April 21, 2020 // Blog

How We Successfully Transitioned to Work From Home

The architecture realm, like most businesses, is feeling the ripple effects of the current global pandemic. Our primary goal through this time is the safety of our staff, clients and collaborators.
The 6th week of this new paradigm brings the realization that adapting early on was key in keeping the firm in a good position to continue to provide clients with consistent and meaningful design services.
With the use of both old and new technologies, the firm was able to close its office and successfully move to a work from home model.
The Move to Working From Home
T7 Architecture always had the goal to have the ability for remote working be a core tenant of our process. The goal was to cut down on the daily commuting as well as making sure the team had the tools necessary to be productive. This current situation helped push it along.
The firm decided to explore the benefits that working from home could provide and in 2018 the office installed the required systems. To understand any impacts to the team, trial work days were done to measure workflow and productivity. The trials were successful, working from anywhere was now a viable option resulting in the understanding that certain workflow systems were still very much attached to personal interaction and working at the office.
Tech and Software
The unexpected necessity to work from home was a smooth transition. Within week one, the reliance on cloud based file sharing technology, conferencing tools, and streamlining a digital workflow was developed, and it continues to be streamlined.
All members set up a home office and business as usual was being conducted at once. Client based design meetings continued as scheduled with minor disruptions.
VPN data access to the main server, located at T7 HQ, allows the team to stay connected in real time. Project development can be available to all within seconds.
The importance of internal communication, primarily now, is manifested in daily scheduled team conferencing calls, multiple checks-ins via traditional methods and web based apps.
We still use old school techniques such as a phone call, or even a text of a sketch.
It’s equally valuable to keep clients engaged and fully aware of their project development, help them understand project impacts at the agency level and keep general communication open with all parties.
Adapting to remote working has highlighted how this can become a new part of the T7 workflow fabric and it will continue in some form once life is back to normal.