Remote Work

Remote Work: Practical Guide by GitLab, the Biggest All Remote Company

Posted by:
Roxana Dănilă
Jan 13, 2022

The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people live. Remote work became the only option for many of those who were traveling to the office to perform their tasks. Some are starting to realize the benefits of working from home, while others are still questioning this practice.

During the webinar organized by Oradea tech Hub, Zsuzsanna Kovács, technical sourcer at Gitlab, talked more about this topic.

Her motivation for attending this webinar was to share information with those who’ve never heard of remote work and to help people adapt to this reality. Through her story, Zsuzsanna wants to show people that anyone from Oradea or the rest of the world can be part of this “journey”.

For those of you who don’t know what GitLab is, it’s the biggest fully remote company in the world. It has 1283 members in 68 countries and no physical offices at all. This is a DevOps platform delivered as a single application.

During the presentation, Zsuzsanna pointed out and detailed some essential ideas regarding remote work, which more and more employees are putting into practice in the current context.

Embrace the “Remote” Reality

Expect to do different things from your last job. First of all, your job interviews won’t require a face-to-face meeting. You may be able to sign the work contract through a video meeting and receive the things you need by mail.

You may find it strange that you will have to trust people you don’t know. You may think it’s a trap, but that’s how it all works. You trust them, and they trust you. But you also need attention to make sure everything goes smoothly.

When you’re at the beginning, it will seem unusual to be alone in the room with a laptop and say that you are at work.

The interaction with your colleagues will be different. You will communicate through online platforms or video meetings. It is possible that certain aspects are not clear to you or that you are insecure, but it’s perfectly normal to feel this way.

You may need a few months to learn how everything works, and for this, you will need to communicate with your team and change your daily habits.

Gradually, you will understand how the team is organized and how you collaborate with your colleagues. At the same time, it will be easier and easier for you to accomplish all your tasks so that you get results. It’s a matter of practice.

Your evolution and implicitly the smooth running of the company depends on good collaboration. So make sure that the interaction with your team is as efficient as possible. For this, pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Ask questions whenever you don’t understand something
  • Say if something doesn’t seem right to you—this could be changed with the support of your team
  • Help your coworkers succeed, and they will do the same for you
  • Refrain from judging the actions of others

5 Things to Remember When You Work Remotely

When you work remotely, there are certain things you need to get used to for the development of the company, organized work, and efficient cooperation.

1. Reduced synchronization

You may not be able to communicate with everyone in the team when you are available. Your coworkers may come from different parts of the world and, implicitly, the time zone differs.

Many times, you will have to start a conversation or open a ticket on whatever platform you’re using and then synchronize with the rest of the team.

2. Do not default for a meeting

Instead of a meeting, choose to communicate through relevant channels, such as Slack, out of consideration for those who may not be present. In remote work, you will have to take the initiative to work asynchronously.

3. But, if you have a meeting, do it well

Never go to these meetings unprepared. Make sure you ask questions, pay attention to others’ questions, and take notes. Any online meetings should be recorded so those who were not present can catch up later.

4. Answer with a link

The best way to learn a given answer is to register it on the site. In this way, both you and future employees can find the necessary information very quickly.

This will help you stay informed and confident in the accuracy of the information. So, if someone has a question, you will be able to direct them through a link to the site.

5. Have a set of rules in place

These values ​​refer to certain behaviors and attitudes that must exist between colleagues. Specifically — no ego, solving problems without reproach, and respecting the time of others—just to name a few.

GitLab’s Tricks to Build Relationships between Colleagues

GitLab offers a series of activities they integrated into their routine to interact with colleagues in various ways. Through video meetings, they feel like they’re closer to each other, regardless of the distance.

Office games can help employees get to know each other better, make friends, and build trust. A few moments of relaxation are more than welcome after hours of hard work. Through these activities, you feel surrounded by people despite being alone in front of the laptop.

After all, don’t you work more efficiently when you know the team is united? Here are some of the activities you can do with your team.

1. Mindfulness call

This activity requires 15 minutes of meditation. It is usually guided by a colleague and can help others turn off from work mode and switch to relaxation mode.

2. Talent shows appeal to children

If you have a child who would like to present something, then you can set up a meeting with your colleagues. This way, you’ll get to know their children while relaxing and having fun watching them interact.

3. Coffee chats

They can replace the casual meetings that took place at the office. For example, while you drink your coffee, the Slack robot will pair you up with a random colleague so you can start a conversation with him. This would allow you to talk with him for about 30 minutes to learn more about his background or address topics that interest both of you.

4. AMAs (Ask Me Anything)

This activity gives you the chance to ask your coworkers questions. It can be a fun way to learn more about them without coming off as intrusive.

5. Global pizza parties

Simply order a pizza and connect with people for about 30 minutes on one of the channels you choose. In this time, you can have fun with your coworkers, share stories, and get to know each other better.

6. Contribute events

Team members go somewhere and meet in person for team building events. This can be a great opportunity to get to know the people you have worked with online.

Key Benefits of Remote Work

Based on her experience at GitLab, Zsuzsanna lists some of the benefits she has seen with remote work. These include:

1. You manage your own time

When working remotely, you can set your own schedule so that you can complete all your tasks on time. This requires responsibility, organization, and discipline

2. Work-life balance, not a 9-to-5 job

You may decide to try certain activities that you could not have practiced while you were working in the office and your schedule was jam-packed. For example, you can go running at 9 in the morning and then start work.

3. Being isolated but never alone

Remote work gives you the chance to talk with people from around the world. At the same time, you have a lot of colleagues with whom you can communicate, exchange ideas, and have fun.

4. Learn about other cultures

Remote work will help you meet people from different countries. This will allow you to learn about different lifestyles, new customs, and traditions.

5. Increased flexibility

You have the freedom to choose where you want to work. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to constantly choose a different place. You can work from home, from your parent’s house, in a shared office, or while visiting an exotic country.

6. Unplug from technology

You can organize your program in such a way that the hours spent in front of the computer don’t harm you. You will have the freedom to give yourself the time you need to relax and take breaks throughout the day.

7. A diverse schedule

It’s not just about work all the time. You will have periods of training, you can travel, and you may contribute to events.  

8. Freedom in all aspects

You are free to choose where you want to work, how to set your work-time balance and say what you’d like to change.

Get More Information about Remote Work        

Interested to know more about remote work? Then you might want to see these remote work reports from GitLab.

These files include information about relocating, commuting, and other aspects of the new work culture. You will also see how both employees and employers can successfully manage remote work and improve communication across teams.

If you still have some questions or concerns, take a look at this handbook by GitLab. Here you’ll receive the answers you need to get started.

For example, you may want to become an engineer but you don’t know much about this field. Perhaps you want to know more about hiring in Romania. You’ll find everything you need inside this handy guide!

At the same time, you can bring your own contribution and pinpoint any issues that come to your mind. The manual has over 8,400 pages, and its authors are open to feedback.

All in all, the GitLab webinar fits the current pandemic situation in which remote work has become a normality for many employees, perhaps sooner than we expected. It’s also becoming a preferred choice for more and more companies and employees due to the freedom it offers. There is some essential information on what you should expect, how your daily life will change, and how this type of work may improve your business as a whole.

Now it’s your turn! Is there anything else you want to know about remote work? Are you ready to give up the old way of doing things? Perhaps you wish to share your secrets to working remotely in a productive way?

Share your thoughts below!

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About Author

Roxana Dănilă

Roxana is interested in digital marketing and content writing. She is determined to continue on this path and improve her skills constantly because she is passionate about this field. She wants her readers to use the words she writes to form clear and complete perspectives that can help them.