Momentous Decisions

Ilustration by Quick Honey

When I started at Atla almost 11 years ago, I inherited a lease for space in a commercial building in downtown Chicago that was an entire floor, about 15,000 square feet, and a staff of 40 people. Over the past decade, I discovered that our work processes and the way we interacted with our membership and the customers of our databases changed dramatically. A lot went into the cloud, and we stored materials digitally.

We had huge areas of underutilized space in our building while paying Chicago commercial rates. A few years ago, our team started to look at exactly how much physical space we needed. We were in the middle of that analysis and talking with staff about their preferences when the pandemic happened.

The pandemic sped up our decision and helped prove that it was possible for staff to work effectively in a distributed environment. We were fortunate that we were already going down this path and we had already set up online collaboration tools and started moving our processes into the cloud. Our Chicago office is now less than 200 square feet. Our staff is all distributed, spread over 10 states, and it’s working well.

Hear the full interview here and find out about the challenges and opportunities Atla found in going to a distributed workforce. 

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