What were some of the things you had to do to go to a meeting in person?

Own a car; insure and maintain it, or deal with public transit ˃ Risk your life driving to the meeting, and risk your life getting back home ˃ Pick up the dry cleaning, shine your shoes and dress appropriately for the weather and the meeting (not always easy in -20 deg. temperatures) ˃ Remember to have your laptop and phone charged up and have all required cables with you ˃ Put up with the drive-thru line-up at the coffee shop ˃ Navigate parking ˃ Deal with the Johnny-come-latelys ˃ pilot your way through someone else’s boardroom technology ˃ And on and on it goes until it has consumed most of your day.

Here’s pretty much all the things you have to consider in order to have a successful Zoom call:

Fix your hair ˃ Shave or put on some make-up as is your preference ˃ Wear professional attire from the waist up ˃ Walk from your home to your office without ever leaving the building ˃ Sit close to the screen with your camera at eye level (no one wants to talk to your forehead or inspect your nasal cavities) ˃ Ensure your mic and speakers are working and if you’re not speaking stay on mute ˃ Ensure there is no background noise (put your dog in another room) ˃ Don’t eat during the meeting ˃ A bit of good lighting goes a long way ˃ Do not walk if you’re using your phone or put your laptop on your lap ˃ Ignore the Johnny-come-latelys, they’ll get the recording ˃ Go back to the kitchen and re-fill your coffee after the meeting.

Here’s what you used to have to do to fit out an office:

Engage a commercial realtor ˃ after months of looking when you’ve found what you think is a suitable space, negotiate the leaseholds and lease ˃ Hire an Architect and/or Interior Designer ˃ These principal consultants will then higher other sub-consultants and put together a design team ˃ You’ll be concerned about budget from day one, but they will be more concerned with creating your dream office ˃ After some preliminary budgeting (or not) and several months of design development there will be a competitive bidding process ˃ Often the bid price will be higher than the budget or things missed during the design process will surface – things like IT, Security, signage…˃ The design team will now begin the process of value engineering your dream office. In other words, taking all the dreamy parts out ˃ You’ll finally agree to a price (but not the final price), hire the GC (who will hire all the sub-trades) and you’ll think your done ˃ As construction drawings are completed and the construction team mobilizes there will be daily reminders of how complex this process is. Everything from unknown site conditions to significant conflicts and omissions that result in scope creep, will increase costs and probably delay your schedule at the point of no return ˃ You’ll be introduced to new tools like ‘Clash Detection’ that are designed to solve problems you had no part in creating ˃ In almost every case the linearity of the process requires that issues are processed through the prime consultants, engineers or vendors and eventually a CO (Change Order) will be issued. The process can be so slow that many contractors are forced to make the changes without the proper approvals in place or risk negatively affecting the schedule. ˃ Eventually your office is finished (mostly) and you move in, perhaps not when you wanted to and not at the price you thought you would have to pay, but at least that’s behind you.

Or you could:

Have an office created virtually and tour it in first person (after all, most offices are square or rectangular boxes) ˃ Have it priced to the penny in advance ˃ Now that you know what it’s going to look like and how much it will cost you, you can go shopping for and negotiate your new space with confidence ˃ Assemble a design team to execute your virtually designed vision ˃ Tweak the design to accommodate the space ˃ Have the interior manufactured in a factory, delivered and installed on site just in time, on schedule and at the agreed to price ˃ Move in and enjoy.