As our entire team has had to adapt to different work schedules and surroundings across London, Manchester and Edinburgh. We have launched an interview series to catch up with individuals and see what creative change, tips, and observations they've been experiencing during this time. This week we speak to Architectural Assistant Ali Francis.
How are you feeling given the current situation?
AF: Mixed emotions to be honest, at times the lockdown has been really challenging, but on the positive side it has given me time to relax without feeling guilty and focus on well-being as well as reading and researching things I care about.
Who are you isolating with and how are you all finding it?
AF: I am isolating with my partner and their family, but close enough to my own family to help with shopping. It has been an interesting dynamic with five people living under one roof and all in and out of video meetings all day, but we’ve been able to make it work so far!
During the times you've been outdoors, what are the biggest changes you've noticed?
AF: People are a lot more willing to chat on the streets, I think everyone is missing the social contact! It’s a lot quieter though and you can really hear nature, instead of cars and planes!
What’s been the most challenging thing about lockdown so far?
It’s been really difficult to separate home and work life, it has become so much easier to just carry on answering emails and messages after work or be tempted to finish things off from the day.
What project are you working on?
AF: I am currently working on 25 Lavington Street, two office buildings in Southwark one of which is partially an existing building. The project is in Stage 3 at the moment and has been submitted for planning. It’s a really interesting project and we’re lucky enough to have no delays at the moment despite the lockdown, although that does mean things are moving very quickly even if I’m sometimes not.
How are you finding working from home?
AG: Overall it’s been pretty manageable, apart from a few technical faults and some interesting interruptions to some meetings! I have been using the extra time I’ve found my self with to be experiment with cooking and baking; including making olive bread, chocolate mousses and vegan curries.
What tools or tricks are you using to stay organised with work and on top of it all in general?
AF: Lots of to do lists and taking productive breaks to go outside and exercise or just get some fresh air! Oh and lots of snacks!
What are you most looking forward to once we come out the other side?
AF: Seeing people again not through a screen!
Any particular building or space or city are you looking forward to visiting?
AF: I don’t expect to be travelling abroad any time soon so I’m looking forward to some holidays within the UK!
* #BASIL_ is an acronym for 'Bennetts Associates Self Isolation Loves', our curated content on social media that brings together inspiration for the #wfh days.