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Richard Bretzger, Future of Work Consultant

In our latest Accomplished Peeps interview, we connected with Richard Bretzger, consultant for the Future of Work and Unit Director of Stanwood, an international, fully remote software company. Richard's experience working and managing teams within the remote space, have set him up with a solid path to success. Most often, the greatest successful leaders, are those who have experienced and worked in an environment with a remote-first and an employee centric mindset. What else makes them rock it remotely in their leadership role? Let's take a look...

What does a 'typical' workday looks like for you?

My typical days start with 2h of focused time in the early morning, even before I switch on my mobile or even think about Slack or emails. Afterwards I have short (up to 15min) dailies with my teams and colleagues. Then I drift away for the shallow work: emails, client requests, communication. In the afternoon, I have a dedicated 2h window for team focus-time: ie. (video) workshops, teamwork on projects or client talks. I check my mails afterwards (I check my mails only 3 times a day) and will finish my day with my journal of work where I reflect on the day and my communications with others.

What does your workplace set up look like?

I'm travelling a lot, so I have two different setups: One for my home and one for travelling. When I'm at home, I could not live without my adjustable standing-table.

When I'm travelling, I love to be able to use my iPad as a second monitor for my MacBook.

What are your staple non-negotiable routines and rituals that you believe make you a more successful leader?

Every day starts early, I get up and immediately jump into my gym clothes. I copied that life-hack from a good friend: Once I wear my sports-wear, it makes me less likely to skip exercising.

Then I start with a glass of water and one espresso and my gratitude journal: I reflect on what I am grateful for in my life, and I set the tone of my day: what's the only one thing I want to accomplish today. Only one thing.

I will meditate for 15-30 minutes afterwards and then exercise for an hour.

This routine helps me to get ready for the day and structure my work from wherever I accomplish it.

If you had to give one piece of unconventional advice to your former self, what would it be?

Don't hesitate at the doorstep. You see an open door, go through it and take the risk not knowing what's on the other side.

What's one fun fact about you?

One of my hobbies is to get incognito and be a group fitness instructor during the weekends. I've done this for 3 years and no one knows about my professional life. I love to help other people achieve their goals, whether it be in their career or in their fitness.

What are some of the best & worst workplace initiatives you've heard of to help promote improved remote communication and collaboration?

Worst (from a client): "Work from home has been a good thing during the pandemic. Now let's get our people back to the offices by providing them fresh fruit."

Best (from a client): "We always have been an office-centric company, without a single day of remote work. Now, we got the chance to upgrade our 70-year-old office based synchronized in-person Operating System to a digital first one. Anyone who doesn't see that as the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is a fool and will eventually perish."

How would you describe the power of asynchronous communication?

Asynchronous communication unleashed the true power of people's power, because it enables them to work whenever and wherever they work best.

Who would you like to  recognize as a successful leader?

Chase Warrington, Head of Remote at Doist.