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Architects Working Remotely

In the previous post, I discussed the concept of working from home. This time, it is still related to that discussion, focusing on how architects work remotely.

Technological advancements have brought about significant changes, including the way people work. While traditional office-based work was once the norm, remote working has emerged as a viable alternative. Remote working, a model or employment agreement wherein employees enjoy flexibility in terms of their work location and hours with the aid of telecommunication technology, has become increasingly prevalent. The term "remote working" is familiar, especially among professionals in creative industries, including architects.

Arsitek Bekerja Remote, Bekerja Jarak Jauh, Aditya Yuwana
How do architects work remotely? Image by Adityuwana

Why Remote Working?

There are several reasons why remote working is considered superior to conventional work systems.

  • Increased Flexibility: This is the primary reason. I once worked from the backyard of a hostel in Kuala Lumpur when there was a sudden request from the office to revise project drawings for on-site requirements. Such tasks would be challenging in a conventional working system.

  • Time Savings: Working remotely eliminates the need to commute to the office or take breaks for lunch. While others spend 3-4 hours on these activities, I can use that time to learn new skills, such as digital marketing, copywriting, or foreign languages. If I can dedicate 3 hours a day to learning, I gain an additional 15-18 hours of productivity per week.

  • Optimal Timing: Sometimes, my most productive hours are around 5 am or 7 pm. During these hours, working in an office would be impractical. Instead, I can simply open my laptop at home or escape to a coffee shop to start working.

Tips for Remote Working

Being an architect is not inherently tied to working from an office. You can work from anywhere, as long as you have a team capable of collaborating online. This approach can save time and costs, making your work more effective and efficient compared to conventional methods. Here are some tips based on my experience as an architect working remotely.

Initial Preparation

  • Team Formation: Seek colleagues who support remote working and can collaborate online. The team should comprise individuals with diverse expertise, depending on the project scope. Ensure that all team members can implement remote working systems effectively.

  • Acquire Equipment: A computer and a stable internet connection are key to starting remote work as an architect. Choose a computer that suits your needs and can support your tasks. If you frequently move between locations, a laptop is preferable. Ensure the laptop is lightweight, portable, and equipped with specifications and features that support your work, along with a long-lasting battery. You can read my article about Choosing Laptop for Architect.

Work Methods

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM): The construction industry has shifted to BIM, a workflow concept based on a 3D model. Collaborating on a project with a team can be done using cloud-based services to store project data.

  • Creative Process: Architectural design planning typically begins with ideas and concepts, translated onto paper as diagrams and sketch drawings. To facilitate coordination, use applications like Morpholio Trace and Morpholio Boards to create sketches, designs, and proposals, which can then be shared with team members and clients.

Mopholio Trace
Morpholio Trace. Image from Morpholio

  • Cloud File Sharing: Dropbox and Google Drive are the most commonly used platforms for file sharing. No longer do I need to send project updates via email to the design team because all project data is synchronized when changes are made. You may need to subscribe monthly to both platforms to increase data storage capacity.

  • Project Management: My team and I use Trello for task management. Trello allows us to organize work plans and complete them in stages collaboratively. Recently, we also started using Notion, which functions similarly to Trello.

Aplikasi Trello, Aditya Yuwana
Organizing work management with Trello. Image by Adityuwana
  • Meetings and Design Presentations: Virtual meetings using Google Meet or Zoom are scheduled for collaborative decision-making on projects, minimizing miscommunication that can occur through messaging apps like WhatsApp. For virtual client presentations, screen recording with Loom is used. Virtual meetings significantly save time compared to physically attending meetings.

Additional Tips

Focus and Avoid Distractions: Eliminate anything that could disrupt your work focus. If working from home, create a dedicated workspace. If working in other locations, find a quiet corner. Learn and apply the Pomodoro technique. Turn off your smartphone, social media notifications, and personal chats.

Discipline: Working remotely requires high discipline, both individually and as a team. Even though remote working means flexibility, it does not imply a lack of set working hours. Define your working hours and utilize them efficiently. After working hours, engage in activities unrelated to work. Maintain a balanced life between work and personal life.


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