With the continued uncertainty of COVID 19 and the lack of visibility on how things will progress throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 we wanted to offer additional guidance for how we continue to support our team members, managers and the GitLab business. Knowing that there is not a one size solution that fits all team members we are looking at what can we do collectively to ensure that communication, collaboration, engagement, performance and overall team member well-being is being addressed as we navigate these ever changing and challenging times. We are a family and friends first company however we do also have a business to run so this section is to offer recommendations, suggestions, guidelines and best practices for all team members and managers.
Managers should always be checking in with their team members to determine how they are doing from a personal perspective not just from a task/role perspective. If a manager is aware that a team member is struggling to balance work and home priorities they should reach out and schedule time with the team member to understand the concerns and work through potential options to help. Ask the team member to do a self evaluation of what is possible and explore different proposals for their working schedule. Once the team member has completed a self evaluation and you have identified options, reach out to your aligned People Business Partner to discuss the best option that works for the team member that also aligns to local labor regulations. Furthermore as a manager it's important to help prioritise work if your team member has reduced availability. As a manager ask yourself: What things are highest priority? What things might be a low priority? What can temporarily be removed of the responsibilities if at reduced capacity? Document the expectations you've set with the team member and iterate as the situation might be changing.
If your team member is currently on a performance remediation plan, consult with your PBP on recommendations how to appropriately manage or adjust.
We want to acknowledge that many of our team members are now juggling various roles trying to balance full-time work, full-time parenting, full-time educating, full-time caregiving for an elderly parent, relatives, neighbors, or friends, etc. These activities have blended into our daily lives and these very challenging times can create additional stress and burden for team members.
If team members are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, unable to keep a normal work schedule and/or work full-time, they can reference the content below to help facilitate a discussion and develop a plan that works for all involved.
This is important and may be a hard thing for team members to undertake. However, it is a critical step in the process of identifying and developing what a true working plan will look like to help you navigate the work life balance challenges. It is ok to take a look at your current situation and identify what is working, what isn't working, what could work better and what would a successful working schedule look like during this time. Once you have done your self evaluation set up time to discuss with your manager or People Business Partner (PBP) regarding the support needed. Here are some examples, though not an exhaustive list of potential work schedule alternatives.
Here is a COVID-19 Impact Self-Evaluation template that you can optionally use to help guide your conversations.
Communication and collaboration is key to any relationship, particularly the working relationship. Set up time with your manager to review your self evaluation and talk through your different proposed schedule and work options. Once you and your manager have agreed upon a proposed schedule/working agreement, reach out to your aligned People Business Partner to review and come to a finalized working agreement. Please note we know there is not a one size fits all for every team member. However, with the right communication and collaboration we can ensure that team members needs are being supported as well as meeting GitLab goals.
We want to make sure that team members are doing the things necessary to take care of themselves. Please review the COVID-19 resources content in the handbook and reach out to the Employee Assistance Program: Modern Health as you see fit. We also want to encourage team members to continue to utilize our PTO policy and take time off as needed. We recognize that most team member's travel and vacation plans have altered dramatically during COVID, but a "staycation" and logging off from work is still strongly encouraged. Just work with your manager to make sure the appropriate coverage is available.
GitLab has long believed in "family and friends first” and we realize that our team members may require some additional time away from work in the event they or a dependent family member are directly affected by COVID-19. In order to best support our team members who find themselves or family member(s) directly affected by COVID-19, GitLab has created this COVID-19 Medical Leave Policy to allow for leave time explicitly and guaranteed.
GitLab team members directly affected by COVID-19 who need to take leave for one of the two reasons set forth below are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of leave with full pay after utilizing our Sick Leave policy. In the event that the sick leave provided under your local law is more generous than this GitLab COVID-19 Policy, your local law will supersede this policy.
You do not have to physically see your physician for this confirmation. If telehealth services are available, we highly encourage you to utilize those in line with your community’s regulations around physical distancing, quarantine and self isolation.
The ability to request COVID-19 Leave will run through December 31, 2021. That means, any requests for COVID-19 Leave must be made prior to December 31, 2021, however the leave itself may exceed that timeframe. By way of an example, if a team member requests COVID-19 Leave on December 31, 2021 for 4 weeks, the end date for their COVID-19 Leave would be in January, 2022.
As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, GitLab will continue to revisit this policy before the 25th of the month and may adjust it accordingly.
We encourage team members to only take the time they need to recover in accordance with the recommendation of your licensed healthcare provider. The maximum amount of time posted under this COVID-19 Leave Policy is 12 weeks, but medically, you may need less.
For some, our Paid Time Off Policy of 25 consecutive calendar days will be suitable. Please keep your manager informed of any upcoming Paid Time Off. You are in no way obligated to release a personal medical diagnosis of COVID-19 to your manager.
If you meet the criteria set forth above and find that you need additional time past the 25 consecutive calendar days allowed under our Paid Time Off Policy, please follow these steps to apply for COVID-19 Leave:
In order to continue supporting our team members globally, we will be offering to cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine for team members where the cost is not fully covered by the local government.
Team members can use our expense reimbursement process to submit the cost of their vaccine for reimbursement, remembering to redact personal information including protected health information. When adding this expense to Expensify, team members should use the tag (classification)
FY22_COVIDVaccine. If you have already received and incurred a cost for the vaccine, you may still request reimbursement.
GitLab is committed to the physical and mental wellbeing of all of our team members and wider community during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have put together this list to assist people in finding helpful resources when confronting different challenges during this time. This list is not exhaustive and contributions to it are encouraged. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing or any other life-threatening symptoms, please contact your country's emergency response system immediately.
Simple Habit, a meditation and mental-wellness company, has offered all GitLab team members a free premium subscription through the month of April.
With this subscription, you will have unlimited access to Simple Habit's top wellness professionals, guided meditations, therapy, coaching, motivational talks and much more.
The code can be found in the following shared doc.
Modern Health is hosting a series of free Community Support Sessions designed to equip you with meaningful strategies to overcome stress or anxiety in various areas of your life caused by the COVID-19, such as managing isolation and loneliness, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, financial confidence, work-from-home wellbeing, and practicing mindfulness.
In these sessions, coaches and therapists from our network will provide some advice on how to best approach these important areas of interest and then open up the floor to answer questions that you or the rest of the Modern Health community may have.
A full list of webinars taking place for the week and links to register can be found directly on Modern Health's website.
For recordings of Sessions that have already taken place, please see Modern Health's YouTube Channel.
Sanvello, an app dedicated to managing and treating stress, anxiety, and depression, has a trial during COVID-19 to July 15. If you would like to join this free trial, please sign up for Sanvello directly. We will be sending out a survey later in the year to evaluate usage of this by the GitLab community.
Instructions for downloading trial: