Tips for architects working from home during the pandemic
The pandemic has left everyone uncertain about the future. It has put many people out of jobs and cost major economic destruction worldwide.
But for architects and many employees in different industries, working from home has become the new normal. In case you are planning to move into a new home, take expert advice on how much you should tip movers.
An ongoing survey points out that 78% of architects are working from home, or they have been provided with the option during the current coronavirus pandemic. But if you want to make this work, you will have to be ready to embrace technology and be innovative.While you may be doing your best to cope with this new way of working from home, here are some tips that will aid you.
Set up a dedicated workspace
If you don’t live alone, working from home is not that easy. And even if you do, it is easy to get distracted and grow lethargic when you are in the comfort of your home.
It is crucial, therefore, to set up a dedicated workspace. The best advice is to recreate your office workspace at home. It will set you up both mentally and physically to achieve more. Invest in an ergonomic office chair so that you don’t end up with back problems after working for a few days.
You could take a spare room and turn it into your workspace or even use your corridor. Just ensure that there is plenty of natural light, and it is well ventilated. It should also be tidy and preferably silent.
Leverage the design systems like Autodesk BIM 360 that offer cloud-based services. Apps such as Splashtop can also help you to maintain a shared network among BIM models by mirroring the computer screen at your office with your home computer.
You can use apps like Trace and Board apps to sketch, design, and present proposals for your clients. Also, there are platforms, including Dropbox and Google Drive, for storing and sharing your information securely for free. They can easily integrate with your computer’s file explorer.
Maintain team communication
Communicating clearly with your team is crucial while undertaking a project. Tools like the Microsoft Teams are great for group conversations and one-on-one chats.
You can also use Slack for sharing ideas. It can easily sync with your Google calendar. While using Slack, ensure that the interface is properly structured. If you use too many channels, information might get lost. Consider organizing channels by team location and purpose.
Whatever software you are using, minimize them so that you can clearly communicate with all the members of the team. Maintaining one text-based platform, one video platform, and one file-sharing platform is advisable.
Schedule regular video conferences
Conducting a meeting is necessary for discussing issues, maintaining a sense of community, and avoiding misinterpretation. But since it is not realizable at the moment, conduct regular video conferences to keep your team connected and increase productivity.
Tools like Google Hangout Meets are good for video conferences. Another option can be Go To Meeting. It provides a platform to host meetings for up to 250 people. If you are aiming for more extensive video conferences, tools like Zoom are recommended.
Manage your projects and resources
Using tools like Trello, you can work out the development of content and ideas. It will enable each team member to understand what stage the project is at, which is crucial while doing a project.
Examine your working hours
When working from home, many employees tend to save extra hours as they don’t have to commute or stick to strict lunch hours. Perhaps, you can complete a task in 6 hours, which would usually take 9 hours in an office setting.
You can utilize the extra hours to learn new software or learn a topic to increase productivity, or that will benefit a project you are currently involved in.
If you are not able to leave home for exercise, make use of fitness apps like NEOU that provide several live and on-demand classes. You can work out, dance, or barre at home alone or with your family.
Another great option is Fitbit’s Premium service that provides workouts, from running to yoga and weightlifting. You can personalize your workout routines to match the health data collected by your device.
Relax and unwind yourself, especially in the evening before you go to bed by indulging in activities you like. It can be anything. Watching a movie, reading a book, gardening, playing a game, or doing anything that makes you happy and feels relaxed will ensure that you are recharged and remain productive when you get back to work.
If possible, go for a walk or a run and get some fresh air.
Don’t forget to promote
It is understood that the economy is not good at the moment. But it should not deter your projects from seeing the light of day. Don’t allow it to rest and gather dust.
Use email platforms like Mailchimp to reach out to your community about your new projects. You can also use social media to create engaging videos or marketing content. Give your audience a walk-through of your project or simply make content about design tips.
It is not easy to concentrate on work and remain productive when everything has turned upside down. You will have to put extra effort into being able to manage work during these turbulent times.
It is essential to stay updated with everything that is going around but limit the news and information that you consume. It will only make you feel distracted and sadder.
Embrace technology as you won’t be able to go ahead with your projects without it. And don’t forget to exercise and unwind. Keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy is a must in order to stay productive.
Hopefully, people will be able to come out of their houses without the fear of getting infected soon, but for now, follow the tips listed in this article. Stay safe and productive.
Richa Parmar is an architect and passionate in the field of designing & creativity. Her inclination towards nature has made her take up a lot of challenging assignments in the subject of “landscape” and also has made her initiate to write blogs. Presently she works as a Senior Manager cum Architect Blogger at GharPedia portal. You can reach her at LinkedIn.