is we launched a free version up to 15 employees. It's focused more on internal communications. So it's not the full giant intranet with all the customization you need. But if you're a company that's growing and under 15, it's a great place to start and kind of get your culture going. If you go there as well, you can go to the Resources button and find our podcast and give that a listen. Then if anyone wants to connect on LinkedIn, no one has my last name. It's Dustin Tysick, T- Y- S- I- C- K. So you can probably find me there, and I'm happy to connect.

Amanda: Awesome. Well, thanks again, man. We really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today.

Dustin: Yeah, thank you. That was fun.

Amanda: Hey, everybody. That was such a great episode with Dustin. I love all the conversations that we had about culture, and the main thing that I loved that he said is that culture is about how you keep your people connected and how you make them feel safe. What did you think, Kayla?

Kayla: Yeah, I sort of feel like Jostle's kind of like a metaphor for the quality of life that we've gained during the pandemic, because it brings a quality of life to your work by having everything in one place, which I think is such a struggle for all businesses. Everything is always siloed. You have your Google Docs. You have your Slack. You have whatever. Everybody's using 20 different things to do one job.

Amanda: Yeah. It's really great that they have everything in one space, and I love that they have a free version for up to 15 people, because I feel like especially smaller companies, you do look at something like that, and you're like," Oh, I can't afford it." So having one for up to 15 people for companies that are in that growth period, I think that's so key.

Kayla: Oh, you know we're getting it right now.

Amanda: Right.( laughing).

Kayla: Yeah, I'm definitely going to check out People at Work, their Podcast. I think that's going to have some super fascinating conversations, too. All right. So thank you so much for tuning in with us today, guys. Really appreciate it. If you could subscribe, rate, review us, we'd love it. Stay tuned, and we'll see you next time.

Amanda: Bye.(silence).


How do you maintain culture when casual conversations are few and far between? How do you establish any sort of work-life balance when you’re at home 24/7? In this episode of Content Callout, Dustin Tysick—the VP of Marketing & Growth at Jostle—shares what he’s found to be helpful to build and maintain a great work culture.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] Maintaining culture remotely
  • [4:14] Establishing culture with new hires
  • [6:55] How to set boundaries
  • [10:13] Features and benefits of Jostle
  • [11:26] Competing in the software space
  • [14:34] Cultivating a new culture in an old school space 
  • [20:19] Dustin’s podcast: People at Work
  • [23:51] The concept of connection 
  • [30:09] Learn more about Jostle

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Dustin Tysick

Connect With the Content Callout Team

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