As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, more and more employees are being asked to work from home. Some industries are being hit harder than others, with the world of architecture and design feeling the brunt of the pandemic. From flight cancellations and the postponement of trade shows to outright country-wide shutdowns, people throughout the AEC industry are feeling the impact in different ways.
The process of undertaking architectural projects will inevitably require adjustments, especially in regard to physical communication. As the likelihood of working remotely increases, here are five ways architects can work efficiently during the coronavirus outbreak.
1. Invest in a Mobile Workstation
The rise of mobile workstations has made it possible to harness the processing power and graphics of desktop PCs within the dimensions of everyday laptops. These high-performance machines enable architects and designers to perform intensive tasks, such as real-time visualization and virtual reality, just about anywhere. With technology like this, working from home need not be an impediment to effectively producing project renderings, drawings and presentations.
2. Recreate Your Office Work Space at Home
As stated by CNN, “Working from home can make the separation of work and personal life even more blurry, which is why it’s important to carve out a designated workspace at home.” It’s easy to feel lethargic and become distracted when the comforts of your home surround you. Try to recreate your office work space at home in order to get yourself in the proper physical and mental state to work efficiently.
3. Set Boundaries
As your work and home environment become intertwined, it can become challenging to designate times for switching off. To avoid overworking, you should set limitations and maintain your pre-established, daily routine. This makes creating a separate physical workspace environment even more crucial in providing yourself a work-life balance while working remotely.
As stated by Forbes India, “Make sure you take on only as much work as you can, and remember to sign off on time.”
4. Maintain Team Communication
Constant communication and transparency is critical when working within a team, and they become more challenging when physically separated from your peers. Thankfully, applications such as Slack and Skype are free and available for maintaining seamless communication.
James von Klemperer, FAIA, president and design principal of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, told Architectural Record: “We’ve instituted a rigorous system of reporting on work every day through work logs to give the staff and the operation a sense of well-being, that we’re actually getting something done.”
5. Stay Connected With Clients and Consultants
A massive hindrance to working remotely is the impact it has on communicating with third parties, including clients, fellow consultants, developers and contractors. With site visits limited, the success of projects comes down to virtual means of communication. Video conferencing tools, such as Zoom Video Communications, along with Architizer’s directories of firms, products and manufacturers, provide means of easily connecting with different players within a project’s universe.
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