Approximately one year ago today, March 11, 2020 the world as we know it disappeared from the horizon, much like a ship on the sea vanishes from our sight. My office neighbors were no longer my neighbors. Our previous anxieties and everyday worries appeared trivial compared to what we were collectively and suddenly facing; the loss of loved ones due to a worldwide pandemic or postponed health treatments, a paradigm shift with education, worship, health care, day to day business, travel and entertainment, exercise, socialization, esthetics and the ability to enjoy freedoms we took for granted. Worldwide we were told two weeks were required to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, which quickly turned into month after month of higher restrictions and subsequent loss of more freedoms to visit family and conduct everyday life on a normal basis. We anxiously and sadly watched our friends’ businesses close, our seniors and extended families become isolated, and work, education and socialization from home became an accepted and necessary zoomy fact of life.
Fast forward and here we are at March, 2021 and it seemed an appropriate time to provide our clients and friends with an update on Grant Design Group. Over the past year, I have continuously said “It takes a pandemic” as a response to a multitude of situations. For instance our website was old and outdated, and many of our great projects had not been photographed or added to the website so we took the opportunity, as workplaces were virtually empty, to undertake that task. We have also endeavored to streamline our processes and participate in continuing education in order to offer our clients cutting edge technology with both the tools and knowledge that will enhance our creativity in designing future space.
We are also grateful to say that over this past year we did not reduce the staff team, and we are also pleased to say that we unanimously voted to continue our work in the office on a daily basis with the correct precautions in place to remain safe. We also decided to experiment with closing the office every Friday and work longer hours from Monday to Thursday which a year ago would not have seemed feasible. The combination of routinely working in the office and closing on Friday has turned out to have a very positive impact on the mental well-being and morale of all staff members and we have continued with that decision. We also had a bit of fun and continuously ensured that staff were continuously supplied with necessary pantry items – including toilet paper!
Did and will the pandemic impact our business negatively? Yes. Did it cause many sleepless nights and worrisome days? Yes. Did we lose touch with some of our most valued and long term clients and friends? Yes. It was a tough year on so many fronts, and every single person I know has felt the impact deeply. Will we recover and move on from this at some point? We have to believe the answer is yes. That ship that seemingly slips over the horizon doesn’t actually disappear, it is only setting course for a new destination and we cannot always know or see clearly where or when that destination will end. New adventures await, and in order to re-invent yourself, a company, a family or a friendship you have to be open to change and above all, hope. I would like to thank my family, friends, clients, contractors, and staff members for staying the course and supporting us through this challenging time. We truly appreciate you all and are ready for the next chapter! Watch this space for updates on our team, projects, design, industry opinion and other items of interest in the near future.