Name: Ade Olonoh
Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana USA
Website: Jell.com
Superpower: Connecting daily tasks with long term goals

 

Ade Olonoh is the Chairman at Formstack. Years ago, they made the decision to transition their company from being co-located to remote. The company was growing, and they wanted to take advantage of being able to hire top talent outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. During the transition, they experiment with small iterations, and eventually, found a remote working cadence that made sense for their teams.


Jell.com is a product of Formstack that started when their own teams were struggling with how to make daily standups more useful and with less overhead. They built Jell to help connect daily todo’s with longer term goals. It had the extra benefits of adding more focus and accountability to the every day work people were doing. Despite having built a tool, Ade recommends focusing less on the tool and more on the process. Being in the office  can give us enough serendipity that it makes up for having bad processes.


Listen to the Podcast

Subscribe to the Collaboration Superpowers Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher!

 


Watch the full interview


 

Original transcript

Lisette: And, we’re on.So, we’re live. So, welcome everybody to this remote interview. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely and today, on the line I have Ade Olonoh and you’re in Indianapolis and you work for, you’re founder of Formstack which is really exciting because I’ve heard a lot about Formstack and also there’s another component of, or another sub-company of Formstack called Gel that we’re going to talk about. So welcome and thanks for being on this podcast. [Inaudible – 0:31]

Ade: Thanks for having me, really excited about it.

Lisette: And, let’s start with the question I always start with which is what does your virtual office look like? What do you need to get your work done?And what does Formstack look like?

Ade: Right, Yeah. Good question. So, personally I just carry around my Macbook and my iPhoneand I have a lot of tools, obviously, that I use to get my work done.Core to the day-to-day is slack. We use that internally on the Gel team and that’s how we keep in touch day-to-day and that’s how I get a lot of my notifications and much more so than, obviously, e-mail like a lot of people. I’ll talk about it a little bit more later butGel is really core to my day-to-day work and how I keep in touch with co-workers who really understand what people are focused on today, what they’re working on, how we coordinate [Inaudible – 1:30] our day-to-day tasks and processes. From there, we use Zoom quite a bit too, to do video conferencing. I rarely do phone calls anymore. We just kind of made a deliberate switch to do all ournon-face-to-face conversations over Zoom so that it feels more in person and face-to-face. So, personally I work from my home office, probably about on average 3 days a week. It really depends on what’s going on this particular week and then I usually spend the rest of it — if it’s not — coffee shops and meeting people or traveling.It’s at the Formstack headquarters in Indianapolis and so we have an office here and basically I have a kind of [Inaudible – 2:27] that I park but my home office is really [Inaudible – 2:31] where I have my big monitor setup and all my stuff and everything that’s non-virtual that I use to help me work so that’s pretty much what it looks like.

Lisette: I have a monitor hub as well, two extra monitors. Looks very high-tech over here.

Ade: Yeah.

Lisette: So, let’s go into a little bit about Formstack and, like, how many people work there? And how many people work remote? What is the setup like?

Ade: Yeah, so — we have — we’re pretty close to 80 employees now and as I mentioned, our headquarters or home offices in Indianapolis so Formstackwas started in Indianapolis.[Inaudible – 3:13] almost 10 years ago, now and started from just me and now [Inaudible – 3:20] to 80 people but we have around 35 people that are in, around the Indianapolis area and so the rest of them are distributed mostly in the United States, we have [Inaudible – 3:34] from Canada and Europe as well and even those that are in Indianapolis, like myself, don’t necessarily come in to the office every day. We have it as a place —it’s a great — it’s great to have an office so that, if we need,if people need to fly in and do meetings, we have a central,comfortable place where we’ll just [Inaudible – 3:58]. And there’s some people who do like to come into the office every day or most days but for the most part everybody that works at Formstack acts and setup to be a remote, distributed employee. Whether or not they live in Indianapolis.

Lisette: And so, is everybody allowed to choose for themselves whether or not they come in to the office?

