As you apply to jobs and interview for them, there are plenty of red flags that can let you know that a workplace isn’t healthy. I can start with just the ones I have personally experienced.
Right now, we are in the long process of starting to reopen the world after so much of it abruptly shut down in March of last year. There is a lot to be excited for and joyful about. People are increasingly able to safely see loved ones, hug one another, and gather together in meaningful ways. But reopening is also complicated. We’ve entered a new kind of gray area in terms of what is legally allowed, what feels ethical, what feels safe, what feels good, and what our responsibilities to one another look like.
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’s no surprise that people who have been working remotely this past year (or for longer) are sick of Zoom. I’ve been a remote worker for years but it is only this past year that the video face boxes fill me with a deep sense of exhaustion and boredom. For years, Zoom was what I used for work, but now it has to also be what I use to talk to my family and mentor, and to watch movies with my friends.
At Fractured Atlas, we think a lot about the structures that govern our interactions with one another; the structures that determine who gets decision-making power in a group, and who is accountable to whom.
Nobody stays at a job forever. If we’re interested in developing healthier work cultures, that has to encompass what it means to leave a workplace. We have to build work cultures that allow us to do better than politely pretending that we’ll all work somewhere until we retire and then out of the blue give our two weeks notice. We have to become more open about job hunting and interviewing.
Before I really entered the workforce, I assumed that the people I worked with would all be my best, most lifelong friends. Without realizing it, I had assumed that my coworkers would begin to form my core social group as I got older. That hasn’t actually happened to me, but I know why I thought it would.
For organizations and institutions that are on the long, and never-ending path towards anti-racism, there are a lot of fronts to work on. To increase equity, diversity, and inclusion, workplaces can and should consider everything from hiring to working conditions to benefits to meeting structures, and more.
At Fractured Atlas, we’ve extolled the virtues of working remotely since before it was a requirement. We’ve talked about how it has helped us as an arts organization expand beyond New York City as a locus for staff, how it’s provided more flexibility for our staff, and allowed us to work together without some of the pressures of an office.
2020 laid bare the ways that our current systems have been failing artists for a long time. It has also shown us new forms of collective organizing and power-building in the arts and among creative communities. We saw the limitations of individualistic, atomized approaches to succeeding or surviving in the arts, as well as the fragility of formal institutions like museums, galleries, and nonprofits. We have been inspired by artists coming together collectively, pooling resources and sharing information to help support the broader creative community. If we are building a better, more equitable arts sector in the coming year(s), we need to nourish that community.
The Fractured Atlas team thinks and writes a lot about working; how we work, how we see others structuring their workplaces, how we think the nature of work can and should change in changing times. Often, this comes through Work. Shouldn’t. Suck. Two of the pieces of workplace culture that we have focused on a lot over the years are remote working and anti-racism in the workplace.