All-remote work promotes:
"Remote is not a challenge to overcome. It's a clear business advantage." -Victor, Product Manager, GitLab
From the cost savings on office space to more flexibility in employees' daily lives, all-remote work offers a number of advantages to organizations and their people. But we also recognize that being part of an all-remote company isn't for everyone. Here's a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.
From family time to travel plans, there are many examples and stories of how remote work has impacted the lives of GitLab team members around the world.
“The flexibility makes family life exponentially easier, which reduces stress and makes you more productive and motivated. You can’t put a dollar value on it – it’s priceless.” - Haydn, Regional Sales Director, GitLab
All-remote work has advantages beyond just one organization and its people. With no commuting employees and no office buildings or campuses, all-remote companies have a signifiantly smaller environmental footprint. For global companies, bringing better-paying jobs to low-cost regions also has positive economic impact.
Despite all of its advantages, all-remote work isn't for everyone. It can have disadvantages for potential employees depending on their lifestyle and work preferences, as well as the organization.
All-remote work wouldn't be possible without the constant evolution of technology, and the tools that enable this type of work are continuously being developed and improved.
We aren't just seeing these impacts for all-remote companies. In fact, in some organizations with large campuses, employees will routinely do video calls instead of spending 10 minutes to go to a different building.
Here are some of the key factors that make all-remote work possible:
Let's address some of the common misconceptions about all-remote work.
First things first: An all-remote company means there is no office or headquarters where multiple people are based. The only way to not have people in a satellite office is not to have a main office.
The terms "remote" and "distributed" are often used interchangeably, but they're not quite the same. We prefer the term "remote" because "distributed" suggests multiple physical offices. "Remote" is also the most common term to refer to the absence of a physical workspace, and being able to do your job from anywhere.
For employees, being part of an all-remote company does not mean working independently or being isolated, because it's not a substitue for human interaction. Technology allows us to stay closely in touch with our teams, whether asychronously in text or in real time with high-fidelity conversations through video. Teams should collaborate closely, communicate often, and feel like valuable members of a larger team.
Working remotely also doesn't mean you're physically constrained to home. You're free to work wherever you want. That could be at home with family, a coffee shop, a coworking space, or your local library while your little one is enjoying storytime. You can have frequent video chats or virtual pairing sessions with co-workers throughout the day, and you can even meet up with other coworkers to work together in person if you're located near each other.
At the organizational level, "all-remote" does not mean simply offshoring work. Instead, it means you're able to hire the best talent from all around the world. It's also not a management paradigm. You still have a hierarchical organization, but with a focus on output instead of input.
All in all, remote is fundamentally about freedom and individual choice. At GitLab, we value your results, not where you get your work done.
We've learned a lot about what it takes to build and manage a fully remote team, and want to share this knowledge to help others be successful.
Browse our resources page to learn more about GitLab's all-remote approach, read about remote work in the news, and see what other companies are leading the way.
Here's a list of companies that have been inspired by GitLab's culture.