Ade: Yeah, yeah exactly. Everybody gets that flexibility and autonomy and there are very few [Inaudible – 4:31] I think there are probably no teams where there isn’t at least one fully remote employee meeting. Somebody that doesn’t live in the same city. It makes sense, the way they were set up for the most part, day-to-day, really don’t notice or care whether somebody is in a particular location on that day so nobody’s really organized around you have to be in the office with one exception we do have a part-time office manager kind of does somethings around the office and so shehas to come in for the most part to get her things done.

Lisette: Sure, yeah. Not everybody can work remotely. That is one of the, it’s not, right. Doesn’t function for every job, right?

Ade: Yeah, but that’s really the only exception. I mean, we have engineering, design, sales marketing, support that all works from home, works coffee shops, works while traveling so, really made an effort to, even if you live in Indianapolis, support remote work and support, kind of, your schedule and the way that you want to work.

Lisette: So, before I ask why, why it was setup. I’m really curious if you know what are the reasons that people, when they choose to come into the office regularly, what is — why are they choosing to come into the office? What is it that prompts that?

Ade: Yeah, it’s — it really differs per person so like for me, specifically, I have three little boys at home and sometimes just looking at my calendar, I realize it’ll be hard to do video calls once they’re back from school and so I need a quiet place to go do this and so the office is the easiest thing for me. Yeah, I think some people may not love their home office setup the same way and so may kind of makethat calculation to say I may be more productive or focused at the office or sometimes it’s just a convenience thing where if you have a meeting that’s near the office it’s kind of one of those things where you say “Well, might as well just work at the office for the rest of the day after this meeting.” So it’s just kind of a, it’s a place to park for some people.

Lisette: I really like that there’s the choice of whether or not you want to work there but I have to ask a lot of people that I come across struggle with this format of having some people work in the office and some people not, at the same time. Because then you have, when you’re at the office, you have high bandwidth, really intense all fully-functional information and communication and that’s so much more powerful when than you have people that are left out, so how do you guys, what do you struggle with, there?

Ade: Yeah, I think early on.I mean, we still struggle with it, but I think early on that was one of the biggest lessons we learned was that if we were going to support remote work we couldn’t,we had to be very deliberate about letting everybody be remotes not partitioning the company into your remote people and then your people that work at the office and so we actually started out not as a remote company and I can get [Inaudible – 8:11] history a little bit more but basically for a while during that transition we did have most people in the office and a few people remote and it was a big struggle and really there’s some ‘haha’ moment or really learnings over time where we realized for remote to work we just really had to be deliberate about things that I mentioned which is even if you live right next to the office, we had to be able to give you the freedom to not come in to the office, if there were meetings in the office and [Inaudible – 8:53] we had to make sure that we’re chatting virtually, sending e-mails, or on chat, or jumping [Inaudible – 9:02] rather than taking the shortcuts of some [Inaudible – 9:05]you and I are in the office, we’re just going to have a side meeting and we won’t [Inaudible – 9:10] because he’s not here. So, we had to be very deliberate about that to get it to work and so that, that’s definitely the reason why we call ourselves remote, we think of ourselves remote, the reason why see people come into the office every day is because I try to be deliberate about supporting each of us in our remote —fully remote or quasi-remote— work situation.

Lisette: So why did you make the transition from co-located to remote?

Ade: Yeah, kind of a few things happened altogether and it was a few years ago,probably about 4 years now —I’m just kind of a— blurry. We were much smaller, we were probably about 20 people and a few things happened at once. One is we have an opportunity to hire our first remote engineer who is based in Poland and he’s still with us, and we kind of debated whether or not that would make sense but really, really wanted to figure out how to make it work.Around the same time, we had somebody, who, a designer who was living in Indianapolis and working at the office and he really wanted to move to Chicago but he didn’t [Inaudible – 10:33] and so we’re kind of having that discussion as well, could he work remotely part of the time and travel back and things like that and kind of between those two decisions sort of have that conversation and then our CEO, who was again in Indianapolis. His wife’s got a great job opportunity in Oklahoma City which is where he’s from and similarly raised the question as well, can we move to OklahomaCity to so that she can take that job while him, a CEO, work remotely or at least, and at the time thinking, partly remotely and traveling a lot back to Indianapolis so kind of between those three events and, of course, lots of discussions around that time and examples from automatic in 37 signals to others where they talk about remote workand another tool in best practices for getting it, making it successful. Really thought we’d give it a shot and like I said, it took a while, I think, to get to the point where we are, to really understand what work0 for us as Formstack in terms ofmaking it work, but we decided to give it a shot for all those reasons that really came out of people and all those examples of [Inaudible – 12:08] somebody we wanted to hire, somebody we didn’t want to lose that really needed the opportunity to live somewhere other than Indianapolis and so thought it was important to give it a shot to support thosepeople.

