With more than 6,870 employees scattered across locations such as Australia, Germany, Canada, Spain and other spots around the world, Vista’s aim to support the marketing and design efforts of small businesses is very much a global endeavor. And within that fact, there’s a dichotomy that resonates with Claire Reynolds, a marketing director based out of the United Kingdom who joined earlier this year.
“What really appealed to me about Vista was the fact that it is a huge global organization with scale and reach, access to technology, an international workforce and global expertise. However, at the heart of the business, it is about supporting small businesses that are doing great things in their local communities,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds added that working at a company of Vista’s scale grants her access to bright minds across the organization, which also benefits her professionally. There have been professional gains for Bianca Avram, too, who moved from product design strategy to product management thanks to the opportunity to explore other areas of interest through exposure to different individuals in the company, as well as burnishing her credentials by taking on projects of increasing scope.
“For me, one of the most important benefits was helping me pivot my career,” the senior product owner said when asked about the opportunities granted by working at a global company.
And, despite the fact that they’re scattered across the globe, Avram, Reynolds and Barcelona-based Lead Software Engineer Júlia Ferràndiz all noted they’re able to stay in touch as a team through events and communications tools. “While working remotely, it’s important to see each other and improve those relationships,” Ferràndiz said.
Built In caught up with Avram, Ferràndiz and Reynolds to learn about the perks of being part of Vista’s global, remote-first team and how a physical office isn’t required for them to feel tied to the company and their colleagues.
What opportunities are afforded to you by working at a global company like Vista?
Ferràndiz: Now that we’re working remotely, we have workers based out of a lot of places. But even when we were in the office, there were also a lot of employees from around the world. It’s very enriching because you see different ways of working and different personalities. You have to adapt, but you will learn a lot.
Avram: In terms of the opportunities I’ve had, I started in product design strategy in the Barcelona office. After a couple of years in that role, I learned about opportunities within and pivoted to product management.
Reynolds: From a personal perspective, I really enjoy interacting with people from different countries, backgrounds, experiences and cultures. From a professional perspective, working for a global company allows us to access and work with talent and expertise from around the world. That benefits me in terms of understanding and learning things from a different perspective, allowing me to enhance and evolve our regional plans and also my personal skill sets and experience.
A global presence requires a strong culture. What do you think makes Vista’s remote-first culture particularly successful?
Avram: I’ve always felt like my colleagues, managers and senior leadership trust me to do the work. I’ve never felt micromanaged. We’ve always had flexibility and trust, but with remote-first, we trust each other even more. We want to make it successful and make it work for everyone.
Ferràndiz: Although we are working remotely, it doesn’t mean that we work alone. We are still a team. If anybody needs help, we get on a Zoom call and discuss it. We still do pair programming if there are tasks that are difficult to start, so we try to treat it as if we were in the office.
Reynolds: The people-first nature of Vista’s culture is inherent. It really engenders support and trust. The business gives true consideration to its employees’ well-being, growth and development. It fosters and drives collaboration and teamwork.
“Although we are working remotely, it doesn’t mean that we work alone. We are still a team.”
What initiatives connect you to colleagues while working remotely?
Ferràndiz: Every day, my team does a coffee break together where we chat about things not related to work. Also, the four teams that work for the same line of business recently gathered here in Barcelona; we held a hackathon, had dinner together every night and did team-building activities.
Reynolds: We have Slack channels dedicated to the country groups and channels to talk about things that aren’t work-related. Equally, regional or team off-sites are really helpful; we just had a session in London where I got to meet the team for the first time. In terms of staying connected with the wider global teams, the business does a really good job of cascading larger updates through launch meetings, stand-ups or all-hands.
Avram: Once a quarter, we try to bring the team together and do something in-person. Also, when we have new people joining the company, I personally try to schedule one-on-ones with them so that I can break away from the formality.
Collaboration In Action
How does Vista promote flexibility in the workplace? Why is that helpful when working remotely?
Reynolds: I have full autonomy to manage my workload effectively and still embed flexibility within that. We also have Focus Fridays and Recharge Fridays, which allow people to have a day to either catch up on work or take some personal time to manage their lives.
Avram: Nobody imposes anything. Of course, we have deadlines that we have to hit. But you are the owner of your calendar, timetable and working hours. I’m able to take full advantage of that. For example, there are some days when I start later because I like to train in the morning, and there are other days when I start really early.
Ferràndiz: On my team, there are people starting earlier because they want to have the afternoon free and then there are people who have to bring their kids to school and they start at a different time. Sometimes I’m tired and I start later. I like that you can adapt the working hours to your life and not the other way around.
What do you enjoy most about working at a company with a global presence like Vista’s?
Avram: For me, it starts with the people we work with: They’re motivated, knowledgeable and they respect your time. Also, because we’re a global company, and we’re present in so many countries, it’s really diverse. I really appreciate that. Finally, from a strategy perspective, I think we have a bright future.
Reynolds: I love the balance of being able to access everything that a significantly large organization can provide in terms of resources, technology and innovation, but then also being quite close to the creativity and innovation that’s inherent in small businesses. For me, it’s the perfect combination.
Ferràndiz: Although it’s a big company, I feel like the roles and responsibilities are very dynamic. For example, if I start getting very involved in one of our team’s projects because I’m really interested, I can end up being the point of contact or lead the project. There’s nobody preventing you from taking on more responsibilities. And since we have a lot of projects, we have a lot of opportunities to lead and grow.