27th March 2020 | IN CORONAVIRUS | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn In light of the ever-evolving circumstances surrounding coronavirus COVID-19 and how quickly society is changing during these uncertain times, it’s clear that the consequences of the pandemic go far beyond the global spread of the virus and the extreme measures put in place to contain it. The far-reaching economic impacts are also accumulating rapidly, with a devastating effect on business and employment; giving way to an influx of layoffs and bankruptcies. While we encourage all our members, architects and interior designers to follow official guidelines and read the latest advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), we’ve collated some helpful resources to provide you with some tips and essential advice during this challenging stretch to help you stay in business. We will continue to share any useful or relevant information to support the design community at this time and urge you to stay at home, stay informed and stay connected! Seeking Financial Support While our main concerns are health-related, financial wellbeing is also a crucial consideration. Whether you are an employee or an employer, a business owner or self-employed, we advise everyone to check the Government website regularly for all official guidance and updates on available opportunities for government assistance and financial support options. Through the Business Support scheme, the Government is helping businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of disruption. Click here for further guidance Leverage the Digital Environment to Serve Customers Use your online channels of communication to keep clients informed With the situation developing rapidly, it’s important to keep your customers and clients up to date. Actively share any new or key information about how your business or operations have been effected through email, your website and social media pages to ensure clients are in the know about any measures you’ve implemented which may impact them; whether you need to notify them of premises closures, new procedures for handling customer queries or expected delays in product deliveries and logistics. You can also ‘pin’ important posts to the top of your Facebook page so they appear first whilst you continue communications so this information is not lost in your feed when clients come looking for answers. Staying connected with your customers in real time through Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp for business will also be a valuable tool for keeping your audience informed. Facebook for Business are offering a host specific advice, toolkits and courses to help you navigate your social media platforms and communications throughout this challenging time. Shift your services online where possible! With enforcement to restrict movement and new social distancing measures in place, meeting in person is simply not an option. So whether you provide design consultations online, host a virtual showroom tour or live stream to your audience, you need to get creative with the internet for conducting your business services and operations where possible. For in-progress technical design work and presentations, integrated cloud-based technology workflows allow you to store project data and share visualisations with clients (and colleagues) throughout the design process from start to finish – wherever in the world they are. Vectorworks design software also introduced an immersive panorama feature for viewing interiors. Through a shareable web link with a file size compatible with social media, you can invite the client to experience the rendering with you in an interactive, 360-degree model. Utilise tools to help you work from home effectively In a time where an unprecedented number of us are confined to our homes and adjusting to a new way of work-from-home life, streamlining your efficiency will be essential. Read our helpful tips for working from home in self-isolation. Whether you need collaborative project management tools such as Trello to keep the whole team in the loop when it comes to tracking project developments, or want to set up meetings whilst remote working with applications like Microsoft Teams which includes a handy ‘record’ feature so those who cannot join can watch later or search the automatically generated transcript for important information; there are plenty of tools to help. Video conferencing tools in particular have become increasingly popular as an essential means for helping us stay connected, so if you haven’t already got to grips with the technology, platforms like Zoom offer online tutorials to help you get going! For further advice on communicating with remote teams during coronavirus, why not tune in for live webinar training or check out LinkedIn Learning for courses on remote working. Staying inspired, whilst staying at home A key issue we are sure many designers are facing during this time is the ability to stay inspired. With travel being one of the most quoted means for our Accredited Interior Designers when it comes to getting inspiration, it’s important to find new ways to seek that all important inspo whilst ‘travelling’ consists of walking between rooms, or taking your one-day permitted exercise outside. Whilst art galleries and museums are closed to the public, many international museums are still in reaching distance – online! Offering their exhibits to be explored virtually with interactive, 360-degree videos and full “walk-around” tours with voiceover descriptions is a great way to access world-class art with a leisurely virtual visit. From the Natual History Museum, London and Rijksmusuem, Amsterdam to the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Google Arts and Culture are also offering panoramic views of famous sites. Click here to discover more and keep your eye out for leading trade shows and design events which may also be making the shift to digital experiences. Another way to keep your finger on the industry pulse and stay engaged with design whilst working from home is to listen to podcasts or watch inspiring TED Talks on architecture and design. SBID has also launched it’s new podcast series, SpeakEasy featuring informative and insightful interviews with professionals across the design industry. Click here to discover the first episode with SBID founder, Dr Vanessa Brady OBE! SBID is dedicated to supporting the interior design profession and the interior designers in practice, if you need help or advise during this time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.