Lisette: Interesting. There’s so many questions but one of the questions is, How did you start? Do you remember? Like what were some of the first things you did to put the policies in place or did you guys test it out first or?

Ade: That’s a really good question, I.

Lisette: You know, it’s hard to remember those kind of things because they’re not, you know.

Ade: Right, right. Yeah, I don’t remember the details about the first month, like I said,and even the timing is a little bit fuzzy,I don’t know what came first.I know when Chris, the CEO moved to Oklahoma. At first, he was flying back a lot to Indianapolis and meeting with people in person. Again, at the time, almost everybody was in the Indianapolis office and so it was again that struggle that you pointed out where we’re not really it, we’re not really a remote company, we were a traditional company with a few people that work alone. I really forget, I forget all the details in terms of what happened, you know, first month or two but I touched on some of the key learnings where we had to go electronic a lot more and so document decisions and meetings and [Inaudible – 13:50] which we use internally, and we useHipchat for the Formstack [Inaudible – 13:58]. Started using Hipchat a lot more diligently and moving conversations the way [Inaudible – 14:08] or some of the things that we did early on but yeah. I wish I remember enough of the details of, you know, this is what we did week one, month one.

Lisette: Right,right. Yeah, I mean these are the things I just, I’m always just curious [Inaudible – 14:23] when people start you know, that’s. But the other thing that I had a question about was this guy in Poland.Was it a special skill that made you guys want to reach out to him other than, because you can go — First, everybody is in Indianapolis so I was think why this Poland guy? What made him so special?

Ade: That’s a good question. I honestly don’t, I don’t the answer to that, I wasn’t part of that hiring process and I think he was, I’m almost positive we knew him through somebody so it wasn’t like we posted a job and he applied, I think it was, we had met him or, you know, somebody [Inaudible – 15:08] knew him and at the time we were trying to hire developers which, and yeah, I think it was just a good fit and so [Inaudible – 15:20]

Lisette: Right, when somebody has a friend and they’re like I know he’d be the perfect guy I mean, it’s hard to, hard to at least talk to the guy, yeah.

Ade: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Lisette: Yeah, that network effect for hiring is so powerful. I mean, some random person based on somebody you’ve worked with before and no one like.

Ade: Right. Yeah, yeah [Inaudible – 15:37]

Lisette: So what have been some of the biggest benefits that you’ve had from actually going, from being co-located to now being remote.

Ade: Yeah, so we just touch on one of the biggest things which is hiring. There’s a lot of talent in Indianapolis but by no means would we say even the most [Inaudible – 16:04]person about the Indianapolis tech market would we say the only, the best people for the company are all located within a 10-mile radius of the office. So, we’ve been able to hire much more quickly than we otherwise would have been if we were just looking in Indianapolis and I think higher and better people frankly. I mean, like you said, we’ve been able to get great people who we know through our network or basically go through the job process and otherwise would never have stumbled on if we were just looking [Inaudible -16:43]that’s definitely the biggest benefit. I think that some things that are thrown out around benefits, like, us really we haven’t seen we actually in some ways may spend more to facilitate remote work, but it’s really just it comes down to people and hiring and yeah, I think that’s the biggest [Inaudible -17:11] for sure.

Lisette: It almost seems crazy to think that you can build a company of the size of Formstack of people all in the same city, in a way, it seems like ok [Inaudible -17:22]do it but 80 programmers is a lot of people.

Ade: Yeah, yeah it is a lot of people.

