Working From Home

2020 certainly has been full of many unexpected events namely the onset of the Corona Virus pandemic. COVID-19 has had a community wide impact on each and every person’s day to day life. With social distancing and lock downs in full effect and most people now working from home (WFH).

Currently there is a plethora of reporting on the negative effects of the virus, number of infections, deaths, difficulties associated with social distancing, IT infrastructure shortfalls, loss of productivity and the list goes on. We however, would like to instead shine a more positive light on the current situation and foster the spirit of mutual support and collaborative culture that EmAGN is founded on.   

So we asked some amazing graduates and architects to tell us what their experience has been, here is what they had to say…

Dan Luo

My name is Dan Luo, I am a lecturer and researcher who recently started working for the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland. I have an interdisciplinary background in architecture and computer science. My work and research interests mainly revolve around digital design and robotics. Before coming to Brisbane I worked and studied in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York.

The best part about working from home, especially when everyone around the world is also WFH is that the barrier of long distance starts to dissolve. I am more actively engaged with my friends and colleagues around the globe than before when local face to face collaboration was the main point of reference

The most challenging aspect of WFH is time management, the boundary between life and work starts to blend especially when you have a 3-year-old kid and you are maneuvering through different time zones. The most important tip is to compartmentalise your tasks and constantly have deadlines.

It is also crucial to stay in touch with colleague and friends in doing something meaningful, either project collaboration, joining an online salon, or merely a family cooking competition – so that we can all take our mind away from the crises and negative information on the news/social medias for a while, by having an anchor point in real life and people.

After the pandemic I would probably like to go back to work in the office, but may like to WFH a few days a week, to get the benefit from both methods of working.

Brooke Mills

Hello, I am @brookemills, an Architect at Cottee Parker Architects. I am part of the multi-residential, education and seniors living team in Brisbane. Working from home has provided me the bonus of utilising time normally dedicated to commuting on home renovations (lots of painting) and sharpening my design and presentation skills. As Architects and designers, we are in one of the few industries where we can do so much just on a PC.

I have found social media content, has helped me remain connected to our industry whilst working from home. This has also motivated me to create some of my very own content to share. Time spent dreaming of imagined spaces whilst scrolling on the train, can now be spent on testing concepts in 3D, rendering various scenes and sharing content via social media. I have been focused on broadening my architectural skillset which has been very rewarding.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance also remains crucial to my productivity, especially whilst my workstation is in my living room. Regularly checking-in with colleagues continues the flow of communication and facetiming with family and friends ensures life doesn’t feel too different. Listening to the cockatoos as they fly past of an afternoon and watching the sun set from our balcony has also been an unexpected bonus. 

Angelo Pagono

My name is Angelo Pagano, I am a husband, a dad of 2 (soon to be 3) and I am an Associate at Conrad Garget. I have spent the last 10 years of my professional career discussing, documenting and delivering hospitals. 

If you had of told me 6 months ago the entire Architectural industry would be working from home, I would have called you a liar. It has been amazing to see how we as an industry have completely shifted our regular processes into a digital realm, from Zoom client meetings, to video call site inspections.

Whilst I am a fan of the morning and afternoon commute from the lounge room to office, and the fact I can duck into the pantry at any given time, once the pandemic is over, I think we are all looking forward to getting back into the office and socialising again. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from this experience, it’s to not take the little things for granted. 

We hope you enjoyed reading about the benefits of working from home! If anything in this article has sparked a light in your imagination, please let us know.

Written by Sarah Ainsworth and Liehan Janse van Rensburg on behalf of EmAGN QLD.

PS… Whilst you’re here – perhaps you might like to check out this article about self care and dealing with career anxiety