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Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

  • 1.  Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

    Posted 11 days ago
    Fellows.

    I'm part of a Facebook group, Mothers in Architecture, Design & Construction, and there are multiple posts from architects not being allowed to work from home during Covid-19. These architects are dealing with school closures and their children are home and need care. They are also concerned about bring Covid-19 into their homes from contacts at work. 

    I'm wondering how this group can help?

    Sheri Olson, FAIA






  • 2.  RE: Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

    Posted 10 days ago
    Dear Sheri
    Thank you, this is an important issue as you have stated.  I think the AIA should release a statement stating that all architects should understand the needs and accommodate for all members that have special conditions.  This seems only reasonable. This would be a start.
    Need to get to the President of AIA.
    Jan Wampler

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    Jan Wampler FAIA
    Jamaica Plain MA
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  • 3.  RE: Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

    Posted 10 days ago

    Sheri,

    I am part of that group, also, but I haven't been checking in much lately. I did see (and comment on) one thread about a woman not being able to work from home during the pandemic. Your point is well taken--we as AIA leaders need to make sure that firms understand how dangerous it is to require staff to come into the office when we are being advised to practice social distancing and keep very clean.

    I will reach out to Jane Frederick and see if she can do something, just in case she's not reading this thread.

    Thank you!



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    Dawn Zuber FAIA
    Owner
    Studio Z Architecture
    Plymouth MI
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  • 4.  RE: Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

    Posted 10 days ago
    There are a lot of approaches, some not so polite.  However, having just read the rules for employers in the legislation that passed, i would suggest that the architects read that legislation, then take it with them to talk to their bosses.  there is relief in the legislation for employers as well as workers.  but it is not all entitlement.  the legislation requires a little give and take.  it should make for a good discussion.
    I would also suggest that the worried employees push this discussion very quickly.  they should be working from home and they should be meeting remotely NOW.

    My whole team has been working remotely.  it is not easy.  Some of them must work from 6 am to 10 am then from 7 pm to midnight in order to also accommodate their families.  remote IT is not easy for firms who have never tried it before .  if the worried employees would go tot he bosses understanding all of these things, the discussion should be fruitful.  if it is NOT, then they will have to weigh their options.  Find a job with someone more ETHICAL.

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    Elizabeth Corbin Murphy FAIA
    Principal
    Perspectus Architecture, LLC
    Cleveland OH
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  • 5.  RE: Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

    Posted 9 days ago
    Dear Sheri:

    I hope you are healthy, safe, and well-stocked with supplies.  I am doing my best with social isolation but I do NOT like it one bit!

    As to the outrageous employers who are putting everyone at risk by requiring their employees to come to work, I suggest that the aggrieved file complaints with the National Ethics Council.  I checked the code and the nearest violation would be Rule 2.104: members shall not engage in conduct involving fraud or wanton disregard of the rights of others.  Certainly, "other" applies to employees and their rights during a global pandemic.

    Depending upon where people are located and what local restrictions are on moving about (which change daily as the pandemic spreads), the aggrieved might file a complaint with elected city or state officials.  Most of them have gotten on the band wagon to minimize the national disaster that is lurking.

    As these two interventions work their way through bureaucracies that are already running on fumes, I suggest posting large copies of this poem throughout the office:

    Column: 'Pandemic,' a little-known poet's poem about the coronavirus, goes viral

    By MARY SCHMICH
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE
    MAR 13, 2020 | 8:56 PM

    Pandemic

    What if you thought of it
    as the Jews consider the Sabbath-
    the most sacred of times?

    Cease from travel.
    Cease from buying and selling.
    Give up, just for now,
    on trying to make the world
    different than it is.
    Sing.  Pray.  Touch only those
    to whom you commit your life.
    Center down.

    And when your body has become still,
    reach out with your heart.
    Know that we are connected
    in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
    (You could hardly deny it now.)
    Know that our lives
    are in one another's hands.
    (Surely, that has come clear.)
    Do not reach out your hands.
    Reach out your heart.
    Reach out your words.
    Reach out all the tendrils
    of compassion that move, invisibly,
    where we cannot touch.

    Promise this world your love–
    for better or for worse,
    in sickness and in health,
    so long as we all shall live.

    –Lynn Ungar-minister, dog trainer, little-known poet
    03/11/2020

    Take care!

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    Sharon Egretta Sutton, PhD, FAIA
    Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture
    Parsons School of Design
    New York, New York
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  • 6.  RE: Firms not allowing architects to work from home during Covid 19

    Posted 9 days ago
    Oh the other hand (and after rereading the poem in my last post) perhaps empathy is the best approach to these wayward employers. I am guessing that these are small firms that may be overwhelmed by the very thought of managing their offices digitally.  Universities and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture have provided a ton of resources to help individual faculty figure out how to teach their courses digitally.  Perhaps AIA has created some similar support???  Or perhaps the larger firms could offer support for the smaller ones???  One thing I am beginning to figure out is that the only way to get through this pandemic is with compassion, humor, and reduced expectations.  So I'm wondering how the aggrieved and the architecture community can help these wayward firms acquire those characteristics.

    In the humor department, here's a video that when viral on Facebook and that I listen to every couple of days when I get overwhelmed by how much extra work it will take to teach my courses this semester and the much-reduced outcome they will have.  It's called I Will Survive; it's for professors but it may work for practitioners.  Listen closely! https://www.facebook.com/1047125741/posts/10219376097006946/?d=n 

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    Sharon Egretta Sutton, PhD, FAIA
    Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture
    Parsons School of Design
    New York, New York
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