Web designers have the ability to work from just about anywhere. Still, just because something is technically possible doesn’t mean it’s easy.
If you suddenly find yourself working remotely on a full-time basis, it can be a big adjustment. The situation is quite different from putting in a few extra hours from home here and there. And it’s miles away from reporting to a physical office each day.
To put it nicely: your entire work life has been thrown off-balance. In order to gain some level of comfort, you’ll need to adjust. But how?
Here’s some advice for those of you who have been unexpectedly forced into working from home.
Create Your Ground Rules:
If you’ve never worked from home before, you may wonder how you can possibly get things done. It might seem like there’s just too much freedom, too many chances to become distracted.
Those dangers are real. And they can indeed wreak havoc on your ability to do your job. To avoid such chaos, it’s important to insert some discipline into the process.
Start by creating some ground rules for how you’re going to operate. Sit down with a piece of paper (or a Word document) and think about:
- Where your “work space” will be;
- The hours you plan to work;
- When you’ll take lunch and breaks;
- Rules for interruptions (kids, phone calls, etc.);
- Any extra equipment or apps you’ll need;
- Any specific tasks you might not be able to do from home;
This is all likely to be very different from what you’re used to – but that’s O.K. The point is building some structure that you can realistically adhere to.
With that in mind, try to avoid rules that are going to be too difficult. For example, if you have a young child at home with you, don’t expect them to just let you work all day. They’re going to want to spend time with you, and it’s great if you’re able to make that time for them.
Go Easy on Yourself:
Lastly, don’t be hard on yourself if you’re unable to handle all of this with unfailing optimism and grace. None of this is easy.
And you’re also not alone. There are a whole lot of other people (both inside and outside the web design industry) who are in the same turbulent boat.
Plus, there’s a great deal of uncertainty surrounding us. And no easy answers to our questions and concerns. We’re all just trying our best to move forward, day-by-day.