Technology

Daily Buzz: How to Make Remote Workforces Work

By / Nov 14, 2018 (shironosov/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

GitLab, a software company, has 350 employees who all work remotely. The organization made $10.5 million in revenue in 2017. Here’s how they did it. Also: how longtime members can increase the value of your association.

You’ve heard the conversations about remote workforces: There are many pros and cons, but when it comes down to it, do they work?

Take it from GitLab that a fully remote team can work: The software company made $10.5 million in revenue last year and received a $100 million fund raise in September that landed it a $1 billion valuation—with all 350 employees working from home.

“What we’ve learned from GitLab is that when you have a leadership team that’s as committed to remote-only as they are, and as communicative and transparent as they are, and as insistent on documentation as they are, it can work,” says Dave Munichiello, a general partner at Alphabet’s venture capital arm, GV, which invested in GitLab in 2017, in an interview with Inc.

One of GitLab’s biggest lessons: Although employees might be remote, they should never feel isolated. The team, which is spread across 45 countries, uses video technology and messaging communications to stay connected. Virtual coffee breaks are also built into everyone’s schedules, and senior leaders host open office hours in video chat rooms that are accessible to all workers—measures that were put into place to give employees a greater sense of community.

Let Long-Serving Members Share Their Expertise

As memberships continue through the years, it’s possible that some longtime members will become less engaged.

“We assumed that creating new resources for this segment or directing them to relevant resources would increase their engagement and renewal rates,” says Marice Fernando in a post on Association Success. But after talking with long-serving members, they expressed that they didn’t want extra resources—they wanted to share their knowledge.

“This was an ‘a-ha moment’ that challenged our assumptions and spurred us to adjust our approach,” Fernando says. “Instead of directing our longtime members to resources, we invited them to be experts and resources.”

If your are in a similar position, consider reaching out to your longtime members to see how they could increase the value of your association’s community.

Other Links of Note

The holiday season might be busy, but don’t disengage from your members. The MemberClicks blog offers tips for interacting—yet not overwhelming—members during the festivities.

Marketing is changing. CMSWire shares the four factors defining its future.

Unconscious bias can affect how you plan a meeting. MeetingsNet breaks down terms that could signal problems in planning.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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