Who could have predicted that the Corona Virus or Covid-19 would completely disrupt and dictate how the design industry would conduct business? I still don’t quite understand how quickly things happened. The interior design industry is a tactile environment. We love being able to touch the new fabric or the textured tile or having lunch at the local furniture showroom or attending a trade show to see the latest new trend. Covid-19 halted all of what was familiar. In the matter of days, business as we knew it drastically changed.
As a project manager for a large architectural firm, like everyone else, we were faced with uncertainty. The unknowns surrounded by this virus sent everyone into quick action. The main question was how effectively would we define and practice new operating guidelines without disrupting business. The health and welfare of the employees while addressing out clients’ needs is paramount. Covid-19 guidelines were quickly put into place. If you’re sick, stay home. Business travel ceased while social distance increased. Working from home was immediate.
Given the development of technology, working from home was not a problem. Zoom became the norm. Check-ins was more a thing. Long distance team meetings, training or collaborations were quite effective. Design presentations went digital. Even site visits are scary. Contractors practice social distancing and wear masks. Nowadays, as the city begin to slowly open back up, the office remains semi-barren with a staggered layout. We now have staggered seat assignments while still practicing social distancing. One thing the virus proved, is that working from home is not a detriment to business operations.