Lisette: [Inaudible -17:27] not all programmers.

Ade: Yeah, not all, yeah.

Lisette: Yeah, so from all in one place so in a way it all seems like an old-fashioned idea to me but I’m so biased I can’t, you know.

Ade: Yeah, I’m pretty biased too. I mean some, so, yeah, I mean others have done it in Indianapolis and are still doing it. You know, probably one of the biggest success stories that I’ve [Inaudible – 17:50] is Exacttarget which, I think had probably close to 1000 employees. [Inaudible – 17:58] in Indianapolis, I might have the number wrong. But, was recently acquired by [Inaudible – 18:05] for two and a half billion dollars so, you know, there’s a lot of talent here that’s in tech and all that but, yeah, it’s not just about finding a number of people, but finding the best people, people that are the best fit for the company. Yeah, and, you know, today definitely more so than 10 years ago, the tools and, are definitely there to facilitate that in a much more meaningful way. There’s a lot more [Inaudible – 18:33] things like this, people have been sharing more about the best practices and what’s worked for them so,you know, the Playbook is out there whereas in the past it really wasn’t so much so, yeah. It’s a lot more feasible.

Lisette: Yeah, indeed. The technology has come a long way in the last five years, I mean people [Inaudible – 18:57] revisit video conferencing equipment. I swear it’s not like it used to. Spider, you know, it’s like no, no, no it’s way better. In terms of tools, I want to dive in to Gel and talk about what Gel is, because I was really excited when I looked at it today and in fact, my team is going to start using it soon, so. This is [Inaudible – 19:14]

Ade: That’s good to hear, that’s awesome.

Lisette: So, tell us a little bit about what Gel is and what it does and then why you built it? Okay that’s a big question all at once but.

Ade: Yeah, no, no it actually fits very much into the Formstack’s remote story so, quite simply we built it for ourselves at first so after we made the decision to get remotely, we realized that daily standups were really a big pain with a remote team and especially once we started growing with people from different time zones, so, I mentioned our firstfully-remote personnel is the developer in Poland and he worked a later schedule to overlap a little bit later with the eastern time zone but basically we found that getting everybody on the phone or on a video conference at the same time every single day and really doing a stand-up meeting in the way that you’re supposed to do, which is quick, concise, short it’s really just a struggle and there’s so much overhead to do that and so internally it was kind of a hack weak, sort of, internally and a bunch of people on the team put together and what was the predecessor to Gel and it was basically a very simple tool where instead of everybody jumping on the phone every day to do daily stand-ups, you just posted your answers to cover 3 standard daily stand-up questions.What did you accomplish yesterday?What are you planning to do today? And what problems are you running into?And so that was it basically, you posted it on the stool and everybody could, kind of, see everybody’s answers and I think it also [Inaudible – 21:09]you know, so, internally we found this is a solution to just get rid of those daily stand-up meetings but really still kind of have that day to day understanding of what’s everybody focused on and so, like I said we built it as kind of [Inaudible – 21:27]project and just kind of sat there for a while and then a couple years later or sometime last year, or about a year ago, myself and a couple others decided to spend some time really building that out because there’s a long laundry list of things, which, which lists features and things like that that people wanted internally and we thought this may be something that we could, kind of, clean up better and re-release that, you know, after that, to the public and so that’s kind of what happened with Geland basically our vision for that was still helping facilitate the daily stand-up is kind of a core of Gel but so much more opportunity around just helping facilitate structured communication which is extremely important in any company whether you’re a remote or not but we found that especially being remote having, kind of, that, that repository of information about what everybody is focused on, what their goals are, etc. is so key to really work, being able to work effectively day-to-day and so our, you know, our, our long-term vision for that is for Gel to be the place where you track long-term goals and you track,kind of,the day-to-day activities and see how those things align with each other. So, so that’s what Gel is right now.

Lisette: What I really like about it also is that it gives you that information in written form, which for me, because when I’m in stand-ups, I don’t remember at all really what other people were working on unlessI’m frankly involved and then the next day you think like I don’t remember anyway. I like this, it seems like there’s more accountability there or I don’t know, is that?

