by Ola Jarvegren

FSi has been through a lot of changes in the last few years. We weathered the pandemic, had the last of our original founders retire, added an electrical division, and changed the leadership structure of the company. We’ve promoted new principals and associates, moved associates up to more senior levels, and we’ve grown our staff to nearly 50 people. Most recently, we implemented a new hybrid work policy that I am really excited about.

Our team is now in the office every Monday and Tuesday. We have our company meeting and team meetings, trainings, and project team sessions on those days as often as possible. I feel a different energy from my team when I’m meeting with them in person, and I think it makes us more creative, and better at problem solving. There’s a different energy that happens when we’re together in person. It’s easy to collaborate and generate creative ideas when you can just pop your head over your desk wall and ask a question. It’s inspiring to hear people coming up with a creative new way to address a design challenge. There’s a sense of excitement in the air and I didn’t know how much I had been missing it until I had it again.

I grew up in Sweden and when we went to visit my grandmother, we would always have fika. It’s a time between meals to come together for a cup of coffee and maybe a sweet treat. It’s just a short reconnection, but the memory is warm and vivid to me. That’s what being back in the office is like. It opens up the opportunity for those small and meaningful connections.

It’s also fun. We put a high value on enjoying our work, and that includes our colleagues and clients. Our meetings usually have a lot of laughter as we work together to develop plans, address challenges, and weigh design alternatives. We develop our collaborative approach in the office and take it with us into our meetings with our AEC colleagues and owners. I am happy with the changes we have made, and excited to see what the future brings.

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