New opportunities? This is how the bkp GmbH architecture studio is handling the coronavirus crisis
Architects: bkp GmbH
Location: Düsseldorf (DE)
How has the routine changed in your office?
Eva Boss: As a paperless office, we’ve been working almost exclusively digitally for several years, either at the office or from home. So, it wasn’t a big change for us to work even more remotely in the current situation. However, we divided ourselves into teams quite early on: half the colleagues work from home; the other half are at the office. This way, everyone is far enough apart. We switch every two weeks to avoid possible contagion. It’s important that we stay in close contact despite all this. Every morning, we start the day with a video call for the whole team. People can say how they’re doing, what they’ve experienced and what is preoccupying them. Afterwards, we discuss topics that are relevant to our projects. This new ritual means that we are getting to know each other better even with social distancing: everyone is there, and everyone contributes.
How are you handling the coronavirus crisis − are your projects continuing?
At this time, our projects and building sites are carrying on. Planning is proceeding as usual as well; only the odd project kick-off has been delayed. We have developed really good digital formats for our workshops - these let us hold interactive online meetings with our clients. Of course, our plans are provisional just now, but every week we look at what’s going on and changing. It’s important for us to stay in contact with clients and potential clients and to be present on our website, in social media and other channels in terms of news and current projects. To stay up to date, we are using this time, when many of our clients’ employees are working from home as well, to photograph and publish the completely set-up working environments.
Do you have any tips for your colleagues?
Right now, team spirit is an important factor for us. Conversations with colleagues can be promoted with new rituals, for instance the morning call or a shared online lunch break. We believe that this can be a vital tool for our colleagues as well.
What’s more, we are using the time to rethink our digital presentation, optimize our workshop formats and develop new visions for the time after coronavirus.
Do you have any plans for the time after the quarantine?
We would like to increase the use of digitization in our projects and act as advisors for our clients in this area. Fundamentally, we see ourselves as something like “lifestyle advisors” and after the quarantine, we would like to take a more active role in making our expertise useful to our clients. We believe that the forced deceleration, working from home and self-determined time management represent a benefit for us all. We would like to promote this good feeling and mindfulness, which many of us have now rediscovered, with our work. Our current student competition on the topic “The Feel Good Place”, which we introduced last year, is about this exact idea. For this reason, we are excited to see the students’ results and ideas.
We would like to keep online video calls as part of our daily routine and become more sustainable as it will enable us to skip a few trips here and there. Furthermore, we are of course looking forward to actually being together again with our entire team, everyone involved in our projects, and our clients.