Ade: Yeah, what we’ve found in here over and over is that it definitely helps bring accountability, it definitely helps each person. There’s something about the, when you start your day, really answering those questions really helps you focus and be more deliberate about your work. I have long had the experience of stand-up meetings and I’m sure most people have, too where everybody, kind of, packed into a room and all stares at the manager and, kind of, reports to the manager and I know in stand-ups, everybody talks about how stand-up meetings shouldn’t be a reportingmeeting,it should be about the team communicatebut, it, in practice that rarely happens everybody, kind of, regurgitates. They walk into the meeting and it’s, kind of, this hurried, like, oh, crap what did I do yesterday? What am I going to do today and most people either miss things or typically what happens to is you throw out [Inaudible -24:25] ambitions, ambitious tasks that you think you’re going to complete today and of course it doesn’t happen and then the next day you repeat the same thing, you repeat the same thing and my experience has been, you know, everybody sitting in a circle, facing the manager and if you’re not talking, your eyes are glazing over, like, nobody’s listening, nobody’s paying attention. It’s just a [Inaudible -24:46]. Everybody hates it, the manager hates it, [Inaudible – 24:49] hate it. What I think Gel providesis, yes, the written stand-up helps bring that accountability and also just much more effective throughout the day, like, I find myself [Inaudible – 25:03]back several times throughout the day reminding myself, ok, here are the top 3 things that I want to accomplish. Here’s what my co-workers are really focused on, here’s what they finished yesterday and having that written form really allows you to do that, and it’s just much more meaningful as a manager you go back and look and see, you know, what did Michael say he was working on last week and it’s just so much more valuable and useful. We still do face-to-face meetings for sure, but the other thing that Gel does is it takes, kind of, that, like the [Inaudible – 25:45] of task recording into the app and so the meetings are a lot more strategic and not reporting by nature so most meetings, we start the meeting and we already know what each other are working on, what we’re focused on and really talk more about the high-level things rather than spending the first half hour meeting and kind of catching upand saying ok this is done, that’s done. This is, this hasn’t, haven’t even started this yet all that stuff is in Gel and it’s much easier to do, you know, within a few minutes a day.

Lisette: It’s like you get the boring stuff where it should be. And then you’ve got the more, like, when you need the brainpower of actually talking together then you’ve got. Boring stuffs, like, out of the way you could [Inaudible – 26:34] to the meet. You know.

Ade: Yeah, exactly and I mean it’s, it’s, you know our time is so valuable, of course, and to be able to spend the valuable time we have meeting on, kind of, the more high level thingswhich are so much more important.Another thing that it brings to is Gel is asynchronous as well and so basically, for me, I may start my day at 8 o’clock in the morning and it’s really important for me to think about it what I’m, you know, the top 3 things I’m going to do today as soon as I start my day. Somebody else may start at 9 o’clock, somebody else may start, you know, different time zone may start at 10 o’clock [Inaudible – 27:19].So, really the other thing that helps do is I don’t have a meeting set up a few hours into my day after I’m already in the zone, after I’m already tackling a few things. I can report on those things and kind of identify the things that I’m going to do today, when it’s, when it’s useful to me, not, not at a time where we just kind of agreed, like, okay we all have those 15, 30 minutes on the schedule and so we can do this meeting and so that also helps from just efficiency, productivity standpoint as well.

Lisette: Interesting, super interesting. Yeah, meetings really are, I’ve, I overloaded myself last year.I really noticed because, you know, I just was so interested in all these things but, but if you have meetings on every single day, you’re right it totally interrupts the flow because you know you can’t work that whole day because you’ve got this one thing and.

Ade: Oh, yeah.

Lisette: Yeah, indeed.

Ade: I mean, you know, there’s definitely a lot of research around, you know, [Inaudible – 28:19] things like that but the, for me, personally I know if I have a meeting in 30 minutes that next, my next 30 minutes is not going to be productive, it’s like I can’t get in to the zone and tackle some meaty, important things.

