Updated: May 24
Photo from Unsplash
COVID-19 has dramatically changed the working climate as workers from all industries have started working from home. For graphic designers, working from home comes with its own pros and cons compared to working in an office environment. In today’s post, we’ll be going over our tips and tricks for how to stay productive while working from home as a graphic designer.
Create an inspiring work environment at home
It can be a struggle to stay productive when you’re in an environment that is supposed to be relaxing. To avoid confusing your body’s pre-existing biorhythms, we recommend carving out a space in your home that is dedicated to work - one that’s separate from your other living areas.
Even a small desk set off to the side in its own space works perfectly, as long as it is sectioned off from other parts of your home. Similar to how your bed should be used only for sleep, your working area should be used only for work. You can also get creative with how to decorate your space and make it uniquely inspiring to you!
Arrange your own working hours and stick with them
Bouncing off of our last point, working from home requires you to create a new biorhythmic system that fits with your lifestyle. Depending on the type of work you do, whether it’s freelance or with a company, you may be able to set your own hours or be more flexible with them working from home. While this is definitely a good thing, it may be a slippery slope when it comes to deciding when to get down to work and when to procrastinate.
It can help to stay productive by establishing your own work hours. If you’re a night owl, you can consider setting a block of time in the evening for deep focused work. The same goes for early birds. Regardless of the time you set, it can be immensely helpful to choose a time dedicated for work and to stick to it. Structure, even in small ammounts, is always important.
Listen to music while you work to block out distractions
Another tip we have is to listen to music and cancel out external noise with headphones. One of the main cons to working from home can be how easy it is to get distracted, pets being one of the culprits! Instrumental music tends to be the best in getting folks into deep focus, but everyone has their own tastes so feel free to stick to yours. We like to tune into lo-fi either on a YouTube stream or through one of Spotify’s playlists.
Set rules with the people (and animals) you live with
Even if you are in your own space, it can be difficult to work if those you live with aren’t respectful of your environment. Make sure to set some rules about what you need to maintain a proper workday, whether it’s quiet hours or keeping any pets in check while you need to focus.
Set breaks, and don’t skimp on them
Sometimes it’s easier to take your full lunch break when you’ve been grinding at the office all day. However, it can be a gray area at home how lunch breaks work since you’re already in an environment where you’re used to relaxing. Even if work feels more relaxed at home, it’s still important to take proper breaks and give yourself some space to decompress and get away from your computer. Find a length of time that works for you, it could be 15 minutes or a couple of hours, just make sure to set a time and leave your computer when it’s time to take a break.
Even when the COVID-19 pandemic passes, it’s likely that the work from home lifestyle will stick around. From the employer’s point of view, employees working from home not only minimizes contact risk, it can also help save on operating expenses and reduce employee stress.Thus, many businesses are still using the practice and may adopt it into their regular routine even though workers in some areas are safe to return to the office.
Establishing a good system for working from home as a graphic designer will keep you productive and happy that your work won’t be affected by the new change. We hope some of the tips above help you with the transition. Stay safe!