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.
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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.”
This is the first of four posts: post #4 is co-authored with our Board Chair, Russell Willis Taylor. Each tackles a piece of the elephant that is the recent Fractured Atlas move to a four-person “Chiefs Executive.”
As of January 1, 2020, Fractured Atlas has no physical headquarters, no home office, no official shared workspace whatsoever. As you can read elsewhere, the organization (for which I’m honored to serve on the board) decided not to renew its lease on its long-standing Manhattan office, instead embracing an entirely “virtual” workforce.
Since we embarked on our new leadership journey, I (in my role as Chair of the Fractured Atlas Board) have been asked a number of times “Why take the risk?” As Fractured Atlas is in the risk business with regard to innovation and services for our members, the better question to me is why not take the risk – it's what we do. This brief post is an outline of the benefits thus far, as well as an honest admission about what we still haven’t figured out. (My fellow board member Chris Mackie will be writing on the detailed list of what we have yet to resolve and design – this will be a quick pass in anticipation of his contribution which is coming soon.)
How can a small People team administer payroll, benefits, and HR compliance when team members are scattered across 11 U.S. states and 6 countries? This was a key question we wrestled with before it was even possible for us to consider becoming an entirely virtual organization. Fortunately, we found an answer to that question in a service that’s been on the market since the 1980s.