So Fractured Atlas might have a mailing address in NYC, but the Fractured Atlas team lives and works across the United States. Because we want people to have what they need in order to do their best work from any environment, we’ve put a lot of effort into making sure our work can be done from pretty much anywhere there's an internet connection.
We understand that working offsite isn't the same as it is when everyone is in one office and that people have individual working preferences, but we aim to make the experience as positive of an experience as we can.
As a fully remote workplace, our attire is relaxed and casual at Fractured Atlas. T-shirts and sweatshirts aren’t out of place, nor are sweaters or button downs.
Even though our communication internally and externally is over video, we still represent Fractured Atlas and we know that many people find it easier to focus when getting fully dressed before sitting down at their computer.
Our work at Fractured Atlas is never done, but this doesn’t mean that we should be working 24/7.
In our ever-connected world, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between when we’re working and when we’re not. We want you to manage your life the best way you know how, but urge you to take time off to completely disconnect. We hope you don’t check your email on evenings and weekends–it can very likely wait until the next business day.
In order to be available for our members, we are open Monday-Thursday from 9:00AM to 6:00PM ET and Fridays 9:00AM to 2:00PM. With half-day Fridays, we mainly work a 36(ish) hour week.
At Fractured Atlas, we encourage everyone to look ahead at their projects and workload in order to plan their schedule accordingly within our business hours. However, we recognize that everyone is different. If you need a little more flexibility in your work schedule, just ask. Depending on your role, it might be possible to create more flexibility in your work calendar and schedule after discussion with your manager. It’s not always possible for every position, as some roles are quite structured, but we strive to be accommodating to every team members’ needs. There are many ways of making things work.
We also fully encourage employees to utilize our Vacation Policy and take at least a couple of weeks off a year. If you’re ever in a place with your workload where you think that you’re unable to completely disconnect, then let’s chat to figure out what can be changed to fix that!
At Fractured Atlas we have a multitude of ways to communicate with each other and our members. We primarily use tools like Zendesk and Dialpad to converse with members and external parties. For communication with other staff members, we regularly use the following:
You’ll find out more about these tools in Core Curriculum and you can consult this handy guide that will help you know which tool to use for our various conversations.
If you need to meet with someone about something, just ask. We all have our individual workloads, but we’re all committed to supporting each other. Everyone tries to make time to help each other out.
Google Calendar is a convenient way to invite people to meetings. When scheduling meetings, we like to keep the following in mind:
- If you want to see someone’s calendar, go ahead and take a look. Since others will also use your calendar to check for meeting times, try to keep it up to date with your schedule.
- Try to make sure everyone you are inviting needs to be present when you schedule something.
- Be open to an invitee suggesting an alternative method or length to discuss the issue. Sometimes, 60 minute meetings might not be the most effective use of everyone’s time; a quick chat on a Slack channel or a 10 minute impromptu call on Zoom or using Slack’s Huddle feature might be better.
There are four teams at Fractured Atlas. We have the Programs team, the Engineering team, the External Relations team, and the FinPOps (Finance, People, and Operations) team.
Additionally, there's a group of team leads and the CEO.
Take a look at our current staff here. If you ever wonder what team someone belongs to or what their role entails, we highly recommend reaching out to them via Slack in your first couple weeks to learn a little more about what they do. It’s a great way to get to know everyone.
Working all from different places means that we need to be intentional about creating moments of connection. One of these times to connect is All Hands. We’ve done All Hands virtually and in person, but each time we try to focus on the purpose of the event, whether it’s connection, fun, big thinking, or practicing practical tools. All Hands is an amazing way to zoom out and think about our work a bit differently from what we do on the day to day, learn more about the members who use our products and services, and get to know each other. These events generally happen once or twice a year.
Conversations & Decisions
People have conversations and make decisions every day at work. For many of these we don’t need to put too much effort into them (like saying good morning or deciding when to take a break), but other conversations and decisions hold a bit more weight and require a bit more intention (like hiring someone or creating the budget).
We have some tools available to help with the heavier conversations and the decisions that affect people throughout the organization.
In meetings it can be helpful to be clear about the purpose of the meeting. Meetings often fall into these groups:
- Relaying Information: A decision has been made by a team or individual and is shared with the group
- Receiving Feedback: A decision or project has been created and is finished but feedback can help shape how it changes in the future
- Receiving Input: A decision or project is being created and input is asked to help shape the final form. If input is being asked, it is helpful to be clear about what input in particular is being requested
- Collaborative Decision Making or Creation: This is a meeting where a group is making a decision together or something is being created.
In 2022 and 2023, we worked with Art in Praxis to improve on our group decision making practices. Through that collaboration, part of our method and practice became understanding who needs to be in a particular decision-making process. Art in Praxis also introduced us to a formal consensus process that we use if the decision involves a larger group or the whole staff. 😊
Fractured Atlas uses the Objectives & Key Results (OKR) framework to set, align, and communicate priorities for a specific period of time. These priorities are at the organizational, team, and individual level.
We all create OKRs on a quarterly basis and input them in a shared Google Sheet. Once polished, everyone can see how each staff member’s priorities relate to and support Fractured Atlas's quarterly objectives. At the end of the quarter, we then have the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.
Check-Ins & Self-Assessments
In order to improve and continually innovate we need to know when we're doing something well and when we should try a different approach. With that in mind, we aim to respectfully provide help and feedback to each other in real-time if we can.
At Fractured Atlas a “check-in” is a good thing–it’s not meant to be dreaded or induce stress. Have you hit an unexpected roadblock? Is your workload piling up with no end in sight? Check-ins are a great opportunity to talk to your manager or your team.
We hope that by having an open conversation with them, you can all brainstorm solutions together. There might even be organization-wide things we can change based on what you discover. We never want anyone to feel stranded on To-Do Mountain or like something that isn’t working for them can’t be discussed or improved.
Each year, in addition to real-time feedback and regular check-ins, staff members sit down with their manager to discuss these five self-assessment questions:
- During the past year, which OKRs are you most proud of accomplishing? What makes you so excited about accomplishing them
- Which OKRs were you unable to accomplish during the past year? What prevented you from achieving them?
- What are you looking forward to pursuing in the coming year? Why?
- How can Fractured Atlas help?
- What else would you like to discuss?
Self-assessment conversations are a place for staff to discuss overarching feedback on their performance and goals as well as a place for conversations about your broader professional ambitions.
We want you to have as many opportunities as you like to provide and receive honest feedback, ask for help, and ask questions about Fractured Atlas. We also want to make sure that your career is shaping into what you want and what works for you.
While this model for self-assessment and check-ins is a result of learning from past approaches, it most likely will shift and adapt over time as we improve and continue to learn from our staff. The one thing that won’t change is that you are always welcome to talk to your coworkers and manager about how you are doing and where you stand.
As we talked about in our Culture of Care, we are the people who make up Fractured Atlas. This is our company, and we’re all here to support not just the mission but each other as well.