Blog Trade Insights

Trade Insights – Working Remotely

In today’s digital age the world is ever more accessible. You can get everything from therapy to your weekly grocery shop online. With the likes of Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime, a digital ‘face to face’ is possible with anyone, anywhere. The opportunites this has brought to industry and services has been no more apparent than in the design industry. Clients are no longer restricted to finding designers within travelling distance and are free to source the best talent from anywhere in the world.

As part of our BLANC. Partners initiative, Blanc will soon be passing on remote working opportunites to you, our global network of designers.

Here are some tips to answer those nagging questions on how remote working works and to help you avoid the pitfalls.

ACCURATE PLANS – Our number 1 tip is to ensure you have access to accurate plans. As it is unlikely you will be going to site to check measure, you must be working with reliable plans. Estate agents plans are often not to scale and so shouldnt be used for specifying measurement specific furniture or quantites. If accurate plans are not available there are companies that will go to site for you and make accurate digital plans for a very reasonable fee. Make sure you build this in to your pricing and insist upon it. Costly mistakes can be made from using inaccurate plans.

CHECK PLANS – Yes, we are still banging on about plans! If the client tells you they already have accurate plans for you to work with, make sure you have it in writing from them that the plans are scalable and can be used for purchasing purposes. A clients idea of ‘accurate’ may not be up to scratch.

VIDEO – It is hard to design from plans alone. Without walking around a space it is hard to get an idea of the light, space and ambiance you are working with. Get the client to video the space by slowly walking through the space, recording as they go on their phone. This will enable you to visualise being in the room and give you a better understanding of what you are working with.

SAMPLES – Photos and web links are great but nothing substitutes a real life sample. When it comes to fabric or a hard finish such as wood, the feel is as important as the look. Where ever possible courier samples for approval.

COLOURS – Remember that all colours read differently on different computer screens so to avoid disappointment refer clients to their local paint store to check out colours. If there isnt a local store to them that stocks the paint you are recommending, paint a sample on card and post it.

FACE TO FACE – Nothing beats being able to see a clients reactions to something whilst you are presenting. Don’t simply send ideas and wait for feedback on email. Wait for the client to receive the samples or presentation and then arrange a video call to present your ideas and gage the clients reaction. So much gets lost between emails and small matters become time consuming due to misunderstandings that wouldn’t occur in a face to face conversation.

We hope you found our top tips for remote working useful. If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear them!