Working From Home: A Designer’s Thoughts
Some people like it, some people don’t. I fall at the latter end of that sentence – it’s simply not for me. But, with everything that’s going on currently, we must adapt. Here are my top tips to survive working from home (ordered according to importance!)
I am a creature of habit, and that creature looks distinctly like Pret’s spicy chicken wrap. Delicious. However, the nearest Pret is 1.4 miles away, or 29 minutes on foot. This changes the idea of what constitutes as a 1-hour lunch break, so I have had to settle for whatever I can rustle up from the confines of my kitchen. Last week, for example, it was a salami sandwich and a pack of Pom Bear crisps – the crisps happened to be on offer and childhood nostalgia has a way of making you do CRaZy things…
Another benefit from having lunch at home is finally being able to see the TV program Doctors (BBC One, weekdays at 1.45), which is worth watching for the opening credits alone. As a designer, I find it’s always good to go outside your comfort zone and experience new things. If I could describe Doctors in three/four words, it would be: ‘blast from the past’. I would recommend a five-minute reflection period after watching, just to let it sink in.
Peace and quiet are a great environment for creative thinking. However, being able to bounce ideas off of one another in this setting is somewhat trickier. We have been using Google Hangouts in order to have meetings and catchups and to share our screens, but there are plenty of other options out there for all your idea-bouncing needs. Having relatively tidy art boards also helps when someone wants to talk about something specific – it’ll save you scrolling around trying to find what it is they are talking about.
Despite all the peace and quiet, I have found myself less productive than normal. Everything takes just that bit longer, from accessing the server to opening an InDesign file with 86 missing links. Communication is key here – let the powers that be know if something has taken longer than you would have liked. Deadlines are usually flexible, so try not to sweat it too much.
By day four of sitting on a £7 Ikea chair, it’s safe to say my back was in bits. Getting up and moving around is critical, with making a tea or coffee as a recommended by-product of this. I love a cup of tea, so all this working from home has given me a great opportunity for me to dig into my tisanes archives and enjoy some of my favourite blends. I can also slurp undisturbed.
Conference calls/video calls:
I personally don’t mind these types of calls. Don’t be camera shy, it’s always good to know when someone wants to speak, so slap some makeup on, brush your hair and get smiling for that camera. No one enjoys a cringe moment, but you’re bound to speak over someone, so try not to let it disturb your flow too much, millions of us across Britain will have done the same thing by the time this is all over.
Slippers are the new trainers.