In the beginning, it was all fun and good times. The idea of being your own manager without having to subscribe to a nine-to-five schedule seemed long overdue. The work-from-home routine necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic was every employee’s good tidings. However, as people settled into this new norm, reality started to sink in. Remote work from home did not bring the freedom many anticipated. In fact, more people realized they were working way beyond their normal office hours to complete the same amount of work.
Even as the world is getting a grip on Covid-19, more organizations are choosing to stick to the work-from-home program. While some employees have hacked this new routine, many are still struggling to balance off and on-work hours. Web designers working off-site face the same challenges as employees in other sectors. Given the nature of web design jobs, working in a team creates even more complexities. The biggest hurdles are time management, employee relation, and distractions. Read on as we share 9 tips guaranteed to help web design teams master remote working in this post-pandemic period.
Top Remote Work Tips – Stay Professional
It’s tempting to want to do that video conference meeting in your bed or have the video-call client meeting in your pajamas. We get it. Why dress up for a virtual meeting anyway? As crazy as it may sound, how we carry ourselves and what we wear affect other people’s perceptions of us and our self-confidence.
As a web designer, impressions matter. If a client or colleague perceives you as disorganized and casual, they will think the same about your work. Remember you are on the clock the moment you power on your laptop. Dress smartly for any virtual meeting. Use official and courteous language in your verbal and written communication. We understand the importance of comfort in enhancing productivity. For this reason, you may be in your pajamas when it’s appropriate.
Maintain Your Regular Working Hours
Managing time while working from home is a delicate task and one that is commonly abused. In the famous words of Andre Maurois, habits create a character. Remember, at one time, you will be required to return to your office. If you make a habit of working irregular hours, adjusting to the normal nine-to-five session will be painful. Moreover, keeping to your regular working hours will ensure you don’t miss scheduled client and team meetings.
Have a schedule that mirrors your office routine, work when on the clock, take your breaks at the right time, and call it a day when your workday ends. An exception to the rule would be when working with a client in a different time zone. To succeed and simplify your work, we’d recommend you download a time tracking app that can guarantee your productivity and performance.
Have a Dedicated Working Space
It’s amazing how much work you can get done by being in the right place. As a web designer, whether working individually or in a team, it is important to have a dedicated space that will serve as your office. You cannot afford to overlook the importance of personal working space if you want to be productive. By dedicating a specific area in your home, you automatically get into character the moment you are in that space.
While at it, make your working space as comfortable and professional as possible. For example, get yourself an upholstered office chair, a desk, and a desk lamp for improved lighting. For these and other ideas, check out WFM Modern, an online resource dedicated to reviewing furniture for work-from-home professionals.
Remote Work Tips – Create a Daily To-do List
A to-do list is a great tool for keeping everything organized. Make a daily list that outlines tasks to be done and at what time. This will keep you focused on short-term and long-term goals. If you are in a team, share your to-do list with your colleagues so that they can track your progress and offer advice where necessary. As you wind your day, you can use your list to assess your progress.
Take a Break and Exercise
Sometimes we get so caught up in work that we forget to give ourselves some me-time. Working in a team may make it even hard for one to catch a break due to personal preferences. Client deadlines can also deny you the chance to rest. From the onset, make it clear with your teammates the importance of personal breaks. As a team, agree on a work schedule that will afford each person time to rest. If you have been assigned a particular task, for instance, prototyping, you can plan for breaks upon completing specific sections.
Bottom line is, your body needs rest and time to rejuvenate. Don’t forget to exercise, web designing can have a toll on your body from the long hours spent on your laptop.
Inform Your Family in Advance
Web designing may not look like conventional remote work to many people. For instance, I have on several occasions had my kids want to get involved in what I’m drawing on my computer or a piece of paper. As such, it is important to let your family or whoever you are living with understand that you are working and will appreciate not being disturbed. This way you create a balance between your work and family life.
The Best Remote Work Tips – Communicate More
What a conventional office space accords us is an avenue to constantly interact with our colleagues. On the other hand, working remotely isolates us and minimizes communication. Web design relies a lot on collaboration. Each individual task is necessary for creating the final product. For this reason, meaningful and sustained communication is vital in ensuring the team functions as one.
Make use of phone calls and video conferencing to seek clarification or inform on the progress. Avoid texts as they can easily be misread. Do follow-ups on previous communication but avoid selling yourself as ‘nagging’.
Maintain Regular Meetings as Usual
Do not break traditions because work has now shifted from the office setting. Meetings are very important for a web design team. Through them progress is assessed, goals set, and tasks assigned among other things. Keep the regular meetings as was before, if necessary increase the frequency of the meetings. Web design projects fare much better when feedback and changes are made mid-progress than at the conclusion of the project.
You are wondering, why brainstorm with all the video conferencing meetings? Brainstorms serve a different function to meetings. They are purposely meant to prick our minds into creativity and innovativeness. Imagine having all designers, clients, and co-workers share their ideas on one platform. Wouldn’t it make the job more enjoyable and easier? And even better, there are tools like Miro, which are purely for brainstorm sessions. You won’t need to trouble yourself with dressing up for that brainstorming video session.
Conclusion on the Essential Remote Work Tips
For web design teams, working from home or remotely offers flexibility and freedom but that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges to deal with. Managing time, maintaining client and colleague relations, and balancing work and personal life are some of the hurdles of web design teams. We are foreseeing a continuation of remote work even as the threat from Covid-19 fades.
As remote work becomes the norm, web design teams are still struggling to maintain productivity while working in isolation. However, by following a set of guidelines, web designers can make remote work meaningful and fulfilling. This article has outlined some of the pertinent steps that may improve productivity for individuals and teams working from home. They include time management tips, individual discipline, client relation management, effective communication, and managing personal space.