What I learned from GitLab’s “How To Manage a Remote Team” online clas

This time final 12 months, the concept that most of us with workplace jobs can be working from residence appeared like a gradual inevitability, maybe 20 years down the street. In actual fact in early 2020, earlier than COVID-19, solely about 3% of the U.S. labor drive labored remotely. However since restrictions had been put in place final spring, round 42% of the U.S. works from residence full time. And certain, a few of these persons are champing on the bit to return to their commutes and unhappy desk salads. However most aren’t. In keeping with a latest study by FlexJobs, 65% of newly distant employees don’t wish to return to the workplace.

Corporations which have lengthy thought distant employees can be much less productive outdoors of the workplace or that their work might solely be achieved in individual have, 11 months in, discovered that issues didn’t crumble. They’re additionally realizing that they will save a ton of cash with out bodily workplaces (usually in costly cities equivalent to New York and San Francisco).

So it appears the longer term is now. However crisis-induced working from house is vastly completely different from intentional distant work. So if final 12 months made you rethink in-office work, it’s most likely a good time to get critical about how to do that long-term.


Since I’m one of many (about 3.5 million) individuals who moved out of New York this 12 months, and I additionally handle journalists positioned across the nation, I was to discover ways to handle a distant workforce from GitLab, a firm with 1,300 workers unfold throughout 67 nations. Whereas Quick Firm together with 1000’s of different firms scrambled to take their work digital final 12 months, GitLab has put a lot of thought into learn how to construct and run an all-remote firm.

Leaders from throughout the corporate have turned all that experience into a 5-week course (which is self-paced, so you’ll be able to end as rapidly or slowly as you’d like), How to Manage a Remote Team, available on Coursera.  The movies, quick bullet-pointed readings, and quizzes are straightforward to dip into and out of (most movies are round 5 minutes lengthy, so I’d watch them within the useless area between Zoom calls). There are additionally dialogue boards the place college students can share ideas and get insights from others taking the course, which may very well be helpful for these in decision-making positions trying to make distant work everlasting at their firms.

That’s not me, so whereas among the suggestions—equivalent to learn how to function in different nations or make a resolution about which mannequin of distant work is finest on your firm—weren’t relevant to me, there may be nonetheless a lot that’s helpful no matter whether or not you’re a CEO, a midlevel supervisor, or an worker that desires to make a case for why distant work may very well be the very best factor on your function.

Even when your organization (like ours) isn’t planning to go absolutely distant long-term, there are nonetheless useful takeaways, particularly round conferences. My days felt full of conferences after we labored within the workplace, however like most individuals, the variety of conferences on my calendar has ballooned since we’ve been working remotely. GitLab has found out learn how to relieve some Zoom fatigue. The course advises scheduling so-called “speedy conferences” (20 or 50 minutes as an alternative of a full half-hour or hour) to provide individuals time to recharge in between duties. Their answer to “this assembly might have been an electronic mail” is to basically make all conferences into an electronic mail by giving each assembly a written agenda, and taking notes within the agenda doc throughout the assembly. Additional, most conferences are recorded, so invitees can watch them on a versatile schedule. GitLab’s instructors additionally define useful recommendation on learn how to map profession paths for distant workers and guard towards burnout.

You’ll be able to entry the course via a free 7-day trial on Coursera, and for $79 a month after that. You can even audit any Coursera class totally free, although the audit doesn’t offer you full entry to discussions, supplies, or assets within the course.

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