Architectural practices share experiences, knowledge and strategies, as we all work out how to manage during the pandemic.
Mentoring case study – SJB
SJB has implemented two mentoring programs to cater for different preferences and needs – a less formal program called SJBuddies and the more formal SJB Mentoring.
Mentoring case study – Bates Smart
Bates Smart outlines their reasons for setting up their mentoring program, which is part of a broader Career Planning Framework and includes approximately 280 participants.
Mentoring case study – COX
COX Architecture outlines how their mentoring program works, the benefits and challenges of implementation, and some advice for others keen on setting up a program for their own practice.
Flexibility case study – Woods Bagot
Woods Bagot explains the process of committing to increased flexibility and outlines some of the benefits and challenges as they move forward into the ‘new normal’.
Flexibility case study – BVN
BVN outlines some of the initiatives that have worked for them in their transition to the All Roles Flex model and now a Hybrid Working Model.
Flexibility case study – COX
COX Architecture identified some key takeaways from the implementation process of the All Roles Flex policy.
Flexibility, Collaboration & Prioritising Mental Health
Greenway Architects Director Simon Frost discusses the challenges of the blended digital and physical environment, the need for empathetic collaboration in the industry, and the importance of prioritising good mental health.
Managing Supply Chains & Rising Construction Costs
Emily Van Eyk, Director of Mt Eyk, shares her experiences of running a new practice through a pandemic, with the main challenges relating to supply chain delays, rising construction costs and keeping up with demand.
Building Morale, Motivation & Flexibility
Fulton Trotter Director Justine Ebzery says that Zoom and lockdown fatigue is real, and keeping up morale and maintaining motivation and energy levels through so much COVID uncertainty has been a key focus.
Communication & Quality IT
Silver Thomas Hanley Business Manager and ACA VIC/TAS Committee member Matthew Tence says good communication and significant IT investment have helped navigate and overcome the challenges of the last two years.
Putting People First
QLD/NT Committee member Denis Waring shares his pandemic experiences as Principal of PW Architecture, and the need to prioritise people through challenging times.
Fostering Connection & Offering Support
Conrad Gargett HR Manager and AMWF member Brooke Tranberg outlines some of the practice’s wellbeing initiatives, including in-house Social and Wellbeing Committees, a well-promoted EAP, open conversations about mental health, and a pre-COVID all-company Archi-Tour to foster connection.
Zoom, EAPs & Lockdown Love
Popular wellbeing initiatives for Fulton Trotter have included Wellness Wednesday, a formal EAP, Zoom drinks, yoga and art classes, and a little ‘lockdown love’, says FT Director and Chair of the AMWF QLD/NT Justine Ebzery.
The Three Pillars of Wellbeing
BVN’s Head of People & Character Brian Clohessy describes the practice’s wellbeing initiatives, including inhouse Working Cultural Groups, which focus on the three pillars of physical, social and mental wellbeing.
Innovation Day & Being Prepared
AMWF Vic/Tas member Kirby Roper reflects on the stresses of regular snap lockdowns and ways of maintaining wellbeing in practice, including the establishment of Innovation Day and being prepared for future disruptions.
Targeted funding & thinking long term
Justine Ebzery reflects on the need for targeted funding for new public housing, public schools and community health infrastructure, with adequate resources for design and planning.
JobKeeper, HomeBuilder & going solo
Jennifer Crawford highlights the eligibility issues of JobKeeper and HomeBuilder, and describes her recent move back to the life of a sole practitioner.
Infrastructure of long-term benefit
ACA – WA President Malcolm Jones reflects on JobKeeper, the flexible workplace, and the need for more resources for infrastructure of long-term benefit.
Investment in Digital Design
Existing investment in new digital platforms has meant that dwp|design worldwide partnership was well placed to switch to working mode when the COVID-19 crisis arose.
Remote Working Advice
Working remotely can be challenging and disruptive, and requires realistic expectations and a flexible approach, says Charmaine Kai of Brisbane-based practice 8i Architects.
Innovation, Resilience & Relationship Building
COVID-19 disruption has been all-encompassing, but there are signs of innovation, community resilience and relationship building emerging all around us, observes Kate Fitzgerald of Fremantle-based Whispering Smith.
Planning for Health, Wellbeing & Financial Sustainability
As Queensland prepared for lockdown, Cairns-based practice People Oriented Design worked on strategies with health, wellbeing and the long-term financial sustainability of the practice firmly in mind.
New Challenges & Modes of Working
Hayball has explored varied modes of working and learning over many years, but the rapid shift to remote, distributed workplaces in the era of COVID-19 is a new challenge.
Building on Existing Flex Systems
For BVN, the transition to all staff working from home has been ‘seamless’. The ease of the move is an outcome of already having robust flex systems in place, a commitment to open honest communication, and a focus on health and wellbeing.
How are You Responding to COVID-19?
Online support is more important than ever. The ACA invites architectural practices across Australia to share practice experiences, knowledge and strategies.
Communication, Autonomy and Initiative
Brown Falconer is in the process of transitioning all staff to remote working. Mario Dreosti emphasises the importance of open communication and sharing both the knowns and the unknowns as essential to building trust, autonomy and initiative.
Policy, Process and Restricted Contact
Thomson Rossi’s approach to managing the practice in the context of the novel coronavirus is guided by a COVID-19 Policy Statement, which establishes clear boundaries and habits. Simon Thomson explains that the intent is to keep the office open as long as possible.
Tight Financial Management and Open Communication
TheFulcrum.Agency partner Emma Williamson explains how the consultancy is responding to COVID-19 and offers advice about how to proactively manage through a crisis while maintaining the cultural integrity of your practice.
Clear Communication and Patience
Justine Ebzery outlines the steps Fulton Trotter has taken in response to COVID-19 so far, including clear, regular communication to clients and employees, transitioning to more work from home arrangements, and a focus on patience and kindness.
Trialling Remote Working
Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick (TRCB) has been trialling staff working from home for a number of weeks. Leigh Robinson generously shares details about how this is working, lessons learned, and the guidelines the practice has developed.