COVID-19: Navigating The Uncharted Path Ahead

24 April 2020

At Dyer Brown, our first priority during this challenging time has been to safeguard the health and safety of our entire team and their families. We fully support the state’s stay-at-home mandate and are encouraging all of our staff to comply with the spirit and the letter of the order. We believe that we should all do our part as individuals and as an organization to slow the spread of the virus and help our neighbors and communities stay healthy and strong.

We have also spent this time reviewing and refining our IT strategy and ensuring that it is effectively supporting our new way of working. We feel extremely fortunate that we have already invested heavily in moving our servers to the cloud over the past few years, ensuring a seamless work-from-home experience for all of our team members. On top of this IT structure, we have been spending time investigating remote supportive software. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are great tools, but we are actively investigating and piloting valuable platforms in the market that have more powerful capabilities and will allow our teams to collaborate more effectively in a remote setting. These systems will advance design and services in ways that ultimately create more value for Dyer Brown and our clients.

Finally, we firmly believe that for any organization to successfully change or transform — which is what this pandemic has forced us all to do — it needs advice, support, and real commitment from its team members. To that end, Dyer Brown has conducted a detailed survey to begin to understand what is working and what isn’t working as a remote enterprise. The survey also examines what it is going to take and what it might look like to begin to work from the office again. While this research touches on the logistics of getting back to work, it also has uncovered valuable insight into what the office is providing us from a cultural perspective.

We have learned a lot over the past six weeks — about ourselves, about our teams, and about our clients. We have heard from our collaborators, our consultants, our clients, and our contractors. And as we do with all of our clients and projects, we have listened and distilled and reflected on the input.

Over the next four weeks, we will be posting a blog series focusing on several of the topics touched on above. It’s an honor for me to introduce this series.

We don’t for an instant believe that we have all of the answers; in fact we might not have any of the answers right now. This situation is still rapidly unfolding and the hurdles that we all face will continue to emerge along with it. We are confident, however, that many individuals and organizations already selling solutions purporting to solve all your COVID-19 related real estate and workplace related issues may be misdirected in nature. It’s clear the solutions to these issues won’t be one-size-fits-all propositions or products — they will, however, be about process.

As designers, we are first trained to be listeners and facilitators. At the end of the day, we are also problem-solvers responding to challenges, and we feel we are perfectly positioned to meet the challenges now facing us ahead.

Post authored by

Brent D. Zeigler AIA IIDA
Principal | President
Dyer Brown Architects

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