In the WorkWell Podcast, by Deloitte, Jen Fisher — Human Sustainability Leader at Deloitte and Editor-at-Large, Human Sustainability at Thrive Global — sits down with inspiring individuals for wide-ranging conversations about how we can develop a way of living and working built on human sustainability, starting with ourselves.

This week, Annie Dean, an expert on remote and flexible working and the global head of Team Anywhere at Atlassian, discusses how blending remote work with meaningful in-person interactions fosters productivity and connection.

On reimagining the office:

“There’s still a lot of debate about whether we should be in the office or should not be in the office. That feels like a very surface level and almost emotionally driven conversation to me. The reality is that almost all the time people are working in a distributed format. I would define distributed work as work that’s not done shoulder to shoulder. Most desk work that’s happening right now is generally done online. It’s about the sharing of information, making decisions across a virtual network. That’s how most desk workers collaborate, whether or not they’re spending time in an office. Whether you’re working remotely or you’re working in a hybrid format, everyone’s acting in a distributed way. And I think we should view this as an opportunity to keep getting better at it.”

On the value of in-person team connection:

“You really want teams to be connected, and you want to build in-person connections to the extent that it’s possible. But when we looked at office attendance as a predictor of connectedness, we found that it had no outcome. The way that we drive team connection is with what we call ‘intentional togetherness events.’ This is where teams come together from across the globe for three to five days to bond socially, and to work together. We’ve found that team connection is a great predictor of team effectiveness. So we know that this isn’t just about feeling good, this is about driving business outcomes.”

On balancing work with well-being and personal fulfillment:

“I think that in the pre-pandemic world, work tended to be at the top of our identity stack. We were going to the office every single day and spending nine to 10 hours there. I think actually it’s okay in this new era if we are less attached to our workplaces, because it means that we’re reinvesting our energy into our families and communities. Some of the research that we’ve done has validated this. We’re seeing that people are picking up new hobbies, and investing more regularly in well-being activities like exercise. Having flexibility at work is a major contributing factor to these changes.” 

To hear more from Jen and Annie, listen to this full episode of WorkWell here, available wherever you get your podcasts. Visit the WorkWell library for the full collection of episodes.


  • Jen Fisher

    Human Sustainability Leader at Deloitte and Editor-at-Large, Human Sustainability at Thrive Global

    Jen Fisher is a leading voice on the intersection of work, well-being, and purpose. Her mission is to help leaders move from the legacy mindset that well-being is solely the responsibility of the individual to the forward-thinking idea of human sustainability, which supports the long-term, collective well-being of individuals, organizations, climate, and society.  

    She’s the co-author of the bestselling, award-winning book, Work Better Together: How to Cultivate Strong Relationships to Maximize Well-Being and Boost Bottom Lines, the Human Sustainability Editor-at-Large for Thrive Global, and the host of the WorkWell podcast series.

    As the first chief well-being officer of a professional services organization, Jen built and led the creation and execution of a pioneering holistic and inclusive well-being strategy that has received recognition from leading business media brands and associations.

    Jen is a frequent writer on issues impacting the workplace today, including the importance of mental health and social connection to workforce resilience, happiness, and productivity. Her work has been featured in CNBC, CNN, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Harvard Business Review, among others.

    She’s a sought-after speaker and has been featured at events including TEDx, World Happiness Summit, Out & Equal Workplace Summit, Acumen Global Gathering, WorkHuman, The Atlantic Pursuit of Happiness event, and more. She’s also lectured at top universities across the country, including Harvard, Wake Forest, Duke, and George Mason.

    Jen is passionate about sharing her breast cancer and burnout recovery journeys to help others. She’s also a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, self-care champion, exercise fanatic, sleep advocate, and book nerd! Jen lives in Miami with her husband, Albert, and dog, Fiona.

    You can find her on LinkedIn or on Twitter and Instagram @JenFish23. You can also receive her personal insights and reflections by subscribing to her newsletter, "Thoughts on Being Well"