It's a cliché to say that the pandemic crisis has accelerated the emergence of teams working remotely and/or in the office. At GitGuardian, this hybrid work organization existed and worked well in an implicit way.
But given our fast-paced growth (30 people in 2020, 50 now, and expected double next year), we've had no choice but to take this issue head on so as to keep it as efficient, consistent and attractive as ever.
After reading a lot on the subject, discussing with other start-ups and scale-ups, we decided to have a pragmatic and sequenced approach, essentially oriented to improve the productivity and well-being of our teams.
Here we share the actions we've put in place as well as those we're considering for the future, because our journey to effective hybrid work @GitGuardian has just begun...
First, we had to clarify our remote work practice at GitGuardian
Trust & autonomy are part of GitGuardian values and culture, so remote work was part of us since the beginning. To make it clear and simple, we issued our new remote policy to allow all our "Guardians" to work remotely up to 3 days a week, anywhere in France.
Why only 3 days? Because at this growth stage, we are conscious that we are not yet ready for a fully efficient remote organization. It's still very important for our teams to meet in person at the office to bond, actively share ideas and cooperate. It's also the best way for our newcomers to fully integrate into the GitGuardian team, culture, and methods.
We asked team members to communicate the days of the week they'll be in the office, and used for that a simple solution, the at.Café app, for everyone to know from where they will be working. It automatically displays your location on Slack.
As it is important to us that Guardians have the best working environment wherever they are, we have set up a home office equipment allowance. This will help them finance home equipment and furniture of their choice (chair, desk), which will be their property.
Increase meeting and linking opportunities.
Secondly, being well aware that a hybrid organization makes inter-team interactions more complex, it was important for us to increase meeting and linking opportunities. In addition to our rituals, such as our product demonstrations or our monthly "Ask-Us-Anything" meeting where we transparently share our strategy, latest accomplishments and results, and our festive events that bring all employees together (the most recent one being a dinner and an immersive play in a castle!), we implemented a Team Building Rituals Budget per employee, so that each Guardian can register to team-initiated activities aimed at mixing work & fun, learning, and creating bridges across multiple teams.
Now this is just the start. What we plan to do next
Now, this is just the start. We need to reinforce our asynchronous operation culture as much as possible, on a daily basis.
To strengthen our "Handbook-first" approach, we chose "Notion", the knowledge management app. Our Notion environment will display our processes, our ways of doing things and all the important information we need.
This will also allow us to continue supporting our approach where all our activities (except external events) are designed to be attended in an agnostic manner in the office or remotely. In addition to facilitating videoconferencing, systematizing detailed meeting agenda, we request our Guardians to share collaborative documents so that all participants can work during the meeting or asynchronously.
Because we assume that not everyone knows the best remote working practices, we plan to share systematically ours, whether it is how to use asynchronous communication, what are our expectations during meetings, how to organize yourself to be efficient when working in a home office or learn to disconnect …
As we intensify our recruiting and plan to open offices in the United States in 2022, we are already thinking about what the next steps will be to make our hybrid work organization even more efficient and user-friendly.
We plan to implement an employee engagement tool to get more regular feedback from our teams and act upon it, introduce new digital rituals like the Donuts app or online quizzes/board games. But that’s not all, as GitGuardian is looking for new offices in Paris as well, we’re planning to incorporate more collaborative spaces, allowing us to host events and conferences so that our teams really enjoy coming in and connecting outside.
For sure, we know that the hybrid organization will remain a permanent part of our approach, whether in terms of management, communication, benefits, feedback... We will undoubtedly evolve it as we grow, so that it continues to be effective and beneficial to our Guardians, our culture... and our results.
We have several positions open, don’t miss the opportunity to join this awesome adventure!