Top remote work playbooks

6 Remote Work Playbook Every Leader Should Read

If you are wondering what process workflows, standard operating procedures, and cultural values you should implement in your newly remote company, you are not alone. Operating a remote company is very different from one that is office-bound. So we have gathered what we consider to be the top 6 remote work playbook for you can obtain best practices from.


1. GitLab Remote Work Playbook

First up, we have GitLab’s remote work playbook.

GitLab is a DevOps platform built from the ground up as a single application for all stages of the DevOps lifecycle enabling Product, Development, QA, Security, and Operations teams to work concurrently on the same project.

The playbook by GitLab is probably the most comprehensive and referred to guide for operating a fully remote company. And for very good reason!

GitLab is one of the world’s largest all-remote company with 1400 employees around the world. It hires people from all around the world, in different time-zones.

It is well known for its remote manifesto as screenshot here:

GitLab’s remote manifesto

Its remote work playbook itself spans 26 pages and provides a step-by-step guide for important considerations such as making the transition to remote, managing a distributed team, remote communication strategy, building culture, and even becoming a remote work expert (aka a Head of Remote).

But if you’d like to get into even more details, GitLab opens its employee handbook to the public domain. This means you can access well thought-through procedures on matters such as learning and development, people operations and even field operations, specific to remote companies.

GitLab truly is a pioneer of remote work and we are indeed fortunate that like the open source community it serves, the company has decided to share its best practices gleaned through the years, with the rest of the world.

2. Microsoft Remote Work Playbook

Next up on the list is Microsoft’s remote work playbook.

Most of us would know that Microsoft Corporation is a leading developer of personal-computer software systems and applications.

But not many may know that Microsoft is admirably nimble and at the forefront of the future of work. Especially if you consider the fact that it is 47 years old!

The goal of Microsoft’s remote work playbook is to help partners accelerate or optimize a secure remote work practice – with an emphasis on the word “secure”.

It also helps partners provide customers with services that help them securely communicate, collaborate, and access company resources and applications. The playbook provides high-level guidance and valuable resources for driving revenue opportunities, developing strategies for marketing and lead capture. There is also information on selling and building deeper and longer-term engagements with customers.

Unsurprisingly, the playbook centers around Microsoft technologies such as the Azure Virtual Desktop, Azure Active Directory and its cloud system.

But even if you don’t use Microsoft technology, the

One of the contents available in this remote work playbook is defining the strategy for building a secure remote work. Apart from that, the list of content includes how to hire and train remote workers, operational solutions and optimization & growth. 

What sets this remote work playbook apart from the rest? The fact that many of the resources and programs referenced in this playbook are available on Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). Membership is required to access however, there is no cost to join.

3. Atlassian

Atlassian is the brains behind tools like Jira and Trello that are used by thousands of teams worldwide. And their remote work playbook s definitely one to look out for.

One of the most unique things about Atlassian’s remote work playbook is that it is not exactly a book. It is more of an interactive web page. Employees will be able to explore self-guided workshops called Plays that can help your remote team create new rituals that improve communication, alignment, and team empathy.

They provide 6 plays for adapting to remote work. The 6 being, firstly, My User Manual where you can discover what everyone’s remote work preferences are. This helps establish ground rules for better collaboration. There is also Project Poster where you can agree on project goals and document how to move work forward. Inclusive Meetings and Stand Ups are available to strengthen team bonding. And for a higher learning curve, the 4Ls Retrospectives and Learning Circle is something to check out.

Another exciting feature available on this remote work playbook is a Team Health Monitor. So not only can you monitor each’s other’s work, but you can also monitor and encourage your team members to lead a healthy lifestyle.

4. Equal Experts

Next up on our list is the remote work playbook by Equal Experts. Equal Experts is a global network of experienced technology consultants, specializing in digital delivery. At Equal Experts, they try to ensure that all team members are empowered to succeed and deliver value no matter where they are located. Over the years, even before Covid-19, their teams have covered the full spectrum from fully co-located, teams with work-from-home Fridays, to fully distributed, remote-only teams.

The remote work playbook by Equal Experts is one of the more easily accessible playbooks online, as it does not require an additional download step. The page is also easily understandable and provides comprehensive content on what to expect.

The list of content available includes remote work and its advantages, team charter, communication tools and even everyday working etiquette. Additionally, to learn some of the techniques they use and to talk to our experts, they have set up a series of webinars to share their insights on how to build high-performing delivery teams. Of course we have to recommend this remote work playbook!

5. Panther

Panther is another company that made it onto our list for their remote work playbook. An automated global employment and payroll platform, Panther has expanded and grown significantly in the last few years. They are also on a mission to revolutionize how companies find, employ and grow remote teams internationally.

A short and concise guide that is very accessible, Panther’s remote work playbook goes straight to the point on how to manage your remote teams. While also understanding that not everyone is going to read all six thousand words in their playbook, they have provided a shortcut on how to digest the information.

This remote work playbook covers the basic contents such as how to hire, how to scale and how to manage a remote team. But they also provide the much-needed debate about hybrid vs remote teams. They also provide brutally honest stats on how most employees do not want to go back to the office full time.

With their word that their remote work playbook will constantly be updated and changed accordingly, it is no wonder that they were deemed fit to be on our list.

6. NCR Corporation

NCR is the world’s enterprise technology leader for restaurants, retailers and banks. The #1 global POS software provider for retail and hospitality, and the #1 provider of multi-vendor ATM software. They also create software, hardware and services that run the enterprise from the back office to the front end and everything in between for their clients. 

One of the shortest playbook out there with just 12 pages, it goes directly to the point and is divided between employers and employees. This is extremely helpful as it would help each person know their role and what is expected of them when going through the playbook.

With each page packed with information, there are little tidbits and nuggets available to aid with the digestion of the information. The contents also include things like how to maximize family time and give pointers on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Choose the Remote Work Playbook That Works for You!

Now that you’ve gone through our list of the best remote work playbooks, take some time to decide which remote work playbook is best suited for you and your team!