Our region – Western New York – started with Phase 1 of reopening this week, which includes manufacturing and construction sites. Professional services, which includes Architects & Designers, are part of Phase 1. If everything goes well, we may move into the next phase in 2 weeks.

What does reopening mean for you?

For our tiny firm and our partners, Get Fresh Industries and Allieway Marketing, it means shifting back into the office… you remember, the one that we started to move into on April 1st and still haven’t fully inhabited. So, we’re all experiencing a surreal sense of deja-vu-but-not-really right now as we think about packing up all of this working-from-home stuff again and going back to working-from-work.

It’s not just us. All three of our companies work with a lot of other small business owners and they are saying similar things. Some people really like this working-from-home thing because it might be new to them – and let’s be honest, many people really needed a change of scenery. For other people, being at home makes life a lot easier, whether it means relieving the stress of finding child or elder care, or eliminating a lengthy commute. And there are some of us [puts own hand up] who have come to the realization that working-from-home just doesn’t work for us.

We get it. Our three firms started out as home-based businesses, and we did it for a long time. Balancing home and work is tough, as thousands of people have learned over the past 2 months. Separating the two worlds is a big challenge: setting boundaries and rules for our housemates (both two-legged and four-legged), keeping regular “office” hours, and trying to maintain a professional face through back-to-back online meetings.

And now, in many parts of the country and around the world, people are starting to come out of their homes and venture back into work, community, and extended family life. It’s surreal, isn’t it?

What comes next? Well, there seem to be two camps: the one that thinks everything has changed, and the one that can’t wait to get back to life as it was before. Boy, are there a LOT of opinions out there about what offices and schools and stores will look like. From a design perspective, we think that the truth is somewhere in the middle. A lot of things have changed, and life isn’t going to be exactly as it was before. TBH, there could be a lot of really good things about that, and we’re going to share some thoughts about that in future posts.

We’re thinking about what’s next for each of our businesses, our clients, and our colleagues, with whom we were so darn excited to share this great new collaborative space. This is not exactly as we planned. Definitely not business as usual.

But…we never wanted to do business as usual. If there was ever a time to do things differently, it’s now.

How are you going to reopen?

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