Enough about the pandemic and how we need to adapt. The need for modifications is not exclusive to times of global crisis. Although we can attribute the trend in working remotely was pivotal during the past two years, who’s to say we were not heading in this direction anyway? Studies are often conducted evaluating popular opinions on how many hours a work week should be. OR the importance of work/life balance. Could this be where we all were heading and we were just forced to get there sooner? It doesn’t really matter because we are here now.
The pros and cons of working remotely are specific to each industry so what are they to Architecture? The cons, from the firm’s POV, seem to be outweighing the pros as we are not seeing many firms easily transition and want to stay fully remote or offer Hybrid as an option. However, we are finding many great candidates DO want that option. So where do we go from here?
Questions we have asked our connections in the AEC industries via LinkedIn Polls:
- If your employer won’t allow remote work in the future and requires in office work only how would you respond?
- Answer: 52% said I’ll entertain more offers
- What is the most important factor for you when considering your next job/career change?
- Answer: 40% said Remote work/Flexible schedule VS. 39% who said Salary
- How has remote work impacted you most?
- Answer: 50% said Same Hours-More productive AND 35% said More hours – More Productive
What our Architectural Firm Clients are saying
During a recent training with guest speakers Peter Noone and Melissa Godrey with Solomon Cordwell Buenz, we learned how incredibly understanding and flexible they have been from the start with the need to work remotely. They have made accommodations and seen employee’s even move states during the past two years. Now that mandates are lifted and people are returning to the office, they are forced to rethink and reorganize how to support each employee. The main obstacle they referenced was collaboration. There is a creativity and innovative inspiration that happens in the office that is difficult to recreate in the remote space. Overhearing ideas from colleagues and younger staff observing project managers speaking with clients is so vital. It is a type of unscheduled and unconscious form of training that is organic and extremely beneficial. If that can’t be done anymore because of people not being in the same physical space then what tools are available to mitigate the breakdown in growth and knowledge?
Tools and Technology Assisting Communication:
- Bluebeam – streamlines workflow and facilitates collaboration
- Resource – project management dashboard
- Teams – enables communication
- Core – allows architecture firms oversee complex workflows
The use of technology for organization, productivity, and communication is vital. As is strong leadership and staying intentional about keeping company culture a focus. If the team is no longer physically together on a weekly basis what is the plan to substitute the void? Options could be an organized outing. Allow time for small talk during meetings. Monthly contests conducted via video conferencing. Weekly check in surveys to keep communication open between staff and leadership.
What is in it for the Big Guy?!
The question that has to be answered remains what is in it for the companies?! Ross Brady of Architizer wrote about the perks of a larger candidate pool as well as increasing project pools. We as a team at Luxus+ have been running into this situation. We could connect and interview awesome talent with impressive backgrounds and project focus for a role close to their home but find they are a perfect match for a job in another state. Or they have recently decided they are only going for roles that offer hybrid or fully remote. If remote roles were an option we would be able to match people to roles regardless of location. YES, we understand there are needs of licensing, site visits and other “in person” duties. However, given the opportunity we would love the chance to partner and attempt to problem solve WITH you. What are your company’s main struggles and concerns with remote roles?
If you do not yet have a connection with one of our team members I would be thrilled to speak with you!
We continue to strive to be partners and consultants in Making Monday’s Great!