For software developers, as with all kinds of newly remote workers, the adjustment to working from home comes in phases. The first phase is making sure that everyone has the right computers, apps, and programs to complete the functions of their job and to communicate with one another. Then comes a whole new set of questions. How do you know what you and your colleagues are supposed to be doing? How do you feel connected to your colleagues? How do you update your infrastructure to be cloud-based rather than dependent on a physical server?
During a crisis, the impulse is to help. But it’s hard to know where to start. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, you might be pulled in a number of different directions. Should you donate to the staff funds for the coffee shops, bars, bookstores, movie theaters, and nightclubs that you would ordinarily be visiting? Should you donate to the big national fundraisers or to small, local, specific ones? Should you focus on food security or making sure that essential workers have enough PPE to keep themselves safe? How many voicemails should you leave for your political representatives?
Learn how to use the Theory of Change model to map out your plan and evaluate what's working. Subscribe to the blog and get your printable copy.
It is frustrating and sad to have to cancel shows and performances for the sake of public safety. You might have had to cancel your first solo show, and MFA show, or your directorial debut. Not being able to gather in person for shows or performances is emotionally challenging, and also logistically challenging. You’ll have to work through contracts, payouts, and vendors to cancel a show with as little fallout as possible.
On Thursday, April 16, only a few weeks after small businesses (and the big businesses that found the right loopholes) started applying for loans through the $349 billion Payment Protection Program, the funds dried up. Because freelancers and independent contractors didn’t get to start applying until April 10, they have been especially left behind by this first round of aid. Amidst very deep frustration and confusion about what comes next, there’s a bit of hope. It looks like more funding is on the way for small businesses and independent contractors.
One of the most amazing things about today’s artistic world is how collaboration can happen across borders; both state borders and societal ones. People who might never have met have the opportunity to work together toward beauty, inspiration, justice, peace—and pure creative exploration. Tools to facilitate collaboration unbounded by geographic location are increasingly ubiquitous in our everyday life.
With over half of the global population under lockdown, it is no wonder that the coronavirus pandemic has been broadly characterized as an indiscriminate, universal threat to humanity. Media outlets continue to highlight infections among young people, healthy celebrities, and prominent leaders from all over the world in an effort to show that the virus knows no boundaries. However, while the “all in this together” narrative appeals to our need for solidarity in times of distress, it also runs the risk of erasing vast and inequitable differences in how people are experiencing the crisis. After all, the virus may not discriminate, but capitalism, racism, and classism sure as hell do. For people of color in particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened existing inequities.
One of the major challenges with a switch from working in an office to working from home is figuring out how to manage teams. How can you effectively provide your team with the resources they need to do their work? How can you make sure that they know what your team is working on without micromanaging? How does your whole management philosophy change when you don’t have an office and can’t physically see or meet with your team?
We’re all anxiously awaiting the time when we can “go back to normal” after social isolation, quarantine, and all of the other measures we’re taking to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19. We want to go over to our friends’ apartments, go to coffee shops, bookstores, and bars. We want to have picnics and go out dancing. We want to hug each other. But we also have an opportunity to think about the ways in which we don’t want to go back to normal. For so many of us, normal is food and housing insecurity, living paycheck to paycheck, inadequate healthcare, work environments that don’t accommodate accessibility needs, toxic bosses, and more. We don’t want to go back to normal. We want better. As writer Aja Barber puts it, “what world do you want to return to?”
Moving money is one of the biggest practical challenges companies and organizations face when quickly transitioning to a fully distributed environment. While most administrative staff can fairly quickly transition to working from home, accounting and finance teams often hit roadblocks because of the procedures that they use to handle payments from their organization or company. It’s unclear for many financial teams how to easily perform this function away from their office. The finance team is often tied to a specific location in order to process and account for financial data due to control mandates. Cloud-based accounting systems have become more popular over the past few years, but finance teams are still encountering limitations (like physical check depositing* and cutting) before they can perform their duties remotely. [*More on this in a later piece.]