As the severity of coronavirus increased in the passing months, and with the Government implementing strict lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus, industries across the globe were required to push their thinking and introduce new strategies to stay in business.
The architecture industry is no different as firms, both large and small, were forced to make sudden, unexpected changes to their work practices. With the nationwide lockdown, firms were required to close offices and work remotely. This meant architects had to leverage modern technology and experience a new form of communication with clients and team members.
While this initially presented several challenges to firms, most architects are now adjusting to the remote-work reality and finding effective ways to get back to business.
As an architect in Toronto, ON, I have always been working from my office, which is a part of my home. The office is a completely separate part of the building and has its own exterior entrance, so, in that respect, there hasn’t been much difference to me. However, I do have a small team that would work in my office; they now work from home. There hasn’t been any change to our work hours, so we do the same amount of work as we did before. Unfortunately, since we weren’t meeting as often, we had to find a new way to communicate with each other.
We mainly use Zoom to communicate, but it was a lot slower than expected. Making changes to our drawings when people did not have all the equipment they needed at home was incredibly challenging. Working remotely also had physical challenges; for instance, not everyone has a desk at home. I had everything at my fingertips because it has always been here.
Currently, we handle most of our meetings over Zoom, but we are open to communicating with clients over other online platforms. Zoom is something we learned to get used to. There are now no longer any pets or family in the background or foreground!
We also still have meetings in person either here in the office, at a construction site, or at the client’s location. But we make sure all those involved wear their masks at all times, maintain the social distancing norms, and use hand sanitizer before and after the meeting.
As a leading architecture firm in Toronto, ON, we practice social distancing and wear a PPE whenever we serve our clients. This means there are fewer people in the office at one time. Guests are welcome as long as they wear masks, use hand sanitizer, etc. Those that visit us do not have to worry about our office environment as we clean our workstations, bathroom, etc., every day. We also carry the ever-present hand sanitizer!
As a reputed residential and commercial architect in Toronto, ON, I am fortunate that I am still as busy as I ever was. However, there was a time in April and May of this year, when I didn’t have any new work come in. Then suddenly, the phone started ringing, and work flooded in. It was as if there was a pent up demand for residential renovations. Maybe people realized their homes needed help or looked for ways to better work from home. Now the industrial and commercial side of the business is also full speed ahead. Life goes on. Municipalities are also learning how to conduct business without having the public in their buildings. We can now apply for permits online with almost every municipality. That’s a big change considering that we had to go physically to the counter, stand in line and take a number, which was very time-consuming.
If you’re looking for a residential or commercial architect in Toronto, ON, to design an office space/building or assist you with a home renovation project, reach out to Marilyn Ypes Architect Inc. With over three decades of experience, I can meet all my clients’ demands and expectations by providing them with the highest standard of work and service.
My team and I have completed numerous projects in various industries, including retail, industrial, health care, office, education, daycare, recreational, and residential. We offer our professional services to clients across Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, Barrie, Peterborough, Cobourg, and Hamilton, ON.
For information about the services we have to offer, please click here. To view our completed projects, please click here. To schedule a consultation with us or learn more about how we can help you, get in touch with us by clicking here.