There are obvious benefits to remote workers. Staff are more productive. It improves morale. It enhances talent recruitment and retention. And remote work offers cost savings. But how can a large organization manage?
Take page from GitLab, which has an all-remote policy. While officially based in San Francisco, the company has 850 employees across more than 55 countries, all of whom work from home. Company culture, of course, can be difficult to maintain when everyone is remote. GitLab workers stay connected through daily team calls and watercooler chats on Zoom and Slack, where employees often gab about non-work activities. "Visiting grants" help cover costs when staffers travel to regions where other employees are located.
Remote work can ease the carbon footprint of companies. It can also boost productivity and lower operating costs. But how to deal with the obstacles to effective dispersed teams? GitLab offers a few model processes.
For example, organizations should address how to ensure workers are,w ell, working. One of GitLab's core values: Measure results, not hours. "We can't measure how long you work," he says. "We don't want to measure it. We don't want your manager to even talk about it with you unless they think you work too much," says GitLab CEO Sijbrandij.
One area to address is to coordinate and communicate effectively across time zones GitLab does this by documenting everything. In addition to the publicly viewable merge requests, meetings and presentations get uploaded to YouTube. When employees have questions, they're encouraged to search the company's comprehensive (1,000 printed pages) online handbook.
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