The idea of teamwork has taken on a whole new meaning with several countries across the world in lockdown now. Entire teams have gone online, and work remotely from homes. Work systems have had to change to continue collaborative work, while having entire teams go online at short notice. It is at such times that collaborative tools such as Quip help teams keep their momentum going.
For organisations, providing their staff with the right support systems at challenging times like these, is important. The challenge arises not just from having teams that don’t usually work from home doing so now; but also from the fact that employees have to quickly cross the learning curve of functioning from the home space. The fun of working in your pyjamas soon wears off when you realise that work pressure continues to be what it was, if not more, during these times.
How can companies make things a bit easier for their workforce? Consider the use of a collaborative tool like Quip. Quip Starter is available from Salesforce currently for free till September 30th 2020.
What is Quip and Why Consider It?
Quip is a Cloud-based productivity suite with task collaboration being at the heart of its functioning. Salesforce acquired Quip and it basically helps teams get more productive by allowing people to combine several tasks in one place. This means you no longer have to have documents, spread sheets and team to-do lists in multiple silos, but have them all in a single place to increase efficiency of the team. This solution is also available on the mobile, making it easily accessible.
With Quip integrated into Salesforce, users are now able to edit documents as well as spreadsheets and all ground members will be able to comment and have a conversation on files too. Quip essentially connects a range of documents on the CRM system, allowing all team members to have a conversation from a centralised hub at any time and from anywhere. The ability to connect, access, interact and update seamlessly anytime and from any location, from a range of devices, makes Quip an ideal work tool at times like these, and otherwise as well.
How Do Salesforce and Quip Work Together
Here are the fundamental ways in which Salesforce and Quip work together –
Importing CRM Data from Salesforce: Quip offers a live data feature that facilitates importing CRM data into Salesforce. This can be any kind of data related to Quip documents such as account values, for example. Following registration of the data with Quip, it all syncs with Salesforce automatically. One export will give a sales representative the ability to generate forecast spreadsheets that have the latest data.
With Quip’s checklists one can manage projects, assign due dates and place reminders with specific data in sidebar. Contextual tools allow for checklists to easily adapt to the work of users.
Lightning Component: With the Quip Lightning component, all access, edits and linking of documents, whether they are spreadsheets or checklists etc., can be done directly within Salesforce records. These documents can be embedded anywhere in Salesforce records – within the home page or even in a console application as well as within a collaborative group
Easy Exporting of Quip Files: An integration of Salesforce and Quip allows the user to export Quip documents in multiple formats of Excel, Word, PDF as well as Markdown and CSV formats. Invited users can receive a link to continue editing. This can be done through the browser or an app.
Elimination of Manual Data Entry: Another main feature is the elimination of adding files and data manually. Quip supports live data inclusion within documents and spreadsheets. Any changes within Salesforce is automatically reflected within the related document as well.
Support for All Devices: Whether you are working on Mac, Windows or Linux (Linux users will need to use Google Chrome), support is provided for all options. For personal devices, downloads are available for Android and iOS as well.
Tracking History: Quip has a history tracking feature that allows you to see changes made and also gives you the option to go back to an original version.
Seamless Interface: User can enjoy a great interface that comes with new sidebars, contextual menus and a simplified structure. All this makes it easy to be able to narrow down on a particular document that one needs to access and work on.
Summarising the functioning of Salesforce and Quip together, a team can have all of its crucial data on projects, with all related information on deadlines, commitments, milestones etc., displayed in a single space, with all the relevant information from Salesforce data displayed alongside. This helps companies enhance their accountability, provides for a unified approach to work loads and ensures all goals are met. In times like these, such transparency helps a company keep its work seamlessly efficient.
Benefits of Quip Starter with Salesforce
The features of Quip with Salesforce elaborate on how the system is beneficial to a team that works remotely. Here is a summary of those benefits:
Leveraging Live Data: A team member can export live data at any point. Salesforce reports can be opened into a Quip spreadsheet with a single click to do so. Data that is modified reflects live and in real time. Documents can be highlighted, linked and connected to specific teams for clarity at any point. Checklists can be used to create bulleted task lists for execution. All this reduces the number of meetings that are required.
Better Collaborative Results: Quip with Salesforce facilitates collaboration, enabling better decision-making. Reports can be analysed in-depth. Since modifications are updated in real time, they aid the decision-making process, ensuring better results and output.
