A Complete Overview of the GitLab Remote Meeting

Kinnary Nensee Kinnary Nensee
Jan 19, 2023 5 min read
A Complete Overview of the GitLab Remote Meeting

What are remote meetings ? Also known as virtual meetings, remote meetings happen when a group of people, who are dispersed across different locations, use video and audio facilities to connect online. Remote meetings are extensively used by organisations who hire hybrid teams.

Benefits of Remote Meetings
What is GitLab?
GitLab Remote Meetings Policies
Guidelines for Effective and Responsible Communication
GitLab’s Remote Manifesto – The Working Style
Key Practices During Internal or External Meetings

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Benefits of Remote Meetings

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of remote meetings as in-person meetings became restricted.  This was specifically true with multinational corporations with a global presence.  The shift to remote meetings was quick and absolute.  It became necessary to define ways that would maintain the purpose of remote meetings and design creative ways to bring the team together. Some key benefits of remote meetings are -

Recorded meetings

With time-zone differences, it may not be possible for everyone to join.  In such a scenario recorded meetings allow team members to catch up on what transpired adding context to the notes taken at the meetings.

Optimal Use of Time

Virtual meetings with a set agenda are focused and to the point.  They are time-bound, agenda bound and aim at a results-driven approach.

Outlining all the advantages while, at the same time, building a process that is an excellent case study for making remote meetings extremely effective is GitLab’s Remote Meetings process.

What is GitLab?

GitLab is a DevOps software package that combines the ability to develop, secure and operate the software on a single application.  Ukrainian developer Dimitry Zaporozhets and Dutch developer Sytse Sijbrandij created this open-source software.  GitLab Inc. was founded around this pre-existing GitLab software project by these developers in 2014 as a limited liability corporation. In 2018, GitLab Inc. was considered the first partly Ukrainian unicorn to be valued at more than USD 1 billion.

GitLab Annual Revenue from 2020 to 2022

As the largest all-remote company in the world, GitLab has approximately 30 million registered users with one million being active licensed users.  Since its inception, GitLab has been centred around remote work.

GitLab is a free platform that offers a range of paid services. The company adopted a policy not to accept new customers unless it's legally required. Additionally, they even prohibited political conversations in the workplace.

GitLab Remote Meetings

As an all-remote company with employees scattered in 65 regions across the globe, GitLab is an example of how to practice clear communication to stay connected and work efficiently. Working towards this agenda, GitLab has built a framework of policies and guidelines which help maintain the sanctity of a remote meeting.

GitLab Policies

  • Anti-harassment policies
  • Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
  • GitLab’s Whistle-blower Policy
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Social Media Policy

These policies are enforceable and are also within the purview of the law of the land in which the company operates.  Any deviation or deliberate action against what these policies specify is punishable by law and GitLab adheres to these policies firmly.

Guidelines for Effective and Responsible Communication

As a company that functions in the virtual space, GitLab’s guidelines are process-driven, practical to implement, encouraging and inclusive.  These guidelines work across borders and are applicable in every region their staff operates.

  • Follow Company Values
  • Assume Positive intent and begin with a position of grace
  • Be kind to colleagues and refrain from sending negative messages
  • Express thoughts responsibly and inclusively
  • If one says it, he or she owns it
  • Be a role model of specified company values
  • Give and receive feedback regularly
  • Asynchronous 1:1 communication is necessary to clear misunderstandings and a zoom call is effective for this
  • It is important to adhere to GitLab policies
  • Avoid discussing things that are not under the direct influence
  • Every team member in the meeting is a moderator
  • Avoid topics of a sensitive nature involving politics, religion, etc.

How to Adjust in Remote Working? Challenges of managing a remote team
Remote working has pulled up its sock over last years and there’s been a growth in working remotely. And now, Coronavirus has forced untold employees and teams to work from home arrangement, and is mandated to work from home is disorienting at best, and debilitating at worst. For employees

GitLab’s Remote Manifesto – The Working Style

The culture and working style of GitLab is a poster child of modern-day professionalism. Globalisation has given businesses access to talent across the world and technological advances have eased the working culture that is no longer boundary-limited or time-bound.

  • Hiring and Working all over the world. No central hiring
  • Flexible working hours
  • Writing and recording knowledge
  • Written processes
  • Sharing of information
  • The results of work – over the hours put in
  • Formal communication channels

Key Practices During Meetings - Internal or External

Effective, efficient and focused meetings are a result of a team that is well-organised, clear on expectations, results-driven and solutions-focused.  GitLab’s best practices during meetings are a shining example of remote meetings.

  • Keep the video on during the entire meeting.  This is a way to communicate undivided attention and it promotes comfort between both parties
  • Have a list of clear agendas to be discussed during the meeting.  This agenda must be shared via email before the meeting so everyone is aware of it.
  • Follow the 70/30 Rule.  Allow the other attendees to speak 70% of the time by asking open-ended questions.  This ensures equal participation for all
  • Taking Notes is a valuable skill as it helps retain and recall important information
  • Adapt to Audience Tone to make the discussion accurate and efficient
  • Open documents for editing by the team
  • Record all meetings.  This way if someone is unable to attend, they have access to all discussions

Conclusion

It is true that what an in-person meeting or a personal touch can accomplish, goes far beyond the studied brilliance of remote meetings. However, the world is becoming smaller with technology. The Metaverse is a near-future reality. How companies will evolve to utilize this technology remains to be seen. In the meantime, GitLab’s success at conducting remote meetings is worth a study and, if possible, put into practice wherever applicable.

FAQ

What are some advantages of remote meetings?

The following are the advantages of remote meetings

  • Everyone Can Be Involved
  • Less Expensive
  • Shorter Sessions
  • More Frequent Meetings
  • The Chance to Record Meetings
  • Minimal Scheduling Needs
  • Better for Health

How do I know if my virtual meeting was effective?

You can ask for feedback in your meeting follow-up email. You can also take steps to make your meeting as effective as possible in the planning process.

Are there ways to improve remote employee engagement in my virtual meeting?

You can improve employee engagement by using icebreaker questions, sharing meeting itineraries and objectives, and carefully moderating your meeting to make sure everyone participates.

What is the purpose of a virtual meeting?

The purpose of a virtual meeting is to discuss important issues, achieve critical goals, or build and maintain healthy office relationships.

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