As COVID-19 continues to ravage across continents, businesses across the globe have taken a hit. In India, where real estate was just looking to stabilise, COVID has forced the sector into an extended slump, as construction and architectural projects come to a standstill. As most businesses re-imagine operations, the construction and design community will need to quickly adapt to remote working possibilities and stay relevant as isolation and social distancing become the norm.
“The design community needs to explore new ways to sustain their business while they work from home as more than a billion people are quarantined to fight the deadly COVID-19 virus.”, shares Chetan K Singh, ArchChat founder and a designer himself. He further adds that “unlike some businesses, design projects need active communication and interaction amongst internal and external teams.”
Archdaily, a global news platform for the design industry observed that among the main challenges that architects report while working from home include reduced communication with the rest of the team and the impossibility of visiting the site or meeting with suppliers and customers. This challenge can be bridged by ArchChat.
The design and construction community currently uses WhatsApp groups and email to collaborate with internal teams and external project stakeholders.
WhatsApp is an excellent social communication platform but can’t be used effectively to collaborate with all businesses stakeholders due to privacy concerns and difficulties in tracing and tracking information.
While there are excellent design collaboration tools like AutoCad 360, BIM tools, SolidWorks, BricsCAD etc, there was no communication collaboration tool till ArchChat was launched in January 2020.
Chetan K Singh said that “ArchChat is 100% free for architects, designers, engineering consultants and their clients. Using this easy-to-use platform, the design community can work from home and continue with business as usual.”
Each project on ArchChat is like a WhatsApp group while being able to chat privately in a preferred language, and view respective communications for each drawing, design, and product sorted by project spaces. For instance, chats related to a living room are inside the ‘living room’ folder. Chats about each drawing, design, and product related to the living room are saved with respective documents. With ArchChat, product sellers become collaborators when their products are saved to project spaces. This kind of integrated collaboration brings all together.
Chetan Singh recommends that designers use video conferencing tools like Google Meet, Hangouts, Skype, Zoom etc to have virtual calls during this time to stay on top of project goals while leaving all project organization to ArchChat.
The survival of many freelancers, small and medium sized professional firms, manufacturers, and sellers is at stake. Working remotely in an efficient manner will save the design and construction industry from the current crisis.