“Our teams have all been working from home,” says O’Brien, “but as MODE has studios across Australia, we have significant experience in working collaboratively from different locations.”
“This has helped the transition enormously and kept all of our projects on track. The ‘new normal’ also has our teams participating in scheduled connection chats to not only discuss the projects they are working on but to also check in with their mental health. This is imperative to keep the culture of MODE alive,” he says.
“The working from home environment is a new development for MODE, and not one we had anticipated to be rolled out to all our teams in such a short period of time. But as we expected, our teams have demonstrated an incredible level of resilience, adaptability and collaboration.”
“Our recent Working from Home staff survey found that 80 percent of our teams find it reasonably easy to work from home, with social isolation being the biggest challenge they are currently facing,” he notes.
In terms of positive outcomes of the Lockdown, O’Brien says, “We are once again appreciating the space we surround ourselves in. Our homes have now become our offices and our schools, and we are working on new ways to cohesively use the space shared by our families, housemates and others who live with us.”
“We are also understanding the need to design transferrable spaces. While we regularly make clients aware of the benefits of future-proofing workplaces, it is now even more obvious why future-proofing is so important in architecture, particularly when we are faced with a new and somewhat difficult situation.”
“This will make us better designers in the future. We won’t be so set on a space providing users with a single use but will be set on an urban collective providing spaces for multiple, flexible uses,” he adds.