These benefits ensure work is driven without interruptions from any location and at any time. A team can remain connected to their customer base through personal devices as well. The momentum of work does not stop at any point.
Enabling Working from Home
Never before perhaps has there been such a large number of people working from home. While you may have all the necessary tools to help maintain the efficiency of work, there is first, a pressing need to help employees and teams adjust to the idea of working from home. Here is how you can do it.
Understand the Psychology: There may be teams who have settled into the process of working from home, others who are still getting the hang of it and some teams who are just grappling. With international teams on a single project, there are chances of one having to work from home, whereas another still able to make it to office. Situations are varied and it is important to understand the psychology of getting used to the idea of working from home and dealing with it.
Team members will enjoy the idea of being able to “wake up and head to the work table” as such. But soon the magic of it can wear away when one sees the distractions around, does not have colleagues to interact with physically present, and having to be placed in front of a computer or device to stay connected to a team at all times.
Help team members adjust by giving them tips on how to set boundaries in a work from home situation. Encourage them to work regular office hours, take breaks when they usually do and encourage them to spend some time away from work as well. This is especially because in the work from home situation, the distinction between the two can be hard to maintain.
Establish New Team Dynamics: Working in a team is often taken for granted in an office situation. Meetings in person can vary a lot in terms of dynamism compared to an online meeting. Teams will have to start getting used to the idea and rework their interaction strategies. Work meetings online can always start with light banter before getting to the more hard hitting issues of the day. Breakaway chat rooms can be created for smaller teams to have discussions. A chat room or two for general discussions that would take place over a tea break is also advisable. And most importantly patience – in having the team settle down into the new work flow is essential.
Management Remaining Accessible: Moving from an office set-up to a home set-up can be unnerving. This is one of the first things that the management team will need to address for their employees. Building and maintaining trust outside of a work set-up is essential to making smooth transitions to working from home, and comes before the implementation of resources to enhance work productivity.
Team leads and management being active on social channels and sharing of successes and challenges that have been met is key. Communication needs to be transparent and channels kept open at all times. The focus needs to be work that is achieved rather than the when and where of how it is done.
If you are implementing a work from home system for your employees, approach it with optimism and pragmatism. Massive changes can be difficult for people to process and time to settle in has to be accounted for. Communication and collaborative tools play an important role. When you have a team settled in, bringing in work tools that support simpler working will be accepted and implemented better.
Incorporating Quip into Your Team Work
With an increasing number of teams moving to work from home, the spur-of-the-moment meetings, huddles etc., cannot happen. This does not mean that they cannot be facilitated. Such collaboration is needed for work flows to be smooth. Here is how you can consider incorporating Quip and its features in your work flow protocols to enhance team work.
A Quip Document for Every Major Project: Have your entire team for a project focused with a single document created for each project. Use the Project Tracker App to keep track of the project and ensure that each person on the team knows their responsibility and takes ownership. Any additional documents can be connected to the main Quip document as and when needed.
Use Quip Tasks to Organise Work Flow: Every project will have several tasks associated with it and these can be spread across tools and devices. To make work flow more efficient, you can use Quip tasks to prioritise and place actionable items in a single place. Keeping the task list updated will help keep teams on their toes and accountable for their responsibilities.
Focus, with Focus Mode: Have the team use the Focus mode which immediately clears up sidebars, chats and notifications. This allows one to focus on a single document at a time. With clear task lists available, removing all that is not needed during work is possible. With Quip this can be done on a phone or a desktop.
Share Communication, Don’t Email: With communication being on email, important messages are often buried in mail trails. With Quip, you can have a single document shared, instead of sending it to those you need to. Include them as collaborative members on the message and have them chip in, in real time. The efficiency you will see is amazing.
Onboard a New Hire: Have the Human Resources team work on a centralised template that will tell a new employee everything he needs to know for the first month of employment. This onboarding document can be of immense help to a new employee and can have other team members chip in where they feel needed. The new recruit will also appreciate a single hub from which to get all the information he needs and all the clarifications he may seek.
Quip documents are triggered to contain crucial information or data related to multiple projects. When Salesforce data is displayed alongside, it only strengthens a team’s ability to communicate, ideate, execute and enhance productivity. Accountability is high and team work is at its best.