Remote Interviews with Baris Hiz

Senior Project Manager @Etiya & On-demand Project Manager @Expertera

 

First and foremost, please tell me a brief background about yourself and one interesting fact.

 

First of all, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to explain how remote work changed my life and what it means for me at the moment. Born and raised in Istanbul, one of the most populated cities in Turkey, I received my bachelor degree in Political Science here at Marmara University. My academic success led me to another opportunity to receive a Master’s degree in France. After my academic life, I returned to Turkey and started to work for private companies. (I preferred working in fast-paced business environments rather than roles associated to my academic background) and decided to foster my skills in the field of customer experience and operational excellence.

 

One interesting fact about me: Aviation is my passion which dates back to the late 90s.  I can never get enough reading about airplanes, statistics and latest updates from the sector.

 

 

 

So you’re currently holding two project manager positions (Etiya & Expetera), what does each company do and what’s your role there?

 

Founded in 2004, Etiya is a fast-growing global software company with more than 600 employees worldwide. To give a little more detail, the company is an independent software vendor that is providing comprehensive CRM, Catalog and Algorithm-Driven B/OSS, as well as customer and social media analytics to telco and digital service providers.

 

Expertera is a curated e-marketplace for on-demand talent and a local thought leader on the future of work. The company was founded in 2014 and since then it helped companies from various sectors to find best on-demand experts to work together on their specific projects.

 

Although I have two different official titles, my role is interconnected to both companies. Etiya has recently invested in Expertera.  Nowadays, two companies are joining forces to create an AI-backed digital expertise platform to provide the best possible match between companies & on-demand experts. My role in this project is to act as a bridge between Expertera business managers and Etiya project team and to deliver the project within time and scope.

 

ETIYA TEAM

 

How were you able to land two remote positions at once when most people are having difficulty landing one?

 

As I mentioned above, I don’t actually handle two remote positions at the same time, but rather acting as a bridge between the two – the technology investor and the fast-growing tech business. As for the responsibilities, I’m undertaking more on the  Expertera side. I am trying to establish the best customer experience management and reporting structure for the company by taking advantage of my past experiences within these two fields.

 

As a remote project manager, what is the most challenging part of managing remote projects and workers?

 

Thanks to latest progress in cloud-based collaborative tech tools and mobile connectivity, the remote workplace is a reality today. But as with many other things in life, there are both pros and cons to manage a decentralized or remote team, ups and downs. Our team is always connected through cloud messaging or video conference services such as Slack or Appear.in and all task lists are available on Teamwork or Google Spreadsheets so that project progress can be tracked any time. However, even having access to all tools available out there can’t help to deal with the ‘psychological’ distance from time to time… At this point, I believe that we have to sweat to achieve that communal sense of creation, and in doing so, we have to consider and resolve aspects of our work culture with deliberation.

 

 

 

What are some things you do to help keep you and your team productive and motivated remotely?

 

I try to establish a culture of collaborative thinking for everything we do. This perspective helps to encourage multiple perspectives, diverse viewpoints, and creativity. In this way, I try to build ownership and commitment to team purpose.

 

Remote selfie from the Expertera team

 

I recently interviewed Elif Hiz who is also a kickass remote worker. How has the opportunity for the two of you been able to work remotely impacted your relationship?

 

“Don’t take work stress home with you!” – This expression is not valid for us.  Sometimes we feel stressed because of a bad dialogue with someone or between us, uncompleted business/home-related tasks, time pressure or everyday hassles like cooking or cleaning. I think we succeeded to overcome these issues within time thanks to tolerance and mutual understanding of each other.

 

 

 

What is your favorite and least favorite part of working remotely?

 

Favorite part: Working in home or in a coffee shop can have its fair share of disadvantages, but I can’t deny it saves time commuting to and from work. In my opinion, employees who have remote workplace flexibility spend more time working than those who work at the office. At least 50% of the time saved by not commuting can be applied to productive work.

 

Least favorite part: Not being able to socialize with my teammates and to join happy hours!

 

Bariz Hiz | letsworkremotely

 

Describe the most beautiful place on earth you’ve visited (and include some pictures)!

 

It’s the city of Cape Town – South Africa, given its remarkable background, plus its added beauty of nature throughout the region. Not enough words or pictures to describe the beauty of this place!!

 

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Any final bits of advice for our audience wanting to work remotely or live the digital nomad lifestyle?

 

It is very clear that conventional working system is evolving rapidly. It’s not about how much time we spend at the office, or even how productive we are. The future of work is about how creative we are. And nothing comes easy unless we are willing to step out of our comfort zone. There’s a lot of aspects of remote work that is still improving and changing, but it’s happening. It’s here for good, whether we accept it now or later.

 

My tip: Get out of your fencerows and try to be a part of it!

 

 

Please share your bio, profile, social links, books, courses etc.

 

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/baris-hiz-5b5b9a2/

 www.twitter.com/barishiz

 instagram.com/barishiz

 

P.S: I have also written a book which is sold on Amazon (but related to my academic background and in French)

 

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