Lisette: Totally, what I really like about this is that it sounds like I heard about this concept a couple years ago called working out loud. It was a guy named John Stepper in Germany who, I mean, he made it more popular came it was around for a long time but it’s the idea that you’re making your work more transparent to the people you’re working with and this sounds like, to me, a great way of working out loud because you, kind of, you just know what everybody is doing and when and it’s on your own time and their own time as well. So, for remote teams, sounds genius.

Ade: Yeah, yeah, no that definitely seems like it fits in really well. The other thing I’d point out is, that’s a little bit ironic is, we still use other tools to do issue tracking and, and I said we useGitHub internally, we use Trello from time to time, we use other contact management tools and what happens is sometimes like we had fallen into a kind of that trap of saying like well everything I do is in GitHub so when I [Inaudible – 29:42]to GitHub or close an issue or take an issue with GitHub you’ll know what I’m working on, but the thing that we realized, you know, withGelis that if you are, the discussion of the answer to the question of what am I, what am I focused on today are really a little bit different than the list of things that you generally have in your task manager or your issue list or your bug tracker internally and so[Inaudible – 30:11] to your point of working out loud,it really does,hearing in my own words,hear the things that I want to accomplish today, hear the things that the most important that I accomplished yesterday really is a much more meaningful approach than just assuming that everybody else is going to look at that, like, you know, seed from Trello or GitHub or [Inaudible – 30:35]or whatever, to see all the minutiae of, you know, hear the ten tickets are closed yesterday, like, and so what’s, I guess the point is, it’s ironic that as we have more and more tools internally for, you know, no matter what team you are for managing work in some ways it’s, then become too much noise to where there’s a lot of noise but really don’t understand what people are really focused on, what their goals are. And so, yeah Gel, it’s helping to kind of, facilitate that [Inaudible – 31:11] more meaningful content and so yeah, it’s been, I’m extremely biased, but it’s been really funny when we first started working on Gel full-time, it was mostly myself and one other person and for a while we were like, well there’s just two of us, we should know what we’re working on, right?But so much information came out of just that habit of posting on Gel every day that, you know, there’s a[Inaudible – 31:45] that so much could fall through the cracks when were only paying attention to other tools so.

Lisette: Or, when they’re just two people where you think like how much could they miss?

Ade: Exactly, yeah exactly and with 80 people, for sure, today, that’s so much more important.

Lisette: Yeah, it sounds like you can just take a middle level of like okay here’s, in general the, my focus areas for today and then the small stuff is just, I mean, it’s all part of the [Inaudible 32:19] area.

Ade: Right.

Lisette: People don’t need to know that level, you know, few people need to know at that level but.

Ade: Yeah, I mean, it really depends on the role, you know, obviously if you’re in support, you don’t need to share with your team “I close this ticket, I close this ticket, I close this ticket.”

Lisette: Right.

Ade: Because you may close several dozen tickets a day but, you know, really understand [Inaudible – 32:43] Here are the key things. Maybe one of the things, here’s an aggregate how many things I closed, but, or other meaningful metrics around that but maybe it’s something more like, here’s what I’m hearing a lot from people today. That would be interesting to know. People are having trouble with this or here’s, I updated this knowledge-based article so things that are more meaningful and useful to the group and again back to, in my experience, that written form, people really do maybe take a second longer to think about it than they would in the physical stand-up and the content is generally a lot more useful to a team and less of that like, I’m just speaking to my manager so my manager thinks that I did a lot of stuff yesterday, right? So, the written form does help with that, at least what I’ve seen so far.

Lisette: And also, you don’t have a productive day every day, I mean, even I some days where it’s just like, “Oh, man I just, it’s not happening today.”

Ade: Yeah, yeah.

Lisette: You just struggle through and then if you have to report that in a meeting in front of everybody of like “You, guys I just gave up at [Inaudible – 34:02]”. You’ll know I’ll never be honest if I had to be.

Ade: Right, right. There’s just so much social pressure.

Lisette: Yeah, yeah, especially yeah. So, I really like this idea. Ok, so I could go on and on and on but I’m realizing now that I’m going way overtime.

