How We Work, Virtually: Featuring Molaundo Jones
by Nicola Carpenter, Associate Director, People Operations at Fractured Atlas
At Fractured Atlas, we really love sharing many of the inner workings around how our organization works. By sharing the things that work (or don’t) for us, we hope to help out in making the sector, as a whole, stronger. A few years ago, we shared our How We Work site so that anyone could see how we work at Fractured Atlas. We’ve also shared how our use of OKRs increases transparency, alignment, and accountability (that post even included a free template). We’ve shared updates on our Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression journey, why we have race-based caucusing, and so many other things.
One thing that you may not know is that about one-third of the Fractured Atlas team works distributed across 11 U.S. states and that there are an additional four people who we work with from Africa through Andela. This means that more than half of our team works virtually. Even the majority of the team who work in our NYC office have one or more work-from-home days.
Over the years we’ve gotten pretty good at working as a distributed organization. In the coming months we’ll be sharing stories about how different people at Fractured Atlas work virtually (thanks Lifehacker for the inspiration).
First up in this series is Molaundo Jones, the Social Media Specialist here at Fractured Atlas.
What do you do at Fractured Atlas?
I work in External Relations and spend my days developing, programming, assessing, and posting social media content. I’m also Editor of the Fractured Atlas Blog and work with folks across our Programs and Engineering departments on the development of our website.
What is a favorite object in your workspace?
I love my growing family of plants but I recently got a neon sign that reads “good vibes only” that I’m really digging.
What is your daily routine?
My day usually starts between 7:00–7:30am. I have a coffee, play some tunes, read the news, and skim social. After I finish my first cup of coffee, I review my to-do lists from the day before then make a list of everything that I have to do for the day, prioritizing how and when each task gets done.
I usually have already put in at least a couple hours of work before my team’s daily stand-up meeting on Zoom (author’s note: no two people on Molaundo’s team work in the same place, so the entire team meets over Zoom, our video calling tool). Since the greatest engagement on social media generally after 11:00am, I’ll make my first post of the day not long after standup. And I don’t generally post on social much later than 3:00pm (unless I know that I’m going to ultimately pay for advertising to help the content be seen by as many people as possible). Every day I have to attend at least one meeting outside of stand-up. But in busier times, like the launching of our new website, I may have to attend up to 3–4 meetings in a day.
I also travel often so it’s great to be able to work on-the-go. At this point, I think I’ve developed an extra sense for wherever I might be able to find WiFi that’s strong enough to host Zoom meetings anywhere in the world! At least one day a week I’ll leave home or my studio and work out of a cafe too just to get some fresh air and do a little people-watching.
How do you decompress or recharge during the day?
Small breaks help me to decompress. Sometimes I’ll take a walk or just stop to breathe or meditate a bit to collect my thoughts.
What work-related app has changed how you work?
Slack has definitely changed how I work. I used it a couple years ago for the first time on a website development project that I collaborated on with almost a dozen people. At that time I thought it was a cool app but was a little annoyed to have to learn and add yet another communications tool. But in the past year at Fractured Atlas, Slack has become the new standard and sort of changed the game for how I work. I love how it makes sense of physical departments in the virtual realm, and how it combines multiple functions like file sharing, creating meeting spaces, and the ability to stay in touch with my team no matter where I am in the world through the mobile app.
If you were to give advice to someone who wants to know more about working virtually, what would you say?
I would tell someone interested in working virtually that there are more pros than cons. Virtual work requires a lot of self-motivation, and it may suck at first for people who need a lot of direction or who simply thrive from being physically in the same room with their coworkers. But, done well, virtual work can lead to the type of work-life balance that most people aspire towards. Just imagine the impact that not having to commute to and from work for a couple hours every day can have on your overall happiness. If you can develop your time management skills, working virtually can help you make the time for many of the things that you might wish you had more time to do (like making art, exercising, running mundane errands, or spending a little more time with loved ones).
What question do you want to ask the next person we feature?
What’s the most challenging part of your workday?
Thanks, Molaundo! If you liked this feature, stay tuned for the next in the series. Also, if you work virtually, let us know what tools you find particularly helpful!
About Nicola Carpenter
Nicola works on the People team at Fractured Atlas, where she finds ways for tools and processes to better align with the organization’s purpose. She believes in tools so much that she sets personal OKRs every quarter. Prior to joining Fractured Atlas, Nicola worked for a variety of arts organizations including MoMA PS1, Walker Art Center, and Heidelberger Kunstverein, and she still has a particular love for museums. Originally from Minneapolis, she received a BFA in Art from the University of Minnesota and continues to stay creative through knitting and sewing clothes. She is currently in too many book clubs, but still somehow finds time to read books about organizational culture for fun.