GitLab Onsites noun Dedicated time for all-remote teams to come together in person to build trust
As a leader in all-remote work, it's important that we recognize the value and impact of time spent in the same location. Meaningful time spent together influences the trust and results our teams build. Co-located companies often gather for
offsites to connect in a new location. In our all-remote environment, we call in-person team meetings
This page is an
onsite planning resource for people managers at GitLab. Use these suggestions to guide the way you plan in-person time for your team. Our additional considerations for in person time advise the wider GitLab community on how to make the most of time spent at conferences, in person meetings, and other types of meetups.
onsite for your team might be outside your comfort zone. The resources on this page will equip you to feel confident organizing an in-person team event. Lean into the skills that make you a great manager as you plan.
After your team
onsite, we hope you'll feel:
The GitLab Talent Engagement team is here to support your onsite planning. We can help you plan activities and make suggestions on how you can best spend this time together in person. To request this custom support, please open an issue here using the
Please note this does not include support for booking or scheduling onsite events and locations.
Consider the following as you start planning your
What do you want your team to get out of this time spent together? As a manager, setting an intention for this time is vital. You need to develop a shared understanding of why the team is traveling to be together and have a clear way to measure success of the
Use these sample goals to get started. Personalize your final goal based on your team in this current moment. What is going on for the next fiscal year? Has your team struggled in the past with microagressions, difficulty working together, or transitioning to new leadership? If you tailor your goal to exactly what your team is needing most, you'll see greater engagement and results.
Be transparent in your planning to maximize both attendance and engagement:
Spending time during a team meeting to set norms for your
onsite will begin to develop shared expectations for your time together.
The all-remote structure at GitLab is efficient and collaborative. It works really well for problem solving, independent work, and all forms of collaboration - not to mention things like getting up to date on GitLab to-dos and Slack messages.
Time spent together in person has its own benefits, too. It's great for building trust, getting to know members of your team, and creative brainstorm discussions.
Review the resources below for guidance on what to prioritize when your team is together in person, and what you might save for when you're back in your home office.
Make the most of
onsites with intentional time to get to know one another.
Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative process that teams use to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. (Source: Interaction Design). What makes design thinking unique is that it's a user-centric, solution-based approach to problem solving. The focus is on the solution, rather than the problem. Design thinking gives opportunity for everyone to contribute and can help develop a growth mindset.
Design thinking directly supports our GitLab values of Results, Collaboration, and Efficiency. We balance being ambitious along with a focus on boring solutions - both of which are solutions-oriented.
Regardless of what your team is working on during time in person - whether it be long term planning, high stakes problem solving, or new idea generation - you can apply design thinking activities to achieve results. Here are some suggested activities you can explore:
It's inevitable that some team members won't make it to an
onsite. It's critical to think about how you'll include remote participation to ensure that folks aren't missing out on key conversations and team building.
It's challenging to include remote participants in team building, especially in an outdoor space. Here are a few special considerations for this:
The content and suggestions from this page are neatly captured in 2 planning templates. Simply open the template, make a copy, and use this resource to plan your event!
Customize the templates as needed. We suggestion you start with the
Onsite Planning Guide to plan, then use the
Onsite Attendee Guide to communicate plans to your team.
Our team member community is the expert on what works for time spent together - so contribute! Open a Merge Request to update this page with your favorite (and least favorite!) ways to spend in person time with your team.