img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

How IF_DO manages hybrid working for business and people

Words:
Thomas Bryans

Thomas Bryans, director at IF_DO, explains how the London practice benefits from all staff spending three days together in the office and two at home

Hybrid working is the ‘new normal’, and all the practices we know are trialling diverse approaches. We wanted to preserve improvements to productivity and lifestyle benefits discovered during the pandemic, but ensure that quality of design, support for new and younger staff, and studio culture are upheld. All 13 of us are in our London studio from Tuesday to Thursday, with flexibility at both ends of the week.

Disciplined scheduling is key: we are in the office to collaborate. The week hangs around Wednesdays as a time to come together. We have full-team design reviews and the day is pretty sacrosanct, even though that can make finding time for outside meetings trickier.

More pragmatic tasks are assigned to non-studio days. We start the week running through progress of all projects on a digital whiteboard; it’s more efficient online. Directors’ business meetings are held on Zoom. Again, the split is advantageous, as we don’t have space for a private meeting room.

The model has allowed all three directors to relocate; I am in Somerset, Al Scott in Suffolk and Sarah Castle in Manchester. Those moves were for personal reasons, but present opportunities for the practice. We are at equidistant points of a triangle, spread across the country, and are building networks in those regions. The rhythm of the working week supports our expansion and growth, while allowing us to remain a London practice which is at heart a collaborative project; creating things together is more enjoyable and results in better design.

Latest

Can 3D printed concrete become a viable option for construction? A lighter, more sophisticated, more sustainable version of Holcim’s Striatus Bridge suggests it could

Can 3D printed concrete become a viable option for construction?

University of Bath team joins 15 other partners in European project ‘Inbuilt’ to develop 10 natural and bio-based building materials

University of Bath joins ‘Inbuilt’ project creating natural and bio-based building materials

Embodied carbon and how best to use limited resources took centre stage at the RIBA’s most recent Smart Practice conference

How can we break our addictions to fossil fuels, waste and consumption?

Strengthening the 18th century, timber-framed Corn Exchange and connecting it to an upgraded 1930s Studio Theatre were key to opening the arts centre to modern audiences

How FCBStudios and Max Fordham refurbished the listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre

Western modernism came to colonial West Africa and India, but with independence they made it their own. Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence follows the story

Locals made ‘progressive, optimistic’ style their own