Faster Navigation with Breadcrumbs

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 08.00.54Just like Hansel and Gretel sprinkled their path with crumbs, so too can you in Watu.

Our latest release now traces your location through one feature at a time, allowing for faster navigation with breadcrumbs.

Use it to move swiftly between pages, targeting exactly where you want to be.

No more back button, no more wandering webpage paths. Find your way around quickly and let Watu remember your way.

Just don’t let any birds nibble these crumbs.

5 Tips to Optimise Your Health at Work

Great staffing doesn’t just come from having processes in place and fantastic field staff – the booking team are the people making the magic happen behind the scenes, so this article is just for you guys.

I’m guessing you spend most of your work day behind a computer – building jobs and booking staff on Watu, of course. Mouse-hand pulled forward, your back in a relaxed arch with your neck craning towards the screen. A little something like this:

hunched skeleton
Does this look familiar?


Can you catch yourself doing it now? Yes? Then read on for 5 tips to optimise your health at work:

  1. AK stand up deskMove every 15 minutes: I’m not saying go for a jog; just grab a glass of water, do a lap around the office, stroll outside to the corner and back. Do anything that will get you out of that chair.
  2. Have a stand up/ sit down desk: Make point number one even easier by having a desk that can be either a stand up or sit down area. Not possible? Sit working at your desk, stand working at another location in the office – maybe on a bookshelf? Sitting all day is being compared to smoking such is the negative affect on your health. I’m not saying stand up all day, but just remember to mix it up.
  3. Make it a walking meeting: Can you spot the theme here? Daily movement throughout the day is your goal. Even if you’re a gym-goer, that doesn’t negate the side effects of sitting. Plus, walking stimulates the mind so your might finish the meeting bursting with ideas!
  4. Let your eyes relax: When staring at the screen, one part of your body working really hard is your eyes. Looking at close objects means your eyes are contracted. Give them a break by looking into the distance every now and then. Maybe even during that walking meeting…
  5. Roll your feet: Do you stand up feeling stiff and bundled up? Grab a golf or lacrosse ball, slip it under your desk  and slowly roll your feet over it with deep pressure. Do this for 2 minutes each foot a couple times a day, and walk around feeling looser, lighter and more flexible.

Try out just one tip, a couple or even all five. We don’t have to all sit like turtles at our desks, so challenge your body to feel the benefits for life – then drop us a line to let us know how it’s going!

Country names in staffer search

Watu is global, and sometimes this has unexpected consequences on your workflow – like searching for a location that has namesakes elsewhere in the world. To help dodge these mix-ups, we’ve added a tiny tweak to the search box that automatically adds the name of your home country to your location queries.

Suppose you searched for staffers near a place like Portsmouth, and got no results:

failed search

Wait, that’s got to be wrong, you know you have staffers there! Could it be because you meant the old coastal town in Hampshire, but our geographic search thought you’d meant the old coastal town in New Hampshire? A quick look at the map will tell:

failed search with map

Many of our clients operate only or mostly in their home countries, so the new search box explicitly suffixes the location query with the country name:

new search small

But then how do you search for staffers in other countries? Easily: just type a comma and follow it with the name of the country – or for that matter state, province, suburb, really anything that describes the location you have in mind. The automatic country suffix will disappear and leave your search exactly the way you typed it:

new search comma

There it is, another small step on the road to making your work easier.

Your Staffers’ Top 4 Questions

I love my job

i_heart_my_jobI’m Watu’s Customer Happiness rep which means you guys mean everything to me. Well – almost everything. I also have to take into account all your staffers, which is a mere 25,000 or so people. With direct access to support, your staff can send us their questions without you playing the middleman. If you’re picturing us trawling through thousands of staff questions, don’t worry; Watu’s friendly interface means queries come through one-by-one, every now and then.

But, what are the most common staff questions? Here are the top 4 queries staff ask about working for you:

  1. When will I get paid?
  2. How long does it take to approve me once I’ve registered?
  3. When will you approve/decline me after applying to a job?
  4. How can I make my application or profile more appealing?

These are questions that I can’t answer on your behalf, but I can provide suggestions of how to tackle these before staffers are left wondering:

  • Make use of your message templates: Within settings -> message templates you have the option to edit all the messages that go out to staff. Tackle the above queries by inserting information in “Message sent on Registration” so you answer before they ask
  • Check out your profile template questions (settings -> profile template) to ensure you’re asking everything you need of the staffer. Provide areas for staff to upload files, insert URL’s of showreels, and more
  • Promptly decline applications if you know a staffer has not been chosen. We recommend ticking the message box so they’re notified that they have been rejected for a booking

Using these solutions, your staffers will have an even better experience working with your agency thanks to efficient and transparent communication. And as we all know, happy staff become loyal staff.

Doubling Watu’s Postmen

When you send messages throughout Watu we don’t make you wait on the page until the message is sent. Instead we put them in a queue of tasks to be done later. During peak times we have reached thousands of messages in the queue. So what have we done about it?

In short…

No one likes waiting in line and we wanted to speed up the process. Put simply, we have doubled the amount of resources and sped up the time it takes to send messages and texts. It’s a bit like hiring double the staff in a post office so as you can imagine, your messages will be reaching staffers much faster than before.

Keen for more detail?

There are actually three queues of which one is for messaging; this one generates mails and texts, each with their own smaller queue. There was lot of queuing going on behind the scenes.

When Watu was born we had one single worker taking care of all the queues. A worker is a program that takes an item from the queue, processes it and if there’s a problem, it warns us about it and puts it back on the queue to try again later.

Watu is growing every day and we noticed that sometimes, some items in the queue took up to half an hour to be processed. We were not happy with this, so we doubled the amount of workers and we also added exclusive workers for mailing and texting. This should cause your emails and texts to be delivered much faster than before.

We’ll keep an eye on this metric and if needed, we’ll add more resources to queue processing workers.