Work From Home Culture and Architectural Practice
It is safe to say at this point of time that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. With the economy plummeting and businesses collapsing throughout the world, one can only wonder if there is a way out of this. In a scenario like this, companies are quickly resorting to the work from home culture. But with all the social distancing it comes with, maintaining productivity and getting the most out of your working from home, can be daunting if not done right.
Here are 9 Work From Home tips for your architectural or design practice to flourish!
1. Follow the guidelines
At a time like this, we need to come together, join hands (not literally!) and practice all the precautions that the health professionals provide. It is essential to keep updated with the information that CDC or the WHO provides.
2. Limit your news consumption
The media is an essential tool. As important as it is to remain updated with the happenings around the world, keeping a sane mind is more important! Excessive news consumption causes unnecessary stress and anxiety.
For a profession as cognitively demanding as of an architect’s, a sound mental health is critical to ace your game.
3. Schedule your work hours
There are a lot of benefits to scheduling your time. Maintaining a strict schedule allows you to get in the mindset of working and enhances your productivity. Once you set specific hours for your work, it gets easier to ignore distractions and get the thing done!
4. Stay Connected
Human beings are social creatures. We crave the human connection. Therefore it is vital for us not to lose sight of our needs as emotional beings. At a time like this, with all the social distancing measures in place, you need to ensure that you are in touch with the people closest to you.
5. Make the most out of technology!
Lockdown measures need not affect your work at all. In the 21st century, technology has reached even the most remote areas of the world. Technology is the cornerstone for the Work From Home culture, and the reason for its popularity.
Working on projects is now easier than ever. Here are a few ways in which you can use technology to your advantage.
- Use Cloud-based programmes
What could be better than software that allows collaboration for you and your colleagues for a project with easy cloud storage? Access your project sitting in any part of the world and give life to your ideas. Cloud-based services like Autodesk BIM 360 and Graphisoft BIMcloud are the way to go. Additionally, you can use screen-sharing applications like TeamViewer and Splashtop to streamline the collaboration with your coworkers further.
Numerous architecture applications enable designers and allied professionals to work from home as if on-site. Available for both Android and iOS, apps such as Planimeter, Construction Master Pro, and MagicPlan are useful in these times.
- Work together as a team.
Maintaining good communication with your colleagues is essential, especially for those working from home. When the question is of easy collaboration and communication, Slack comes to rescue. Accessible communication and a simple interface allow you to ace all the deadlines in front of you! Simple discussions and meetings can be held over applications like Google Meet, Skype or Zoom.
However, using a lot of applications for communicating can prove to be counterintuitive as it may create a distraction and hinder your firm’s productivity. Therefore, it is best to stick to a few applications and use them to their full potential.
6. Redesign your work habits
In other words: Optimise your environment and workspace to extract the maximum amount of quality work. Create an ergonomically sound home office that resonates with your work habits. Ensure proper lighting and ventilation for your working space and keep it clean and clutter-free. Make sure you don’t saturate yourself by working continuously for long periods. Taking breaks in between your work hours boosts your productivity and helps you bring your A-game to the table!
7. Build focus, avoid distractions
This should come off as no surprise. Your creativity is vital for your success in the field of architecture and design. Having a focused mind allows you to be more productive, save time and generates a sense of fulfilment in your life. Eliminate distractions by actively removing anything that hinders your focus. Decluttering your desk, cabinets and workspace can immensely help. A simple way to avoid distraction can be by working in short chunks of time called the Pomodoro technique.
8. Stay Active
Make sure you incorporate some physical exercise that keeps you in good health. Working out, regardless of the type, can help you build discipline and stay calm. Meditation, in turn, can help with your mental health. Staying active enables you to be the best version of yourself and generates quality work out of you.
9. Enhance your skill
This is the most critical advice for an architect in these times. In case you find yourself with extra free hours, it always pays to use them productively. Working on your skillset is a sure way to take your career to the next level.
You can start by learning new design software. With a plethora of design software in your hands, your architectural practice will receive enormous recognition.
To enhance your sense of art, you can go for virtual museum tours. The Guggenheim and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in addition to Google Art and Culture’s virtual tours, are easy options to explore.
Whatever you do, make sure you never stop learning! Enrol in an online course to maybe polish your basics or build expertise in your field. Being knowledgable and informed helps you make better decisions and enhances your practice. A lot of tutorials are available for free on youtube and other platforms. For example, you can improve your sketching by referring to these online courses.
With the internet in your hands, the world is your oyster!