The do’s and dont’s of an architectural office workspace

I still remember my first day at work, equally excited yet nervous. Being a good student in college, I was confident enough to give my best to all the tasks that were assigned to me, but I was equally nervous to the thought of going to a new place with so many established professionals around. Uncertainty and what-ifs surrounded me like never before and I realized that stepping into the professional world is indeed a difficult transition for college students. Fortunately, architecture colleges do have 4 months long internship program designed for students to understand how the office works, but still many students go down when it comes to office etiquettes. In this article, we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of an architecture workspace, that are mostly inspired by my personal experience.

1.                   Don’t be too harsh on yourself.

Settling down and getting noticed takes time so don’t put yourself under a lot of pressure to adjust quickly. Sit back, finish your tasks, understand the work culture and breathe! We all are new to this at some point in our life. The fact is, architecture offices are burdened with tons of projects that come with strict deadlines. Some days will be too exhausting, while on some days, you will feel as if you have got the best place to work. Get in terms with the work environment and adjust with your pace as too many expectations or pressure will weigh you down.

2.                   Communication is the key

We are architects, and we tend to be an expert at communicating our ideas to the client. We can communicate through our drawings, that’s what we have mastered in those five years, and fortunately, this is one of the aspects that is required when you are among the best and established minds at work. With strict deadlines, a chain of mails, and plenty of clients, your communication skills might get you very ahead in your life. The way you address people, the way you exchange information with your colleagues and the way you convey the concept of the project to the client makes you different from the crowd. I remember I was assigned the additional role of a Business Development Manager just on the basis of my communication skills. You can do it too! Communicate MORE.

3.                   Avoid getting late to work

Building a structure is much more than just brick and mortar. It all starts with a number of sheets, along with a number of hours dedicated in its planning and designing. Being architects, we all know how much time one has to put in while designing any building. So avoid getting late to work, and be punctual. That eventually reflects your sincerity and commitment to your work and to the firm. Show up to work on time, schedule your internal deadlines prior to the actual ones, stop taking too many coffee breaks and focus how early you can get the project completed.

4.                   Explore for more!

Architecture is all about exploring what has been done and what is yet to be done. When you are a fresher, you get plenty of opportunities to learn from your colleagues or your mentor. Always be open to the experience they share or the tips they give you. Believe me, they are beneficial in the long run.

5.                   Notebooks are not just for college

When I was interning at an office, my senior colleague told me once to carry a notebook along with you and till now, I always keep a diary by my side. Writing down the tasks for the day, jotting down the questions, and marking them off at the end of the day gives so much satisfaction of finishing every task you have picked up on that particular day. Sticky notes, reminders and these tech-enabled things are good but when you pen down things, you become organized by doing things quickly.

6.                   Never Hesitate

I am an introvert, I avoid going to places with many people around. I struggle to make my presence noticed at social gatherings, but my colleague once told me that we should always look out to know more people from our profession. Know your colleagues, never be shy to ask for their opinions and seek their expertise. Take your time and build a good relationship with them. Maybe you find someone who has similar interests as you do, or maybe you meet your favorite architect from the town through them. So, it’s a good idea to reach out and connect with the people at your workspace. Be patient, and with time, you will start feeling as you belong there. As long as you love your job, nothing can stop you to reach the heights. I hope that the above tips would help you in getting settled at your new workplace and may you get all the success that you deserve. All the best for the new journey!

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