For most in the interior design industry, maintaining their businesses while traveling is an almost inconceivable task. Since designers usually have to carry tons of brochure and sample materials, traveling to and fro continents simply isn’t something appealing to do.
But, with the recently featured interior design business model of Allison Harlow of CURIO Design Studio, it seems that telecommuting or remote work is the new normal for the industry.
Skype-Based Virtual Interior Design Business
The unique approach of CURIO design studio was born from the fact that Allison and her husband moved to Norway.
“Picking up and going was easy, but maintaining a lifestyle wasn’t. With Skype, I was able to take on my clients and consult with them no matter where I am,” said Harlow.
The client consultation and presentation of design works just like any normal artist would go about it; only it’s done remotely. By using video calls, the clients can still get a view and feel of depth of space — and what’s more — there’s also a chance for some interactive collaboration too.
“As long as I have my laptop I can work. I have worked from the United States, Canada, Germany, Kazakhstan, Japan, Norway, Denmark, [and] Poland… the list goes on.”
The Benefits of Online Clientele Interaction
Via the use of online platforms such as Skype, it’s now possible for interior designers to seamlessly submit their mood boards, plans, and even rough drafts to the clients directly—without having to break a sweat. Economic-wise, this saves a lot of time for both the business and prospect.
“When I started it back in 2012 it was a fairly unique concept. Today there are more and more businesses that are adapting this model, whether completely virtual, or offering some part of their business as a virtual concept. I think it is a great way to help make design more accessible to a larger group of people.”
Telecommuting Work Trends
The telecommuting business model of CURIO Design Studio is just among the pioneer virtual workspaces in the United States. Based on the data provided by Gallup, Telecommuting in the US is now at a staggering 37%.
Other stats include:
- 103% increase in the work-at-home population since 2005
- 8% of the total US workforce now telecommute half the time
- The total population of remote workers in the country grew by 1.9% totaling in 5.6% overall
Interior Design and Other Industry Advantage in Remote Work
Since the interior and architecture design industry is generally a virtual work, the adaptation of telecommuting is almost natural. Roughly, based on the data provided by the Global Workplace Analytics, the national savings across all industries would total over $700 Billion year over year.