On Friday, March 20, 2020, AIA Virginia hosted an open discussion on managing and working in remote teams. Several Virginia architecture firm leaders shared their approaches, best practices, and lessons learned.
Robert Clark, PE |Baskervill
Nick Cooper, AIA | HKS
Bill Hopkins, AIA | Hanbury
Rob Reis, AIA | Hanbury
Moderated by: Corey Clayborne, FAIA
Listen to the webinar and read the key takeaways below.
- Communication and transparency are key.
- When comfortable, share your camera during video calls. It enhances communication when people can see facial expressions.
- Maintaining a sense of community is important. One firm hosted a virtual happy hour where team members shared their favorite drink recipes. Another gives awards for best hat or hairstyle during online team meetings.
- Firms are using GoToMeeting, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Slack to stay in touch with each other and clients.
- The biggest challenges so far have included audio quality and broadband/wifi issues.
- Test technology in advance so meetings can start on time and glitches are minimized.
- Consider business continuity. If you do not have a continuity plan in place, begin planning now in the event that key team members become ill.
- If you don’t already have them in place, consider enacting policies regarding remote work, travel, and meetings that address the current call for social distancing.
- Don’t forget to care for your well-being and mental health. Schedule breaks to walk around and get fresh air.
- Try to carve out a working environment that matches your traditional space.
- Temper your expectations. Your schedule may need to be flexible. With flexibility, comes transparency. Don’t forget to communicate.