The coronavirus outbreak has prompted about 900 million people to work from home. Among them are building designers who—by accomplishing home design in their actual homes—are finding whole new methods and outlets for their creativity.

To facilitate modern design, designers and their collaborators have exchanged designs, concepts and brainstorms through digital means—initially out of convenience, now from necessity. Here are some ways to create and maintain the ultimate home office:

  • Be positive. This too shall pass, as the old saying goes, and a hopeful disposition will make it pass much more quickly.
  • At all times follow guidelines for safety, health, hygiene and social distancing advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local public health officials.
  • Be informed—not overwhelmed. While we all must keep apprised of health and safety information as delivered through valuable sources, don’t allow yourself to be bombarded and stressed by pandemic-related updates. And while you’re working, keep your mind and eyes on your work.
  • Establish a daily routine and stick to it as much as possible.
  • Calm and contact. Keep in touch with family and friends and do your best to ease their concerns.
  • Switch to the cloud. Move your projects, creative processes, files and folders and documents to the cloud online. Some popular cloud software includes Autodesk BIM 360Graphisoft BIMcloud, and Splashtop. Also update your apps.
  • Stay in contact with co-workers and host virtual meetings on a regular basis, using channels like SlackGoogle Meet, and Zoom.
  • Manage and share project resources in an organised manner, using software like Trello, Deltek and Newforma.
  • Limit your virtual tool range, to avoid confusion and maintain good order in your design firm.
  • Be inspired by design professionals you trust and admire, examining and emulating how they’re managing their schedules and projects during this time.
  • Build a competent and comprehensive home office. Choose a well-lit and ventilated space in your home, fill it with quality computer and office equipment, and get to work!
  • Set a work-from-home schedule that—due to the absence of commutes and regimented lunch breaks—might allow for you to supplement your required work duties with research, study and education that will allow you to sharpen your high tech work skills and update your knowledge base in regards to your profession and field of expertise. You can do this without leaving the safety of home, by taking online courses, visiting virtual museums, reading up on new design styles, building materials, construction codes, etc.
  • Manage and limit distractions: If possible, turn off the phone and TV, and ask the kids not to bug you unless it’s an emergency.
  • Apart from work, learn to relax. Practice yoga, exercise and meditate.
  • When it’s quitting time, quit. If you can learn how to work at home, you can relearn how to relax at home—knowing all the while that, despite all the fear, disorder and confusion, we got this.