To safeguard not only the well-being of own employees and clients, but the greater global community as well, we have been working remotely since Friday of last week. We recognize that it is our social responsibility to do our part in helping #flattenthecurve and we are readily taking the guidelines from our government and health officials to heart.

For many of us, these next few weeks will act as our first full-time foray into virtual collaboration. Impromptu brainstorm sessions are now replaced by video conference call requests and videos candidly shown from our phones are instead uploaded and shown via screenshare. In only a matter of days, our ways of working and sharing information have been seemingly flipped upside down.

A long-standing tradition at Studio Puisto continues to be our daily coffee break at 14.30 every afternoon, acting as one of the few moments the whole team has an opportunity to connect with one another. Moving this online has presented several unexpected (and humorous) challenges so far as we all adapt to the social etiquettes of informal banter from behind a computer screen. After all, a virtual pulla, or pastry in Finnish, just doesn’t quite taste the same.

Yet, in light of this, we are quickly finding this to also be an exciting time for us to grow as an office. Perhaps it is no longer about replicating the virtual pulla itself, but rather a unique time when we can experiment and learn what the pulla of the future could be. By wholeheartedly embracing the ups and downs of teleworking during this time, we look forward to seeing how we can incorporate changes in the long-term that not only create a stronger work-life balance, but also have a positive impact in mitigating our own carbon footprints. We ultimately foresee this being an important time of reflection for all of us around the world and personally seek to use this time to clarify our own roles and responsibilities as architects. Above all, we aspire to adapt to the forthcoming changes and demands in a way that contributes to a better, healthier, and more sustainable way of living overall.

Nevertheless, these challenges we may face pale in comparison to the incredibly tough situations affecting both those in the frontlines and everyone else who has had their lives uprooted because of the pandemic and its global ramifications. To the extent that it is possible, we want to assure everyone working with us that we will continue to operate as seamlessly as before and our overarching goal in this is to remain a steadfast, reliable partner in a time of uncertainty. Our robust infrastructure has always allowed us the flexibility to work from anywhere in the past and we remain confident that it will continue to serve us without interruption moving forward. As always, our (virtual) door is open.

Take care and stay healthy.

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