How to Build a Company Culture Across Locations for Startups


These recent studies should lead the way for more research on how different diversity attributes, moderated by team characteristics and contextual conditions, affect processes and outcomes in diverse teams. Although some studies still do not address or specify the level of cultural diversity, most are much more careful now. At the same time, though, they tend to define culture and diversity quite narrowly.

A significant source of failure demand for meetings and status updates is the desire of organizational leaders to keep abreast of who’s doing what. This situational awareness is indeed important, but trying to maintain it by calling meetings, messaging people on Slack, and catching people on the hallways is a significant systemic drag on organizational productivity. Team members forecast what questions may be asked about a communique and add in as much context as possible in its delivery.

Adapting communication for cultural differences

Some of the best practice examples suggest encouraging employees to craft their own shared experiences in company team chat apps. The most popular company channels in team chat apps usually include those public, #random channels, or some more specific channels that gather people who share the same interests (e.g. #books, working remotely in a different time zone #gaming, #memes). Ideally, these virtual spaces would inspire teams to add to the informal chat thread, regardless of the time they logged in. Of course, for organizations working across time zones, this type of effort would involve coming up with creative ways to have everyone on board and involved in the conversation.

working with resources of different cultures across time zones while establishing

Initially, the notion of “optional meetings” may seem absurd to those who are accustomed to synchronous communication. While GitLab’s approach to self-service and self-learning is reinforced during onboarding, continual reinforcement may be necessary. It is acceptable to ask someone if they are exercising a bias towards asynchronous communication, regardless of their position on the org chart. In these situations, team members should add a Focus Time calendar event and change their Slack status rather than entering Vacation in Time Off by Deel. While GitLab has a bias towards asynchronous communication, a strategic balance between synchronous and asynchronous is useful for achieving maximum efficiency.

Best practices for asynchronous workers

Consider making a record of all culture-specific holidays to make sure no meetings or group work sessions are scheduled around those dates. To ensure an inclusive and productive work environment for all members of their remote team, organizations should show understanding and provide space for diverse cultural representations to thrive and simultaneously drive the innovation forward. Similarly, working across time zones is beneficial to companies on a larger, operational level. Having distributed teams working across time zones essentially implies round-the-clock workflow. Companies employing diverse teams spanning multiple time zones enjoy complete time zone coverage.

  • As a hardworking employee located farther away from your company’s office, you might find feel pressure to say yes to every meeting you’re invited to.
  • It’s much easier to make iterative progress on one, tag a person or team within a GitLab epic, issue, or merge request for desired input or action, and switch to another ongoing project while you wait.
  • Humans were not designed to receive an unchecked quantity of new data in perpetuity.
  • GitLab team members may question meetings, suggesting an asynchronous alternative (e.g. discussing in a GitLab epic, issue, or merge request) to cover the topic of the meeting.
  • I try my best to frame the annotations so that someone who isn’t familiar with our codebase can understand the intent behind my change.
  • Schedule Skype or Facetime calls every once in a while, to keep the human element involved.


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