Gilles Meiers

Conversation is the key to remote work

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Slowly but surely, remote work is becoming part of the way we do business.

Futurist Faith Popcorn predicted it back in 1981, when she first talked about cocooning. It’s a trend that has people preferring the safety of their homes to the harsher outside environment. Just recently she predicted that in 2025, majority of adults in the United States will be working from their homes. That’s less than 10 years from now.

It does seem inescapable. The world has gone global. It’s about finding the best talent, wherever that talent may be. And you can’t very well expect a developer based in Manila to come work in your San Francisco office.

Add to that the fact that now making up the biggest chunk of the workforce are millennials with their demand for work-life balance and flexibility. Companies who want to keep their best employees really must offer the option to work from home.

It’s not all about the employees, of course. Remote work makes sense for companies because they end up paying less for such things as overhead and HR expenses.

How to make remote work, well, work?

We think that Brian Bacon of the Oxford Leadership Academy hit it home when he said in this article, “How a team talks together will determine how well it works.” The article talked about meetings in general, but it’s solid advice for remote teams.

When your colleagues are dispersed, team performance depends a lot on the quality of your conversations. High-quality conversations naturally lead to increased team productivity. And it all begins with a culture of trust. Our own CEO Laurent Gasser has already talked about the importance of psychological safety in this blog.

In video chat meetings, each member of the team should be given opportunity to talk. No one person should hog the limelight. For global teams, team members should be aware of the cultural factors at play. How do people from different cultures get their ideas across, and how does each one handle conflict?

On regular days, most conversation in remote teams happens via emails and on chat. It is important to get employees who can communicate their ideas well via the written word. It’s a double win: a person who writes clearly, is a person who is thinking clearly. That’s somebody you want in your team.

To facilitate everything, technology in the form of communication systems must be installed. Then their adoption must be ensured.

This article presents a very candid account of how Automattic, makers of WordPress, went through a process of trial-and-error before settling on their present system that involves the chat app Slack, an app they developed called P2 for more in-depth discussions, and Zoom video conferencing.

Paul Farnell, says of how they manage it in his company Litmus, “Edits go in Google Docs, status updates go in Basecamp, files go in Dropbox, meetings happen on Blue Jeans.”

In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about how we at Wizy.io have adopted our new chat app WizyRoom to improve the quality of the conversations in our globally dispersed team.

To sum up: Get team members who know how to communicate, nurture an environment for healthy conversation, and provide the right tools to get that effective conversation going. You then have the makings of a killer remote team.

 

Gilles Meiers croppedA strong entrepreneurial spirit and a love for challenges define Gilles Meiers, Wizy.io’s Growth & Marketing Director. A transplanted Frenchman, Gilles was previously with Paris-based Revevol and Global Innovation in New York.

Gilles MeiersConversation is the key to remote work
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Wizy.io’s Doc Merge & Mail Merge add-on is chosen as a New & Notable app in the Google Apps Marketplace

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When we built our add-on Wizy Doc Merge & Mail Merge with Attachments, we wanted to make a hardworking tool to make your life easier. The guys behind Google seem to think that we have accomplished that! Don Dodge, Developer Partner Advocate at Google for Work, says, “We’re happy to announce that Wizy.io is one of the New & Notable apps in the Google App Marketplace for September.”

New & Notable, according to the Google for Work blog, is a section of the Google Apps Marketplace that showcases the latest and best third-party apps and integrations for Google Apps.

Doc Merge & Mail Merge with Attachments lets you create personalized mail merges and documents right from your Google spreadsheet. You can generate a number of formats – email, PDF, document and spreadsheet.

We have big fans among professionals working in sales and marketing, as well as educators. They use Doc Merge & Mail Merge with Attachments to make order forms, contracts, invoices, and term reports, among many other things.

Says Don Dodge. “With the New & Notable section in the Google App Marketplace, you can find powerful new apps and integrations across a range of categories that extend the capabilities of your Google Apps experience and make your teams more successful.”

Try this New & Notable app by clicking here.

 

Gilles Meiers croppedA strong entrepreneurial spirit and a love for challenges define Gilles Meiers, Wizy.io’s Growth & Marketing Director. A transplanted Frenchman, Gilles was previously with Paris-based Revevol and Global Innovation in New York.

Gilles MeiersWizy.io’s Doc Merge & Mail Merge add-on is chosen as a New & Notable app in the Google Apps Marketplace
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Use Form Workflow across your domain

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Our users love using Form Workflow. It’s an amazingly useful tool for automating approvals and data gathering.

The top use case is the management of day-off requests. Our Google Sheets add-on will let an employee submit a day-off request through Google Forms. From there, it goes directly to a supervisor’s email for approval. Everybody involved is notified by an email, while the owner of the workflow gets a record of all the results in a spreadsheet.

Form Workflow can also be used for a host of other tasks, for example, shared resources requests, purchase approvals and booking forms.

It’s a tool for the entire company. So we are happy to announce that you can now deploy Form Workflow to everybody in your organization. Use the add-on in all departments and by all users in your Google Domain, with absolutely no limits.

Interested? Email us at gilles@wizy.io.

Gilles Meiers croppedA strong entrepreneurial spirit and a love for challenges define Gilles Meiers, Wizy.io’s Growth & Marketing Director. A transplanted Frenchman, Gilles was previously with Paris-based Revevol and Global Innovation in New York.

Gilles MeiersUse Form Workflow across your domain
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