How to Stay Connected During the Current Crisis
Staff posted on June 09, 2020 |
The importance of staying visible, finding digital alternatives, and how using Enscape can help.

This is an important message to the engineering.com community. Messages that are informative, helpful and relevant to COVID-19 will be posted here as a special service during our time of crisis. Messages are not written by engineering.com. If you have a COVID-19 story or message, please submit here.

By Dinnie Muslihat and co-written by Gemma Da Silva.

Social distancing measures imposed upon us have meant that public life has been put on hold. Many of us have had to make lifestyle changes and adjust to new ways of working. This, of course, includes working from home instead of the office.

Not being physically close with colleagues or other people you see regularly can make you feel a little detached from the world. This is why staying connected is as important now more than ever. 

Whether it’s replacing in-person meetings with video calls or participating in digital festivals to replace canceled trade shows, there are alternative solutions to help us all stay in touch. Here’s what we’re doing at Enscape to stay connected during this crisis.

How Enscape is staying connected

Due to the restrictions imposed by the government, as well as following the advice of health experts, the entire Enscape office made the switch to home office back in March.

Employees were supplied with the necessary tools and equipment they needed to continue their jobs successfully from home, including access to Microsoft Teams that provided instant messaging with built-in video meeting functionality. Being a software company, we were lucky enough to have the flexibility to make the switch as painless as possible. 

To help our staff and customers adjust to remote working, we put together a best practice guide since not everyone had experienced working away from the office and their colleagues for long periods of time. 

And as we were no longer able to physically work together, emphasis was placed on staying visible and over-communicating in order to maintain fruitful teamwork and collaboration. Meetings were replaced with video calls, departments implemented daily huddles, and instant messaging became commonplace.

However, staying connected didn’t just mean for work purposes. Upkeeping morale was also important during this time of uncertainty. Non-work-related channels on our instant messaging platform were created to exchange photos of meals and funny memes. The HR department sent Easter gifts and masks to everyone at home and also held a competition to help raise everyone’s spirits and ignite some fun into our days.

Working from home can feel a little isolating which is why staying visible and over-communicating is important to feeling connected and to not lose sight of being part of a team. Having some fun along the way is also essential - we’ve seen some interesting virtual backgrounds on our video meetings over the last few weeks! 

How Enscape users are staying connected

Enscape, enables AEC professionals to visualize their projects directly from within their BIM platform, is that it’s a real-time rendering tool that can be used anywhere. Granted you meet the license, hardware, and internet requirements needed to use the plug-in, you can ensure your design process won’t be compromised if you find yourself in an alternative working environment.


Apartments rendered in Enscape by Steven Garubba.
Apartments rendered in Enscape by Steven Garubba.

It’s also an ideal tool for helping our users stay connected with their clients. Enscape user Sam Hayward, Draftsman and Modeler from SDL Residential Design based in California, shares with us how he is utilizing the plug-in to reach out to clients without having to actually go to their homes.

“We've been doing a small online ad blitz towards our local market and Enscape has made it easy to get a variety of content out without having to drive around to client homes and take pictures.

“We also find it also helps clients to understand our design. Many clients can’t read plans without guidance, which is hard to do when you can’t meet face-to-face. Enscape bridges the gap so the client can understand the design immediately when meeting online.”

Being able to walk clients through a design online has been invaluable for Sam. And also having the option to export visualizations as still renders, videos or even as interactive virtual reality experiences is enabling Enscape users to easily share their projects with clients and stakeholders so they may review them independently, stay connected, and keep projects moving. 

Connecting with the AEC community

Along with employees and customers, we know that staying connected with the AEC community is also important. To replace our attendance at trade shows and conferences, Enscape has been hosting webinars, maximizing social media, contributing to external communities such as Engineering Matters, and participating in digital festival events.

Webinars have been used by organizations for many years to help communicate and connect with customers and prospects online, and there has been a rapid surge in their usage in the past few months. If you’ve not explored the idea of hosting your own webinar before, it’s well worth looking into since they’re a cost-effective way to extend your reach and increase your visibility. 

At Enscape, we hosted a webinar on what the workplace looks like in a post-pandemic future in April that attracted 2,000 registrations from a global audience. One of the main reasons for the high registration rate was the topic, since we tied it in with the current crisis. And since we recorded the webinar, we’re able to continue to gain traction beyond the live event, through promoting the recording via our marketing channels. 

(Image courtesy of Enscape.)
(Image courtesy of Enscape.)

As well as utilizing our own webinars to stay connected with the AEC community, we’re also participating in larger online events including the Festival of BIM and Digital Construction - which stretches over two months and consists of 40 online sessions. These types of events are giving people the opportunity to hear from speakers from all over the world, and opening up the latest trends and information to a much larger audience.

Business Connections Post-COVID-19

For many businesses and individuals, it has been a challenging few weeks since COVID-19 disrupted the world as we know it. 

But now, more than ever, we need to reach out to our colleagues, business partners and our customers to support one another and continue to build connections. We need to take advantage of the numerous online events that are helping not only to educate us, but also to stay connected with our peers. 

Let’s take this time to seek opportunities to work together in new ways and help strengthen relationships as we start to emerge from a global pandemic and begin to plan for what comes next.

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