Ade: [Inaudible – 34:17]

Lisette: Let’s end with two last questions. One is, what would you, what kind of advice would you give for people who are starting out, like, if they’re good, if they’re transitioning from co-located to a remote team, like, what would you tell people?

Ade: Yeah, I mean, there’s probably, probably two things. One is, definitely gather as much information you can about best practice, etc. but really just start with a focus around a duration and just experimentation so for us, we’ve tried a lot of different things and even today, we don’t, don’t feel like we’ve got it right in trying, you know, continually trying new things to help people work more effectively and improve relationships but the reality is maybe that’s slight-handed. The reality is, all the things that we struggled with in Formstack with remote work, I’ve struggled with in other companies where we work remote and so part of it’s just, you know, the problems around communication and hiring and management and stuff like that. Anyway, [Inaudible –35:27] to say is that of you’re starting out with a remote, I would just experiment with a bunch of things so some of that may be, it, how important is it for you to be face-to-face and what’s that cadence that makes sense for you and your team. For Formstack, we get together, we have an all hands event once a year and we started that a few years ago and then quickly realized, you know what, once a year isn’t enough and so we basically mandated that each department also has to have a department all hands once a year. So, that’s twice a year. And then we realized that for certain teams, especially like, for example, the leadership team needs to meet and face-to-face much more frequent than that and so we’ve really,kind of,experimented a lot with those cadences around, how often we meet, tools obviously, like, probably hundreds of tools you could experiment with[Inaudible –36:30] with etc. but I would focus less on the tools [Inaudible –36:34]. My second point in terms of thinking, focus less on the tools and more on the process and so, again, part of the reason why Gel has been very important for us is it really, kind of, enforces that discipline a little bit around process, it doesn’t take a lot of time to use but just being deliberate about writing down may not sound simple but writing down, everybody writing down what they’re going to do that day is so important, it’s so key into just, like, clearing out the communication and transparency and all those things. It’s not the tool, it’s really the process. And so, really thinking through what are the process that makes sense to help you be more successful remote, because, kind of, the thing that I think people see is if you’re all working together in an office, you may have really horrible processes but sometime, like, the fact that you’re next to each other. Sometimes serendipity may make up for the fact you have really bad processes because you peek over and you see that somebody’s working on something that you’ve already started working on or you hear, overhear something and kind of catches that mistake. And again, when you’re remote, you don’t have that serendipity of being able to see people, to catch what’s falling through the cracks so instituting processes around communication is really key. So, again, kind of two bits of devices really. Experiment, don’t be afraid to, kind of, change things up frequently and then to really think hard around being deliberately good communication and setting up good, solid processes around you.

Lisette: Brilliant advice. Really 100%. Absolutely 100%. So, [Inaudible –38:27] somebody else who said something very similar in another interview. I’ll introduce you two.

Ade: Ok, awesome.

Lisette: We’ll send you the interview so, really great. So, last question though is, if people want to know more about Gel, they can obviously go to Gel.com. how do they, how do they get in touch with you? How do they learn more about you?

Ade: Sure, yeah. Feel free, anybody can shoot me an e-mail it’s ade@jelo.com. That’s A-D-E @ J-E-L-O.com. Yeah, I’m happy to chat with anybody more about Gel or just share more stories about, kind of, our transition to remote at Formstack and kind of the things we do internally. And thento learn more about Gel, obviously you can check out the site, we have a lot of info there and we have free accounts so you can sign up and start using it today and definitely, if you do that, shoot me an e-mail and send me a feedback. Always, always looking forward to hearing that.

Lisette: I’ll be one of those people for sure who’s signing up.

Ade: That’s great.

Lisette: I’m totally excited about yourproduct; I think it’s a great product so from people out there, listening, definitely check this one out if you’re working on a remote team. I mean the. Actually, I watched the video and I was like “Ohh.” I immediately [Inaudible –39:40] to number [Inaudible –39:41]. I liked it. So, wish you guys [Inaudible –39:44] in making this happen.

Ade: Thank you.

Lisette: So, alright everybody we’ve come to the end of another great interview and until next time. Be powerfu

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+2Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn7Email this to someonePrint this page
Interview

This article is written by on