We're committed to all-remote work at GitLab – our whole work philosophy is designed around it. So we're always happy to share when one of our team members is taking full advantage of the flexibility that remote work affords. We chatted with Sarah Daily about her life on the road:
What’s your role at GitLab, and why did you want to join the team?
I’m a digital marketing programs manager focusing on conversion rate optimization and analysis for our email programs and website. Previously, I was a digital marketing manager for a non-profit organization in the education industry.
I'm a remote work advocate and knew about some of the companies that are 100% remote (GitLab being prominent among them).
Though I had a remote job at the time I applied to GitLab, I knew eventually my passion for technology and software development would lead me elsewhere. I decided to seek GitLab directly to see if they had any open positions in their marketing department. As fate would have it, they did, so I applied immediately.
The more I learned about the company and culture, the more I fell in love. GitLab is a model for how companies should implement remote work. The culture and values are so deeply integrated in how everyone works and behaves. Everything we do and how we work is centered around being a global workforce and allows us to move at the speed of innovation.
Tell us about your traveling home office and when you started life as a digital nomad.
Three years ago, my partner and I were living in an 800-square-foot apartment with daily commute jobs. We no longer wanted to live where we were, but we didn’t want to choose a random place to move to without knowing whether we were actually going to like it there.
We needed to be able to visit family and friends with little hassle, and if we lived over a 1,000 miles away then that was going to be a considerable effort and cost. Before we could make any decisions, I needed the ability to work remotely and I ended up finding a remote job with a non-profit organization that had a hybrid remote work model.
One night, my partner came home from work and made the suggestion to live in an RV. It would be cheaper to live, we could travel and live anywhere we wanted* for as long as we wanted, and we would be able to visit family and friends, all while living in the comfort of our own home.
Sarah's truck and trailer
After researching blogs, Facebook groups, and other websites, we realized not only was it actually possible, but that thousands of other people, couples, and families were doing this and had been doing it for years.
But before we could start the process, we had to downsize a lot.
We sold a car, all our furniture, and gave the rest away to Goodwill or family and friends. In March 2016, we moved the rest of our belongings into a less than 200-square-foot space and hit the road. We’ve been all over the west coast of the US and Canada.
Our rig is a 40-foot travel trailer that we haul with our truck. After living and traveling in it for three years, it actually has more space than we need.
More than anything, we love the freedom of being able to pick up and leave for a new location, all while being in our home. We’ll likely continue to do this for the foreseeable future.
*Criteria: Has to have good internet and an airport nearby.
How has working for GitLab enabled you to chase your passion for travel?
Though we’ve been full-time traveling for over three years, GitLab makes this even easier because of the focus on asynchronous work. While some companies allow their employees to work remotely, it isn’t always flexible.
At my previous job, I was expected to work at least partially in a specific time zone. This is because there was a central HQ and only some employees worked remotely full time. This created a separation and isolation for remote employees. It made us feel like we weren’t always involved in meetings and conversations that happened at HQ.
With the asynchronous model, I don't have to worry about when I'm working because all my colleagues live in different time zones. This gives me the freedom to design my day around my peak productive hours and also have time to take care of general life stuff (appointments, house chores, etc.)
Sarah fishing in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
What makes GitLab unique?
It is so refreshing to work at GitLab. The culture really enables you to be the best version of yourself both as an employee and a human being outside of work. Everyone here fully embraces our ideals and values and it makes contributing a pleasure.
Everything we do and how we work is centered around being a global workforce and allows us to move at the speed of innovation
You really feel like you make a difference each day, no matter how small or boring.
But I think the biggest difference between GitLab and other companies I’ve worked for is the transparency. By being transparent with our employees, customers, and community, we enable everyone to fall in love with the product and vision, and contribute to making it better every day.
It truly becomes a shared goal and I think that’s something that is missing from most company cultures. If you cannot enable everyone to have a say through transparency, you bottleneck the entire company for everyone.
Learn more about all-remote work and how it works at GitLab.
Want to join the team? Browse our vacancies.
“At @gitlab, we mean it when we say you can work from anywhere. Hear how #remote work has enabled Sarah Daily's location independence” – Sarah Daily and Betsy Church
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