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Fully Remote Career

WFHgoals
Are firms still hiring for permanent or mostly remote positions? I can’t seem to find a balance in my career that allows for separation of work and personal life. This is probably due to my inability to draw boundaries and set times when I am unavailable to my boss, who is also a workaholic. After ten years of working at multiple firms and falling into the same situation regardless of leadership, I’ve found that working from home allows me a better quality of life. I’m at a point in my life where I would take a pay cut just to remain employed and doing what I love, but with less responsibility. Wondering what everyone else is seeing in their firms right now hiring wise? We are extremely busy, but the firm I work for would never consider a candidate working even a hybrid schedule for the indefinite future.
 
Jan 19, 22 10:25 pm
reallynotmyname

We recently added our first all remote staffer who is several hundred miles away from the office.   They replaced a person who never liked or successfully adjusted to the hybrid and WFH setups we are now using due to COVID.   The person who left us moved over to a die-hard "everyone in the office always" firm.

Based on how well the new person is doing, I think we are going to keep going with hiring more remote and hybrid staff in the future.

Jan 20, 22 10:57 am  · 
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Our firm has employed a private draftsman on independent contract for years; when we have a surplus of drafting work that we can't handle internally, we send things to him. He works from home, but granted, he's also a private contractor with his own business.

The main issue I've seen with firms allowing fully remote work is overhead costs and potential security. The remote employee has to be able to have a workstation at their private residence (or wherever they're working) that can handle not only the software for their job, but also the possibly enormous database of files, projects, etc.; most firms figure they already have all of the equipment and software licenses at the office; why would they pay for an additional license for someone who simply wants to work remotely?

From a security standpoint, a lot of employers might be shy about allowing remote access to their server which contains sensitive client information going back years (as opposed to in-office work, where the server might be entirely local, or on a private encrypted network). So it has to be something the employer/team has to really take a look at to make sure all of the data being transferred is safe.

Jan 20, 22 10:58 am  · 
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RJ87

The workaround for multiple licenses / server locations is remote logins. When covid first hit & our office was work from home for a bit, they set up every computer with software that allowed you to login remotely from whatever computer you had at your house. So effectively you were controlling your "office computer" with whatever you had at home. It allows the server to remain local & the office machines to do the heavy lifting.

It's not perfect, but it works well in general. I have a Macbook at home that I used to login to my office PC when I got covid. The only snag was the keyboard difference. My macbook "delete" button didn't translate, nor did the "command" button. Wasn't a big deal though.

Jan 25, 22 2:45 pm  · 
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Our firm switched to BIM Collaborate. All our models are online now . All the workers have to do is login to autodesk desktop app and run revit like normal. We also set up file structure online per project, with privileges. So our entry level cant get into the PM folders.

Feb 1, 22 10:59 am  · 
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whistler

I have a long standing employee who worked for me in the office for about 8-9 years.  Decided to move away and do her own thing with a new partner.  About a year later she decided she wanted to do some small contract work and since then we have been working that way for about 4-years now.  I totally have faith and trust in her skills and she is always only an email/ zoom / Skype call away.  I don't think I would have hired someone in the same manner if they hadn't worked for us for an extended period in a traditional manner.  Just a comfort thing for me to know the work was in good hands.


Jan 20, 22 2:09 pm  · 
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I have two architects in Boston and one contact in Miami who I assist with visualizations remotely. In one case, I'm building a model entirely from 2D AutoCAD drawings. And in the second case, I make a visualization from the Revit model. But I add the environment myself. The only negative is that there are few orders. I could do 10 times more. They are privately practicing architects. It must be hard to get into big companies. Some of the work on my site is in the profile.

Jan 25, 22 11:13 am  · 
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torr

My office of 25 has been 100% remote for the last year.  The office also downsized to a very small office space that is just used for meetings with clients.  Before Covid hit, the principal owner didn't believe in remote work and demanded people come in.  Now, they support the new remote system.  It saves lots of overhead on leasing an office.  Everyone is given a laptop and monitor for your home workspace.  We can now reach out to talent that live from west to east coast.  One of the employees even moved to Texas and is working out fine.  This is definitely the way of the future and creates a great work-life balance.

Jan 25, 22 2:31 pm  · 
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natematt

Before covid we'd had a handful of people doing this for years. Usually they are in demand and highly specialized people though who have more leverage, mostly medical market related.

I think the pandemic has made this much more viable as firms now have better infrastructure, and at least in some cases see it as functional.

Jan 25, 22 3:54 pm  · 
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an_cherniy96

Hey, thanks for sharing. I think remote work has more benefits than downsides... Plus the pandemic has boosted the implementation of WFH, so I think it is the new normal now.

Jan 27, 22 12:41 am  · 
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WFHgoals
Thank you all for the reassurances. I’m certainly open to still appearing in office when necessary and site visits of course. Trust is the biggest component of working remote, in my opinion. I’m struggling with work life balance right now. Im finding myself going into the office to essentially entertain my boss with conversation (who is an empty nester) or when he has tech problems. Everything we have done the last two years has been 95% remote for clients anyways. I am much more productive, healthier and happier at home.

I’ve entertained several recruiters here recently and am getting mixed feedback about remote work. Seems two days a week max is what is common here in FL. I suspect when we all finally overcome covid most offices here will require full time office presence, which is something I just don’t think I can do anymore for my sanity. I think I will expand my search to out of state work to see what lies in more forward thinking areas. Thanks all!
Jan 27, 22 9:46 pm  · 
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4arch

I viewed the months of WFH where many firms went fully remote during Covid’s early days to be largely successful. Our profession has managed to collaborate remotely with our consultants, and in many cases our clients, decades before remote work was even dreamed of. Our work is more adaptable to WFH than all too many want to admit. I know of architects working in firms whose leadership took a hardline back-to-office stance who are unhappy or who have already left. Letting longtime talent walk out the door over this is, IMO, a big mistake and I would guess it’s only a matter of time before those firms change their tune.

I’m a newly minted department head in a firm with leadership mostly of an older generation. We’re still navigating how much of a remote firm we want to be. Luckily most of us see the writing on the wall and understand remote or hybrid as something we have to offer to attract and retain talent, at least to some extent. We don’t currently list ourselves as being open to remote work on job postings, but we won’t turn away quality applicants who wish to work remotely. I suspect a lot of firms are in a similar boat – not ready to declare themselves full remote and shutter the physical office but not dumb enough to let talent walk away over the issue. So there may be more opportunities out there for WFH than it seems, though it might take some selling yourself as a remote worker to get it.

Where I have seen a few remote work requests fall apart is when the applicant’s justification was centered around their quality of life, personal happiness, not commuting, etc. I’m very sympathetic to all of that but the old timers are much less so and in most firms the old timers are the reluctant ones who need convincing. What seems to be more compelling to them is a WFH request from a proven talent who adequately eases their fears of lost productivity or difficulty of contact. 

Jan 28, 22 2:27 pm  · 
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I have been going through multiple Jobs postings before covid , during, and after. It seems that during the peak of covid alot of firms where adopting a work from home model, or hybrid. Now that covid has subsided somewhat not many firms are sticking with working from home, still stuck in that studio culture. What i am seeing is the more design oriented firms will prefer in office, while the more corporate firms are hiring for WFH.

I currently do Hybrid at my current job- and have a couple consultation work with companies in other countries and other states. before covid most of my consultations where within a state.

Feb 1, 22 11:03 am  · 
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