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Tools and Tips for Working Remotely From 500 & GitLab

On March 16th, 500 had the opportunity to lead a chat with Darren Murph, the Head of Working Remote at GitLab. Due to the novel COVID-19 virus, many companies are adapting their workforces to be partially, if not completely, remote. GitLab is currently one of the largest all-remote companies with the world, and we love just how transparent they have been regarding best practices and company policies. Here’s what they had to say to 500 portfolio companies looking for some advice in these rather unusual times.

Tips From GitLab’s Head of Remote

The biggest question when working remotely is how to hire and onboard someone new. What you should look for in an interviewee:

  • Look for someone who is a manager of one. Look for someone who can manage themselves and keep themselves organized as there will not be a physical space to check on them. Communicators who are clear and communicate often will thrive in this environment. 
  • Look for a storyteller. You will need great attention to detail and storytelling to pass on work and projects to other people within the team quickly and efficiently. Failing to do so may result in a slurry of unnecessary emails and conference calls. 
  • Look for someone that values flexibility over everything else. Flexible employees are more likely to be those that will bend over backwards for the company if it means they get the time to be flexible. 

During this stressful and unpredictable time, companies are coming to the realization that their startups are perfectly capable of working remotely. In fact, many already have. Now it’s just a matter of creating a productive space and actively participating in a normal routine. If you are interested in listening to the full Q&A with Darren Murph of GitLab, watch it on our YouTube channel

Tools Tools Tools

The one thing that is on our side as we collectively go through all this change? Technology. And below we have compiled a list of 500 portfolio companies that provide resources that can help the transition to remote work.

Meetings and Calls 

Find technical solutions for telecommuting: OhmniLabs

OhmniLabs offers technical solutions for telecommuting, telepresence, and remote teaching. 

Host glitch-less video calls: Zoom

Zoom is one of the leaders in online video conferencing. We’ve used them ourselves for meetings, webinars, and more. 

Project Management & Team Dynamics 

Optimize project management remotely: Runrun.it 

Runrun.it offers a complete work management platform for companies that need to control tasks, projects, and processes. 

Manage your team’s time: Timely

While you are trying to figure out how your team is spending their time, Timely offers an integrated solution for your team to easily report how much time they are spending on different projects. 

Manage your business contacts better: Bliinx

Batch 26 company, Bliinx, maps your business relationships with contacts and gives you news and insights on everyone you and your team are interacting with. 

Collect better team feedback: Hyphen 

Hyphen helps leaders collect honest feedback from employees, identify opportunities, and prioritize the actions that build trust and drive engagement.

Increase team productivity and engagement: Arcade 

Arcade creates a gamified experience for teammates that encourages consistent recognition of work and increased productivity. 

Optimize your inbound sales: novocall 

Novocall helps increase and organize your inbound sales so you can spend less time scheduling calls and following up with prospects. 

Focus and Mental Health

Integrate mental wellness: Optimity

Optimity helps users curate healthy habits while integrating different productivity and health apps so you can keep all of your information in a centralized place. 

Stay focused: Focus@Will 

For long days at home, Focus@Will uses features of sound discovered by Neuroscientists to help you focus and retain information.

Reflect and set your intentions: Silk + Sonder

Another Batch 26 company, Silk + Sonder offers a monthly self-care journal that is carefully curated to help you plan, reflect, and achieve your goals. 

Remote Hiring 

Hiring remote in tech: Get On Board

Another Batch 26 company, Get On Board, offers a one-stop-shop to hire remote and on-site tech professionals quickly. 

Know of any other good resources? Let us know on Twitter @500startups

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