At first glance, it may seem that working from home is a dream. Especially when it comes to such creative work as web design. But the reality of remote work is much more complex: developing a to-do list and organizing your day without the help of colleagues or a boss can be both a blessing and a frustration.
For many web designers, remote work still comes with a lot of problems and negatively impacts productivity. There was no longer enough time not only for work tasks but also for household chores, although it seems that this should not be the case if a person sits at home all day.
Below we will look at the main factors that affect the quality of remote work and tell you how to properly organize a home office.
Follow the Regime
Set yourself a schedule and try to stick to it. It helps to maintain a work-life balance. Set an alarm for a certain hour, cook porridge, drink coffee, do exercises, and walk the dog. In general, do whatever you normally do before work. So it will be easier for you to tune in and start working at home, rather than relaxing.
Be sure to give yourself lunch breaks, scheduled fifteen-minute breaks, and trips to the kitchen for water. It’s easy to get lost in time at home, so set alarms. Let them remind you that it’s time for lunch or five minutes of distraction. You can use an app like TimeOut for Mac and Smart Break for Windows to disconnect from your computer.
Physical activity is very important for health, and web designers have a great opportunity to add it to their workdays. You must leave your home regularly, your body must move. In addition, fresh air and natural light will do you good. Exercising in the gym helps not only physically, but also morally feel better. If you don’t have the opportunity or desire to go to the gym, then find exercises for remote workers on YouTube and do at least them.
Set Up a Home Office
It is not at all easy, being in the same space, to leave the role of a parent or the owner of the house, and immerse yourself in the role of a professional web designer. This can be helped by external conditions, which, at first glance, seem insignificant. Whatever, you need to organize your workspace.
It is important that there is a separate remote workspace, in which you will be only while solving professional problems. It can be a separate office or just a part of the room, separated from the rest of the space by a screen. The work area should have as few distractions as possible: TV, refrigerator, etc. If you sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee, it is unlikely that you will be able to concentrate on work tasks for a long time.
Instead, dedicate a desk and some peripherals just for work. For example, when your laptop is connected to a monitor and an external keyboard, this is uptime. When it’s in your lap, it’s private time. You may want to partition your hard drive and create a separate user account to work with.
Keep a To-do List
Start your day off the right way. Every morning, write down a to-do list for the day, and in the evening, check it and note what you managed to do. First, it will help you stay organized. Secondly, you can show this list to the manager (if you have one) so that he knows what you are doing and can even remotely monitor your workload.
Try to do the most important things in the first half of the day, while you are most concentrated on work. Try different time management techniques to better organize yourself and your time. Remote work is relaxing, but if you learn how to plan a working day in such conditions, then later, already in the office, it will become even easier for you to remain productive.
Installing an automatic time tracking app like RescueTime lets you check if you’re sticking to your schedule.
Know What You Need
As, in any modern job, web designers have their own standard set of programs, the knowledge and use of which are mandatory in their work. Today, a web designer must master various aspects of this broad discipline, namely:
- Graphic design. It’s about using graphic editors like Adobe Photoshop, etc
- Prototyping. Mockplus, for example, allows you to create fully interactive prototypes in minutes.
- Coding. Among good code, editors are Atom and Sublime.
- Content Management System (CMS). It is for creating and managing digital web content. The leaders are here Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
For explanatory videos of workflows for clients or colleagues, you may also need the screen recorder for Windows. In general, if it’s hard to navigate on your own, YouTube now is full of reviews of everything that you, as a web designer, can come in handy when working remotely, including tutorials on how to record video on Mac, etc.
Watch Your Appearance
At a meeting with a client or an interview with an employer, you think about how to sell yourself and dress in the best way possible. In the office, you interact with people, so you also try to look decent. At home, there are no such requirements, and in the best case, colleagues or your clients will see your top via video link, but this is not an excuse to throw out your toothbrush and not change your pajamas for two weeks.
On the contrary, start every day with fees to the office. Let them be artificial, but no dress code will forbid you to wear a jacket and shorts or a summer dress. Turn remote work into a daily showcase of your best looks. Share photos with colleagues, make Stories, and look in the mirror more often. This will cheer you up, help separate the workday from the rest and unite your team.
And do not forget to wash and comb your hair regularly. You can afford a lot while working remotely, but pajamas are unlikely to help you find clients or finish a complex project faster.
Do Not Isolate Yourself from Society
Even if you are a complete introvert, after a while, you will start to miss people. Even if you are in the constant workflow, do not go underground. If you work for a web design company, write in general chats, call on the phone, arrange video broadcasts, and send each other memes in the end. This is a very good reason to practice your business correspondence skills because in the office we often solve all issues somewhere in the corridor, and now we have to write.
It is important that you have a good internet connection and that you are always available to your team. Answer all calls and messages in Slack as quickly as possible. It is better to write than to record a voice message. If you need to make a specific decision on a particular issue, call your colleagues. Also, arrange general calls for the whole team to keep the working atmosphere. For online meetings, we recommend using Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Zoom to see each other’s emotions.
It’s all up to us. Do not forget: working at home does not mean isolation from the outside world and working throughout the day. You are the master of your life: develop your own schedule, set time limits, organize your workspace, do not forget to take breaks and take days off, and, of course, communicate with other people. Only then will you experience the beauty of remote work.