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.]
At Fractured Atlas, we’ve always tried to be transparent about How We Work. Especially when it comes to the transition we slowly made to becoming a fully distributed team. We slowly wound down the number of people coming into our Manhattan office, and as of late 2019, we fully flipped the switch. Here’s what it looked like to transition to a virtual team. Even in our own team, we’ve seen that people approach virtual working differently. With the freedom to organize our days outside of an office, we’ve each had to find out what kinds of schedules work for us, how to recharge during the day, and how to organize our workspaces. There’s a lot of information flying around about how to make working from home work for you, but we know first-hand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
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The world is experiencing a huge shift as a result of COVID-19, especially when it comes to how we think about jobs and offices. All of a sudden, offices have had to rapidly get their teams set up with the right gear, the right technical tools, and beginning the process of emotionally adjusting to a virtual working - all in a matter of days or weeks. And one of the biggest changes to come about for newly virtual workers? The introduction of video conferencing through software like Zoom. Meetings that used to be face-to-face are now conducted through video. It might not seem like a huge shift, but it really is very different from face-to-face meeting. There are new questions about how to schedule meetings, what professionalism looks like, and more.
So your job has just gone virtual. Now what? Once your company or organization has figured out how to get everyone a computer, which video conferencing and chat tools to use, and how to store files on a shared cloud-based drive, there’s still a huge amount of adjustment that needs to take place. Even though you’re still working on a computer, things probably feel totally different. It can be hard to get back into the swing of things. You might feel uninspired, isolated, or like you can’t concentrate. Even under the best circumstances, this is totally normal for workers who have transitioned from office life to virtual working.
People talk a lot about remote work, and I don't love the word. It makes me think of people working on a deserted island, disconnected from the organization. That's not a great way to run an organization; it creates silos and a disconnected team. Silos and disconnection are a perfect recipe for organizations that can’t adapt to change, innovate, or make the world a bit of a better place.
Work. Shouldn’t. Suck. promotes people-centric organizational design for thriving workplaces. And these days, workplaces are increasingly going fully virtual, often in the span of days or weeks. How do we make sure that the transition sucks as little as possible?
The question that I’m increasingly asked nowadays (and something the team at Fractured Atlas who helped manage our own transition have been discussing) is: now that we’re an entirely virtual organization, having evolved into it over 4-5 years, what if we had to do again, overnight?
This is the second of four posts. Each tackles a piece of the elephant that is the recent Fractured Atlas move to a four-person “Chiefs Executive.”
You’ve just signed up for membership to Fractured Atlas and now have questions about how to set up your Artful.ly account for an upcoming event. Or, maybe you’re a fiscally-sponsored project who needs our credentials to receive a nonprofit rate discount on a venue ASAP. You quickly submit your request to our support email address and wait for a reply. The rest of the day goes by: you’re wondering if your message was received and if a solution will be provided in enough time. Alas, on the next business day, you receive an email from a Fractured Atlas Program associate. If you’re wondering what happens from the time you hit ‘send’ and our first response, here’s a quick breakdown of your email’s journey!