Returning to Work Soon? Make the Most of It

As workplaces start to fill with people again, here are simple strategies for team collaboration during a pandemic.

By: Nikki Wildman, RA, LEED AP BD+C // Associate Principal, Project Manager

Let’s give Zoom, Teams, Webex, and all their virtual meeting brethren some credit. Despite the tinny sound, janky video, and cheesy backgrounds, these platforms gave us an effective alternative to in-person meetings — a work-from-home lifeline during a public health crisis. But now it’s time to pull out your office wardrobe because people are starting to return to the workplace.

And that’s a good thing because there’s simply no replacement for the productivity, innovation, and all-around magic that happens in a well-planned, face-to-face work session. LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index found that nearly half of those surveyed believe their industry is less effective under a WFH strategy. AEC professionals are among those who agree.

That’s why so many of us are eager to get back to the office, even with new restrictions in place. As the professionals at DesignGroup (and around the world) prepare for a COVID-19-sensitive workplace, we’ve come up with five tips that encourage what we all crave: in-person collaboration.


We are all #inthistogether and each of us has been uniquely impacted by the pandemic both professionally and personally. But humanity is on our side! Cherish the opportunity to work together; be patient and poke fun at the meetings in this strange, new normal. 


Nikki Wildman, RA, LEED AP BD+C // Associate Principal, Project Manager

Nikki’s a proven team member at DesignGroup, leading and managing the delivery of projects for clients such as Leading EDJE, Franklin Park Conservatory and Cedarville University. Her insights, ideas and experience have been and will continue to be critical to the higher education, commercial and civic/cultural projects in which she services. She has also served in leadership roles for USGBC Central Ohio and DesignColumbus.



1. For more training on big and bold collaboration skills, Graceworks, Inc, can provide workshops and teach tools for effective communication, presentations and writing.