Task-based, remote work; does it exist in this field?


I am interested in applying for a digital nomad visa to move to Spain in a few years when I am more established in my career.  I would need ot have a remote job here, which to my understanding is not the most common situation in architecture but is certainly not impossible to find.  I would also need to figure out the time difference; I do not want to be working at 2AM.  Are there firms where the work schedule is more task-based, instead of everyone working the same hours?  I am not concerned about whether this would be a work situation where I could continue to advance my career as an architect, I more interested in having a work-life balance with the opportunity to travel and have a life outside the office.

Feb 23, 23 12:27 pm

Task based, probably not. Maybe in a niche situation, like if you were a consultant or a founding principal. Point being, you'd need some considerable weight to throw around whether it be extreme talent or extreme seniority. Kind of unlikely that you wouldn't be around the office even in these circumstances, I mean, in the sense of commitment to quality. 

Additionally, if you pay attention to recent trends/articles on linkedin, many firms are making the push to get their employees back into the office. Heck, we're loosing WFH Mondays in April. 

The time difference is a google search away my dude. Nobody wants to work at 2am. 

Feb 23, 23 12:46 pm  · 

Yup, that is my concern. Guess I will be trapped in my cubicle forever.

Feb 23, 23 1:32 pm  · 
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Cubicle 4 lyfe.

Feb 23, 23 2:43 pm  · 

Are you willing to nerd out?  You could develop convincing expertise in one or more specialties that US architectural employees don't like to do.  Specification writing comes to mind.  Also QA/QC, maybe sophisticated envelope details, LEED documentation, complex code/life safety analysis. 

Prior to leaving for Spain, you would do well to have established relationships with several USA offices who could send you these kind of tasks to do remotely.   Time difference is not an issue if you plan things right. 

You will need to work for well-run offices that are organized enough to send you coherent work assignments work in a timely manner and not an "everything on the day before the deadline" shitshow that some people do.

You may suffer in the short term for focusing on non glamorous work in a USA office culture that favors "design" over "production" people, but I believe that really good technical people can eventually write their own tickets in a pretty nice way.  Like moving to Spain.

Feb 23, 23 1:46 pm  · 
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Thank you for your thoughtful response! My current office is definitely an "everything the before it's due" mess at times. I have thought about how I would be happy to move to an architecture adjacent field, such as teaching or even becoming a product rep, if it means getting to see more of the world before life passes me by.

Feb 23, 23 2:17 pm  · 

What kind of work are you looking to do? I work for several firms on a freelance/task basis, but don't "practice" architecture. I'll do some rendering and visualization, but otherwise do writing, image editing, and marketing for people. It seems like a lot of firms need this kind of help, so if you're open to those kinds of jobs, I'd think you could find them. In my experience, people don't care when you're working as long as you complete the tasks on time. Also, one of the firms I work for is an entirely remote team of architects! It's definitely out there.

Feb 23, 23 4:14 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

You could be a drafter for a residential architect or designer. I run a small residential design company and sometimes work with subcontractors for drafting and design, but I do all of the client-facing work so it doesn't matter what hours they work. I know several residential architects who work similarly. I do the schematic design but I prefer to work with people who can contribute to the design and not just draft.

Feb 23, 23 5:11 pm  · 
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