Coordinating across continents: the Wister method

For more than ten years now, Wister has had offices separated by more than 5,000 miles. An impressive number, but one that represents a highly functional organizational strategy. 

Indeed, if our headquarters are located in Paris, another part of the team is located across the Atlantic. More precisely in Los Angeles. 

So how do our two offices work together and how do the teams communicate? Is it a complex task, or is it functional and instinctive? 

With this cross-continental operation in place for over a decade now, its functionality seems like a self-evident fact, but it didn’t happen overnight: 

The project was born out of a meeting between one of Wister’s executives and our future Californian office manager. This meeting led to a first reflection about the creation of an office on the American West Coast. The advantages: first of all, to benefit from new talent, but also to be able to ensure a continuous rotation in terms of time. The time difference between Paris and Los Angeles is nine hours, so we can have qualified and active employees at any time of the day. The work that needs to be done passes between departments more organically and evening meetings in France become morning meetings in the United States. This way, Wister never sleeps !

As for the language barrier, it could have represented a point of slowdown, but it is not the case: the entire Wister France team is able to communicate in English and exchange with our English-speaking counterparts without it representing any complication. In addition, all communications dedicated to the entire team are constantly in English, in order to make exchanges as fluid as possible.

From now on, a team of six collaborators is present on the American coast and allows the whole of our French-speaking sector to improve in the language of Shakespeare. A challenge, certainly, but a very useful one! The challenge was also present on the more technical level of communications. We had to set up systems that would allow us to communicate directly between the two continents and train our teams to use them. 

These steps have now been taken: communication is now more fluid than ever.

We are therefore delighted to have been able to move Wister forward for so many years in collaboration with our American colleagues and friends, and we are also eager to see them again, or in some cases, to meet them. 

Indeed, when the health crisis we are experiencing today had not yet prevented many trips, we received a bi-annual visit from our dear colleagues. 

It is therefore with great anticipation that we are waiting to meet again!