Work in COVID19 Times

Hello everyone!

I will start this post talking about my summer, a really strange summer for me here in California, we have experienced many things and 2020 is a year full of surprises as you all will know. Talking about my wok experience, it has been a very productive and probably the best year of my work life, I have learned a lot and during this time I had the chance to improve and learn even more, not being at the office and working form home all this months helped me to do even more things on my own. I am still working in many projects and helping my workmates with a lot of design items. It is fair to say that I had great mentors in HMC during the working from home days, I even had the chance to keep going to site visits following all the new rules to prevent COVID19, in all of those visits I had the opportunity to learn a lot from HMC members that will explain to you every single detail of them, I am so grateful that they kept doing that during this period of time, it was not only a chance to be outside of home but also I could see some of my workmates that I haven’t seen in a long time since all this started. I also had the opportunity to grow as a professional, working not only in the design of the projects I was involved in, but also helping in other projects, my mentor in the company also explained to me how the billing process goes, and how to look at the budget when projects are this big. Sometimes when you look at the scale of some of this projects compared to what I was working in Spain you can get easily lost in a lot of issues, and this experience in the US is giving me a different approach when it comes to that. Also the involvement of the users in the design decision is really important here, sometimes even as much as the client involvement, and that is something I was not used to see that much.

The design approach is much more collaborative here too, and that is something that I love. We have a lot more freedom in HMC that what I had in other companies, and that turns the design of the building into something you care about and what to preserve during the whole process of the building construction. Compared to my previous experience, in which the design principal will sketch and design the building, and the rest of the designers in the company will make it work and fit, here all the designers work together from the earliest stage of the design, helping each other when someone is stuck in a problem, and that not only creates a much better work environment but also creates very good relationships in between workmates and for sure the building becomes a much better building.

When working from home we had many challenges at the beginning with this way of working together, but after a few weeks all that was solved and it became again a very natural way of working together, helping each other and doing good work. I am looking forward to go back to office and see everybody again but we managed to keep doing a great team work even not seeing each other for a long time, and that is thanks to the previous understanding of how everybody works and a lot of teamwork effort.

Definitely, even with all that happened during 2020, this year is, with no doubt, one of the best experiences I have ever lived speaking about work, and all I want is to continue this learning process and keep getting better at what I do until it’s time to leave. I still have a lot to learn from the people here and a lot more to discover from how this way of practicing architecture is different to what I was used to do.

Arturo Rodríguez


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