General Tips for Working Remotely
Get ready for the day (be vigilant with your morning routine)
Mornings can be difficult, especially when your commute consists of crawling out from the covers and falling into a desk chair or shuffling out to the couch.
Maybe you have kids and you’ve been up for hours and just got everyone set up for remote learning or on the bus for school, you should still take time for yourself. It is also important to set clear boundaries for the day. Reviewing some tips and tricks to set these boundaries always helps the week not bleed into one big blob of time.
Stay hydrated and take breaks
The water cooler chats and being surrounded by coworkers used to remind me to refill my water bottle or go take a walk, but at home it’s so easy to stay huddled at a desk working at your laptop for hours not even looking up. Especially if you’re focused on analyzing UX research or finishing wireframes in time for a client deadline.
Staying hydrated and taking time for yourself helps keep headaches away and keeps you more productive and less stressed.
Turn off your laptop when the work day is over
When work is over, leave your laptop alone. You can answer client emails, or finish up your mockups tomorrow (except in VERY few circumstances). Don’t stay attached to your laptop or you’ll always feel like you’re at work.
Now you’re probably thinking, that’s great, Rachel, but how is that specific to designers? Don’t worry, I have some specific tips for you as well. Tips that have helped me over the past year keep my workflow and deliverables on track.
How to DESIGN when working remotely
Write everything down (or draw it!)
This works for me since I’m a very visual person, and tend to forget things easily since I have so much going on at any given moment.
Coworkers can’t see your desk anymore, you’re not in an office. Take advantage of this privacy to create organized chaos. Set up a whiteboard and make a sticky note wall of to do items. Keeping your tasks organized, prioritized and categorized is a must.
Treat your working place like any design project as designers can make remote work.
Create a designated creative space
If you are anything like me, you are creative and find your work projects and your outside of work projects mingling all in the same space, it’s time to set up a barrier.
Whether you work in a different room than your design tablet, have two desks, or you keep your laptops separate, make sure there’s distinction between work and hobbies (especially for us designers as those tend to overlap in skillset).
I like to work 9-5 from my desk and draw on my tablet after work on the couch or at my kitchen island for example.
Learn to be flexible
In these changing times it’s easy to feel like our job is going to be the same as always, just at home. That wasn’t the case for me and I’m sure it wasn’t for you. Whether you’re working for an agency, are part of a large corporate company, or work freelance, your job is changing.
Learn to help out other teams when your client work is low, bring your creativity into other aspects of your job. Write articles (just like this one), work on internal projects, or take a few courses.
Don't compromise the quality of your work
Working from home can feel isolating. Make sure you’re still advocating for yourself and speaking up in virtual meetings, no matter how it may feel at times. Get the requirements you need to do your job and make great designs.
Don’t hide behind your screen, and don’t get distracted by everyday chores or the TV when you’re at home. Be proactive and utilize your creativity!
What are some of your tips and tricks for working remote?
I hope those tips help you as you navigate your work while at home. As I’m sure many of you do, I miss the face to face interaction with my team and clients, on the brightside, I do enjoy being with my puppies all day!
I’d love to hear about your experiences and how you’ve adjusted or are adjusting to working from home as a designer, and any tips and tricks you may have, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or our company page. You can find our socials below.