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Our Insights

The new ideal at our virtual home office (or kitchen table)

By: Pipa Bradbury, Director, Interior Design

Let’s use this rare moment in time to bring a new ideal to our home office – or kitchen table. Working at home can be much more productive. The advantage is that you can work in your most comfortable clothing with continuous unjudged access to the fridge, do yoga stretches on the floor next to your desk (or kitchen table), dance as if no one is watching to get the blood flowing, get hugs from your family, and take a meditation moment when you need it.

Focus and Communications

What is important to remember is that we all have the ability to make an ideal work-from-home scenario for ourselves. During this time, we are no longer confined to the rules of office etiquette. We can be more focused and efficient, if we practice good communication and do not get distracted.

Our Hospitality team at NORR starts with an 8:30 good morning message from all team members on the team’s app, fulfilling that subconscious or conscious need to feel we are all a part of something bigger.
Then, we can focus, one task at a time, and finish it as we can control the interruptions.

Communication is key. It reminds me of a Steelcase R&D article about an AGILE work environment. It isn’t as we may think, having the flexibility to work from home, or anywhere at any time. It’s a term describing teams producing deliverables in quick response times and developing ideas and solutions quickly with focus on prioritizing work, prioritizing people, and seeking frequent continuous client feedback.

At NORR, we are utilizing Microsoft Teams and have set out specific focused tasks with the specific people doing what they do best with frequent communication making it easier for each team member to stay focused on tasks and stay on track.

Microsoft Teams has enabled us to have quick impromptu collaborative discussions and easily reach out and ask questions while still being able to stay focused on the task at hand. Project components are pulled together into a presentation that is viewable and discussed by everyone. The communication and scheduled group meetings are keeping everyone on task and able to jump in and assist as needed.

Utilizing our computer design software such as Revit, CAD, Adobe Suite and SketchUp, enables our designers to be paper-free, making designs easily transferable to clients.

Material Bank and all the other interior design representatives and showrooms have all been fantastic at still managing to get our samples delivered promptly and even to our homes, making it great to continue pulling finish and mood boards together. This is very important, as we still need to touch and feel our design samples, looking at them under the different variations of lighting. For example, a fabric in 2700K light looks very different in 3000K. As well, CRI (color rendering indexes) make a difference to color clarity of each color. Textures can never be realized in photographic representations.

At NORR, we are using this rare moment in time to bring a new ideal to the home office. More importantly, we are stretching our minds to understand what impact our current environment may have on future design and materials we choose for the work environment going forward.