Working From Home: 5 Tips for Creatives
COVID-19 is sweeping the planet and more users than ever are working from home to avoid catching or spreading the illness.
As professionals in the creative/marketing industry, we’ve been working digitally since day one. But, most of us have physical offices to collaborate and build our skills together as a team in-person. Now, with the disruption of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are facing the challenge of working from home as an entire team for the first time.
While each of us had a few roadbumps of our own, we’ve successfully set up our working from home infrastructure at FUSE. But rather than talk about that, we want to share 5 tips for staying sane and organized in the creative industry while we all telecommute.
FUSE team members’ working from home stations.
5 Tips for Creatives When Working From Home
Set up correctly. This is arguably the most important step. From setting up a VPN (see the importance of VPNs here), to checking your bandwidth, it’s crucial to your success to make sure your team’s stations are properly set up. As a creative team, you more than likely will need to use cloud storage as well. Try using solutions like Dropbox or Amazon Web Services to store files of all sizes.
Practice being organized. This includes your work station and your online presence. Make sure you’re up to date on meetings, tasks, etc. by using a project managment tool, such as Basecamp. Building off that, keep your desk clean and organized to help limit stress and frustration. A study found that workers who felt overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” around them were more likely to procrastinate. One of our animators found that an organized workspace had positive benefits for his productivity.
Communication is key. This seems like such an obvious no-brainer, but it can be challenging to communicate while we’re telecommuting. Our team uses Slack and Microsoft Office apps to ensure we have the right suite of tools to chat, whether that’s via text, email, or video calls. While having these tools may seem like enough, it’s important to make sure you use them often and effectively. To do so, take a look at these tips from BBC Worklife’s article, “Coronavirus, How to work from home the right way”: “Out of sight, out of mind can be a real problem for remote workers,” says Sara Sutton, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, a remote job listing site. “The very best remote workers will reach out to coworkers and managers regularly through a variety of tools.”
Dress for success. While it is certainly tempting to stay in our pajamas all day, there’s actual evidence that getting dressed and acting like you’re going into the office has incredible benefits for our productivity. Believe it or not, this isn’t even the only reason to dress for success while you work from home. Stephanie Vozza from Fast Company said in her Work Smart article, “What Happened When I Dressed Up to Work From Home for a Week”: “I changed into casual clothes at 5 p.m., and the act gave my day a distinct shift. This felt like an improvement to work-life balance because I tend to feel like I’m always working. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the urge to respond to after-hours emails, and I even took an entire weekend off.” Read Vozza’s article for more reasons to dress professionally while working remote.
Take breaks and take care of yourself. Working from home is an adjustment, even if you’ve done it before. With COVID-19, you’re probably juggling kids at home, too. It will take time and practice to figure out a routine that works well for you. But while you’re figuring this out, make sure to take breaks and allow yourself time to breathe. Make yourself a big pot of coffee, buy a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones, try your best to limit distratcions (try a white noise machine or app, proven to increase creativity), set up an ergonomic workspace, and more importantly, make sure to be easy on yourself.
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