Andrea Metzler

You work remotely for Real HQ, a company based in Austin, Texas—what's your advice to someone joining a remote team for the first time?

Making sure you communicate clearly through writing is so important when working on a remote team. Most of the communication my team does is through email, Basecamp, and Slack and it can be easy to misinterpret the tone or purpose of a message. When you're not in the same office, interacting face to face, you have to work a lot harder to make sure what you're saying, and why you're saying it, is clear to everyone.  

And get out of your house! I've found it's so much easier to focus on work and be productive when I'm not surrounded by the distractions of home.  

You're also one of the founders of the Ride On Bike Club. How did the group come about and what's your favorite place to ride in Des Moines?

Ride On was founded partly because I wanted friends to ride bikes with and partly because I wanted to encourage more people to ride on streets in regular clothes. The bike culture in Des Moines is very recreational focused. People feel they need to wear spandex and own a fancy bike, and motorists think bikes need to stay on the trails. The more people we have riding on the streets in regular clothes, the quicker we'll change people's mindset to view bikes as a form of transportation, not just recreation. And the more bike-friendly Des Moines will become!

That being said, we do have so many beautiful trails surrounding downtown, it's hard to pick a favorite! We do have a nice little brewery loop. Ride on the streets over to Madhouse, take the trail along the river over to Confluence, then bike around Grey's Lake and head over to Exile.  

On a typical week day, take us through your morning routine. 

I try (emphasis on try) to get myself out of bed around 7 a.m. every morning and either hit the gym or go on a morning bike ride. After that, I come home and get ready for work. Even though I work from home, I've never been the type of person who could work in her pajamas all day. Occasionally I'll ride my bike up to Mars Cafe and work there for a while, but usually I spend my mornings at home, going through my inbox and getting meetings and calls out of the way. After lunch, I head over to Gravitate and spend the rest of the afternoon working there.