Remote company managers are talking about why they are running a remote team and how did they start. They also share ideas about what are the biggest benefits of remote work and why it's here to stay.
Remote team leaders about building a remote team and how are they hiring for remote jobs in their company. They also share tips about how to stand out when applying for remote jobs.
Practical tips from remote companies about managing a remote team – how to measure productivity, where to work from and about planning company retreats to bring the remote team together.
Remote team leaders answering questions about their daily life in a remote team regarding communication, tools and more. They also share tips for companies planning to start working remotely.
Remote work is what led to the development of our publicly viewable handbook, which captures everything you'd need to know about the company. That's where we keep a list of our best practices for communication within our team: https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/communication/
Making social connections with coworkers is important to building trust within any organization, but especially when your team is remote. We're intentional about designing informal communication at GitLab: https://about.gitlab.com/company/culture/all-remote/informal-communication/
We use Slack for our day-to-day communication. We also use video and voice calls on an ad hoc basis as well as for regularly-scheduled team meetings, weekly check-ins, and a monthly companywide AMA. Lastly, we want every process and workflow documented. The answer to every question should be found with a search of internal Confluence knowledge base. :)
Team members don't have to watch Slack constantly while working. They are able to set themselves away if they need some time for focused work.
Our main synchronous communication channel are video calls, where we discuss project and company related topics. For FYI topics we use Slack to post our status, share company news, new tech stuff and other fun things with each other. That’s a fun environment to work in, it’s good for the team spirit, for building a remote company culture and it gives us a feeling of belonging.
But to produce great quality code, developers need time slots where they can dive deep into a problem and get lost in the task at hand. That’s a challenge for a software development agency like us with many different projects and clients who want us to respond quickly to their requests.
Our policy is that people need to reply to a message aimed at their personal handle within 2 hours. It’s enough to say: On it, getting back to you in the afternoon/tomorrow/etc. That way we ensure our team members get deep work done and keep in touch with their teammates.
We usually start and end the day with greetings and goodbyes via Slack. There's plenty of discussions and important information moving around there also, but no one is expected to instantly reply to anything.
There are also weekly team meetings and campfires. In the latter the whole company comes together and learns something new together.
Our main communication channel is Slack and there is not an expectation for receiving an immediate response, however many of us have an alert set up so we get notified when someone pings us by name in a channel or via direct message, but not everyone answers right away, especially since some of us are on different timezones and will only interject later.
When people are caught up in 'deep work', it's not uncommon for them to disconnect from Slack.
We prefer digital communication to in-person. If you decide something in-person, you also should write it down somewhere company-accessible.
The expectation for responses when you are tagged in a message is within 24 hours. There will always be exceptions to this but a good rule of thumb is to aim to reply to messages you're tagged in within 24 hours at most. Something as simple as a short message saying you'll get back to them at another time works.
We also strive for over-communication. Think you're asking too many questions? You probably aren't. Think you're writing too many updates on a Trello card for a simple task? You probably aren't writing enough.
Lastly, openness is key. Nothing is private to a person or a team. We're all morons sometimes, we all have faults, we all make mistakes, so don't be afraid. Throw it all out on the table and good things will happen.
We communicate through SYNAPS, communication platform, that we developed. It has an ability to make video calls, but in our team we prefer text (because of the language barrier - its just simpler for everyone).
We do not expect that everyone is available all the time, because we live in different timezones.