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Without a doubt, working from home comes with just as many opportunities as challenges. For some, it’s afforded the opportunity to spend more time with family and furry friends and less time spent in the car commuting to and from work.

For others, it has meant juggling work while also checking in with a child as they learn virtually. Or more hours than normal spent in front of your computer because you simply can’t seem to log off at the end of the day.

 

Over the past year, we connected with our employees to see how they’ve managed to balance everything life has to offer while working from home. We gathered some helpful tips for staying connected and managing your workload while balancing your mental health. Here’s what our employees had to say:

Maria Valderrama, Structural EIT, suggests breaking up your day with some time outdoors. Take a pause and disconnect from work for a bit mid-day. Whether you are walking your dog, taking a jog, or sitting on your front porch with a coffee, it is important to take a break from your workspace. The fresh air and natural light leave you refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day.

 

Maria Melo, Architect, says over communicate. "Working remotely requires you to over communicate. Inform your team about your schedule and availability. When you finish a project or important task, say so. When you have a vacation planned, let clients and coworkers know about it. Over-communicating doesn't mean writing a novel on your day, but it does mean repeating yourself. Clear communication via the correct channels can be very effective."

 

Architectural Technologist Matthew Fraboni has found to-do lists to be a helpful tip to manage his day. Creating a to-do list with goals for the next day allows him to prepare. It gives opportunity to structure the day and focus on a task.

 

Project Administrator, Sheri East says to make your space your own. Keep it clean, functional, and add items that bring you happiness. It might be a plant, a photo of something or someone you love, a piece of art that speaks to you, or a favourite mug. A joyful space equals a joyful attitude!

 

Katie McQuaid, Team Leader of our Marketing and Business Development team, shares a tip on how to handle your work with two small kids at home. Katie’s advice is to embrace the distractions! Whether the phone rings, the washing machine breaks, or your kids need a bit of TLC (or just want more snacks), distractions are inevitable. Allow them to happen and go with the flow. Chances are, your team will understand that you wear multiple hats when working from home and that you’re doing your best to balance everything.

 

Jacob Gibbs, Team Leader of our Enterprise technology team had this to share: "Stay Connected. With technology, working from home does not equal working in isolation. It is important to keep your team’s spirit fueled by scheduling calls and meetings as normal. Be sure to check in with colleagues to see if they are managing. Schedule a virtual coffee break with coworkers to stay linked!"

 

At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we’re all in this together!

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When WalterFedy launched our Asset and Facilities Management team in 2016, Alex Lubczuk, still a student at the time, was one of the founding team members.

 

For Alex, a career at WalterFedy was always his aspiration. Raised in Kitchener, just down the street from our head office, Alex saw first-hand how our firm’s expertise and reputation grow within the community. This formed the basis of WalterFedy’s appeal for Alex. After he graduated from Conestoga College with a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Architecture, Project, and Facility Management, Alex was offered a position as a Planning and Project Management Analyst. Needless to say, he was thrilled to take what he’d learned in school and translate that to a career in the Facilities Management industry.

 

Now in his fourth year at WalterFedy and with many projects under his belt, Alex has one project that stands out the most. At the end of 2019, Alex was tasked with conducting a detailed Building Condition Assessment and long-term capital planning for the KidsAbility Centre for Childhood Development in Waterloo. For Alex, this was an opportunity to give back in a new way to an organization that was already cherished by both Alex and his family.

 

KidsAbility offers resources, programs, and support to families with children who have physical, communication, or developmental challenges. As a teenager, Alex volunteered for KidsAbility through his grandparents’ Rotary Club. This experience helping others has resonated with him ever since. “It’s nice to help people who are less fortunate,” says Alex. “It really puts things into perspective. Even our bad days could be a lot worse.”

 

Not only was this project personal for Alex, but it also presented an opportunity for professional development. He worked with the client to see the project through from start to finish, contributing to the firm’s long-standing relationship with KidsAbility. “Everyone had a hand in it,” said Alex, as other members of our design team played a role, affording Alex the opportunity to build relationships throughout the firm.

 

“At the end of the day, we provide a service to people who are in need,” says Alex. “They get a product they can rely on to meet their needs. I definitely like helping people in that regard.” For Alex, that’s what a career in Facilities Management is all about. “We’re not here to point out flaws. We’re trying to find creative and sustainable solutions to help our clients.”  

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If you’d like to explore a position with the Asset and Facilities Management team, be sure to visit our careers page or express your interest to hr@walterfedy.com. We're currently seeking a Team Leader for the group, but are always interested in adding passionate and knowledgeable professionals to our team.

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To welcome winter, we turned to our Interior Designer, Lisa Speers, to give us a look into what we can expect in the coming season!  
 

Express Yourself

Bold geometrics, hand-drawn sketches, playful colour blocking: this style is all about expression. As with the expressionist art movement, this trend celebrates the bold and imperfect. You can try daring colour combinations such as burnished red with navy, or mustard with mauve, or  embrace line art – a key motif for this look.

 

Thoughtfully Simple

On the flip side, this trend encourages a calm, warm and peaceful mood to work in – it’s all about making our surroundings safe and inviting. If bold and bright isn't your style, trade it in for something soft and neutral. 

 

Colour Trends

This season, embrace warm neutrals like oatmeal and natural buff. Beige has also made a comeback and can serve as the perfect base to build around. 

 

Mustard is another popular colour in interiors. In previous seasons, we were seeing mustard paired with Scandinavian neutrals, but for this season, it is being matched with richer jewel tones. 

 

We haven’t seen a lot of purple in a while, but its time has come. Purple represents royalty, luxury, opulence, and also creativity, wisdom, and peace— all the things we want to feel in relation to our environments. Used on a small scale, this colour can have a big impact.

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