As of two weeks ago the Threesixty Architecture team have been working remotely and are fully operational. Following the government instruction to stay at home, we have repurposed kitchens, dining rooms and spare rooms into studios.
One of the biggest considerations is how we transfer our studio culture and everyday interactions into our new distributed workplace. Our studios are designed around both project collaboration and social / recreational use to reinforce and support our culture. We’ve given careful consideration into how these principles remain tangible in this new environment we have found ourselves in.
From a productivity standpoint, collaboration and group crits are pivotal to our design approach. Our IT infrastructure uses a range of online and digital communication platforms to ensure we continue to design and create with the same collective process we have always exercised. Software choice and network structure were carefully considered and curated by our IT Manager Paul Masini: “everyone can access the network shares that they would within the studio, and our day-to-day software is licensed via the cloud, ensuring that staff have all the tools required at their disposal.”
Monday Morning Forum plays a vital role in our new agile workplace and is now held remotely via video conferencing. The full team participates ensuring that we continue to share ideas, encourage design discussion and promote cultural interaction, whilst also maintaining a routine to reinforce stability and structure.
Remote working has also presented us with an opportunity to connect with our colleagues in new ways and gain a deeper insight into each other’s lives. Meeting partners, families and pets and seeing our colleagues in their home environment creates a fuller and more personal picture of everyone.
From a social standpoint, enjoyment is at the very fabric of our practice values. As such, we endeavour to continue the same social schedule throughout this period. Mingling at the end of the week during Friday Beers on MS teams, or our traditional Friday Playlist curation, continues to create the opportunity to chat to colleagues outside of direct project teams. Regularly checking in with one another instills a sense of care which in this climate is important and we as a business strongly value the wellbeing of each other. Even the extra-curricular activities like yoga are maintained.
We’re all experiencing a new way of working – and it can take a lot of getting used to, though a likely outcome will be a stronger role of agile working in Architecture. “It may change the practice’s thinking in IT procurement” says Paul, “If everyone has a mobile workstation then there are no limitations to our work agility.”