Our Remote Work Philosophy
- Hire from all over the world instead of from a central location.
- Offer flexible working hours over set working hours.
- Write down and record knowledge over verbal explanations.
- Share information over creating need-to-know access.
- Every document is open to change by anyone over top-down control of documents.
- We emphasize the results of work over the hours put in.
- Formal communication channels over informal communication channels - we will shame you for using one-to-one chats and sending each other emails over commenting in relevant GitLab issues and contributing to open channel discussions on Keybase.
We’re a distributed company where most people work remotely. We use asynchronous communication whenever possible, which means we prefer GitLab issues to chats and video conferences. It also means you need to ensure that all conclusions made during offline conversations are written down in GitLab. Use screenshots in an issue tracker instead of a whiteboard, ensuring that everyone at any time can follow your thought process.
We don’t ask anyone to come to an office, but that doesn’t mean you should disappear or work alone in the corner. Please make sure you commit to GitLab every day. This is the only way the business team can see and track the work that you are doing. Even if you didn’t achieve anything substantive, add a note summarizing what you’ve been working on. Everything is transparent in our GitLab projects, so other team members will be more willing to help you if they see you doing useful work. If they see no updates from you in the past 24hr, people will assume you took a day off.
We’re Still Social
We have a weekly Google Meet team call where we share our work and life. Please feel free to talk about anything and contribute to creating slides every week.
If you don’t like working from home and need an office to go to, we are more than happy to cover the costs of a co-working space like WeWork. Just reach out to the finance team and we’ll help you set something up.
Everything is always in draft and subject to change, so do not delay documenting things and do not include “draft” in the titles of documents. Also, use screenshots in an issue tracker instead of a whiteboard, ensuring that everyone at any time can follow your thought process.
Make a proposal
If you need to decide something as a team, propose instead of calling a meeting to get everyone’s input. Having a proposal will be a much more effective use of everyone’s time. The people that receive the proposal should not feel left out, the person making it should not feel bad if a completely different proposal is implemented. Don’t let your ego get in the way of getting to the best outcome.
We’re part of the same team
We all have to work together and communicate intensely. Working remote doesn’t mean working independently. We still collaborate and work as a team. With that, we encourage:
Non-work related communication. Ask someone how their day is.
Saying thank you.
Turning on video during calls if possible.
Having periodic summits with the whole company to get to know each other in an informal setting.
Contacting anyone in the company. We’re here to help and want to talk with you.
Be respectful of other’s time - Consider the investment you are asking others to make with meetings and a permission processes. Try to avoid meetings, and if one is needed, make attendance optional by making the invite optional, by having a clear agenda linked from the invite, and by documenting the outcome. Instead of having people ask permission, trust their judgment and offer a consultation process if they have questions.
More importantly, value your own time! There’s no one to tell you how to organize your day and prioritize important things. Try attention management instead of time management and use time-saving tools and shortcuts.