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The Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) identifies and develops information on the business of architecture for use by the profession to maintain and improve the quality of the professional and business environment.  The PMKC initiates programs, provides content and serves as a resource to other knowledge communities, and acts as experts on AIA Institute programs and policies that pertain to a wide variety of business practices and trends.

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20/20 - Pandemic Work Ethics

  • 1.  20/20 - Pandemic Work Ethics

    Posted 10-14-2020 12:33 PM
    This article came across our radar about architect-abuse during COVID in Britain, such as being asked to work for free to keep your place in line the jobs come back.
    Has anyone been on either side of a pandemic-related inequity in the employer-employee relationship; how and why did you respond?
    Furlough fraud, snooping and firings: architects speak out over lockdown exploitation
    the Guardian remove preview
    Furlough fraud, snooping and firings: architects speak out over lockdown exploitation
    or Maria Gomez, the nightmare began when she couldn't get her boss out of her bedroom. "It felt like he was in there 24/7," she says, "always watching my every move." She was used to architecture's punishing lifestyle, working late nights and weekends, and she had adjusted to the additional stresses of working from home during lockdown.
    View this on the Guardian >



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    Scott Knudson AIA
    PMKC Leadership Group
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    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 2.  RE: 20/20 - Pandemic Work Ethics

    Posted 10-19-2020 01:42 PM
    Way, Way, Way past time that the profession moves on from even a hint of employee disrespect and abuse by employers.  Hopefully the Architectural education environment has also moved on from expectations of student "all nighters" and instilling graduates with low self-esteem in regard to their entrance into the professional work environment.  One thing that technologies' entre into the professional workplace did starting in the early 80's was a need for recent graduates to "mentor up" for the sake of technology clueless firm principals.  The COVID-19 crisis should have a similar impact on the profession in regard to employee, work-life-balance, gender/racial equity and pay equity...after all, we are now merely connected nodes of design talent assembled to solve problems and make the world a better place.  We can be kind to one another.

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    Peter Macrae AIA
    Macrae Architecture LLC
    Worthington OH
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    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 3.  RE: 20/20 - Pandemic Work Ethics

    Posted 10-21-2020 09:10 AM
    Here Here

    The notion that successful practice requires long hours and unpaid servitude is just plain wrong. We manage to operate our firm with flexibility in hours, fully compensated, and still turn a profit. It is a matter of setting proper fees, with proper expectations from clients and staff. If we use the same planning skills in our practice that we bring to our profession w should be able to produce quality work while maintaining an equal quality of life.

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    Jerry Roller AIA
    JKRP Architects
    Philadelphia PA
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    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 4.  RE: 20/20 - Pandemic Work Ethics

    Posted 10-20-2020 05:31 PM

    Scott:
    I have not seen or heard of anything like that since the pandemic. However, I can say the first two firms I worked for were architectural sweat shops. The first was a small firm where the boss would drive to your house to pick you up if you were not there on a Saturday! He had a " we are all in this together " attitude so I actually never really minded the long hours. My second job was a large, "cover of magazines", "principals on the lecture and book circuit" firm where I was the most senior project manager in our department. 70 to 80 hour weeks were the norm for the PMs and it was not unusual to see an intern sobbing in the bathroom. Our principal would actual berate people for not pulling all nighters! When the other principals saw the outrageous hours our department worked they told him to knock it off....so he told us we were not allowed to report more than 40 hours a week but we still worked the 70 to 80. Pathetically our principal won an award, based on the falsely reported low hours,  for turning his group around.

    However, it was the best thing that could have happened to me...I quit that place of misery and started my own firm. In 20 years I have never asked an employee to work the weekend or over 45 hours in a week, I suspect that is one reason we tend to be the last job someone has..employee have deep loyalty to us, and us to them.



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    [ Nea May] [Poole] AIA
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
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    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 5.  RE: 20/20 - Pandemic Work Ethics

    Posted 10-21-2020 09:39 PM
    Nea Poole,
    Just wanted to say that I appreciated your viewpoint!  I love that your commitment to the work remains but legitimate employee management has remained high priority, which only creates stability and employee retention. 

    Regards,
    Reid T. Mizue, AIA
    OMIZU architecture inc
    1023 Pensacola Street Unit H
    Honolulu, HI 96814
    808.721.4267








    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar