When I was in college, I had to work on my own schedule and in order to make it work, I learned a ton of time-saving tricks for myself and found ways that made it easier to get things done. It’s been over four years now since I graduated and started working full-time as a freelance designer, but the lessons I learned from my time at home still shape how I do design today. Working from home has definitely helped me be a better designer.
Working from home wasn’t always easy – there were days when all you wanted to do was curl up under your desk with your laptop on top of you and sleep away the day. But the advantages of having complete control over your environment and creativity outweighed any drawbacks by far: being able to take breaks whenever or wherever you want; being able to work while on vacation; never having to wait in the lunch line again; not having to deal with people at all (unless you want to).
Work from home while in college
Early on, I decided to get my own small apartment instead of living in a dorm. Luckily I had saved up some money and got a job as a barista (yeah, I know). In college, I had to work on my own schedule. Working from home helped me make it work by learning how to save time. From the tricks I learned to get things done, the lessons I learned from working from home still shape how I do design today.
I learned time-saving tricks for myself and found ways to get things done quicker. The work I did at home also helped me prepare for working on my own as a freelancer.
When you’re not part of an office or around your peers, you have to figure out what works best for you with regards to your workspace setup, workflow, and being able to focus.
How working from home helped me be a better designer.
How did working from home help me be a better designer and enhance my creativeness instead of working in an office?
There are some things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had been in a traditional office. For example, when I was working on my own projects, I could take the time to experiment and try out different ideas and solutions.
I also didn’t have to worry about what other people thought of me. It was easier for me to work on my own schedule and get up earlier or stay up later than usual while at home, which helped me get things done more efficiently and with less downtime.
I learned how to be more self-motivated, which helped me when I started my own business. Freelancers don’t have bosses looking over their shoulders and they need to be able to stay motivated on their own. The time working from home gave me the chance to experiment with different design styles and figure out what worked best for me.
That experience has helped my creativity grow in ways that wouldn’t have happened if I’d just been doing the same old thing every day in an office somewhere else and I eventually found my passion in UX design.
The advantages of working from home outweigh any disadvantages
There are some disadvantages of working from home, but you can take steps to minimize them. One issue that a lot of people have with working from home is getting distracted by all the things you want to do or just finding yourself sitting around doing nothing for hours on end.
To keep my focus, I had to work hard at setting myself up in my home office for success. I knew that if I didn’t have certain things, like a desk and chair that were comfortable and ergonomic, it would be hard to stay focused on my work.
One of the disadvantages of working from home is that some I can’t collaborate or bounce ideas of from other people. But the Internet is full of other designers, and social media makes it easy to find them and communicate with them. In fact, I often work with other designers on remote projects.
I also see distance as a disadvantage because you don’t get to see other people’s body language or hear their tone of voice, but video conferencing and online collaborations tools like Slack and Basecamp make it easy to stay in touch with other people.
I also organized my workspace so it’s easy for me to quickly jump in and get to work without spending too much time getting oriented and set up. I have all of my work tools, like my laptop and camera on a table that pulls out from the wall. Even though it can be tough to stay focused, working from home is an amazing opportunity for self-motivation and creativity.
You just need to find what works best for you and stick with it so you can take full advantage of everything that working from home has to offer.
4 Tips for how to work at home effectively
1. Manage your time
The best way to stay productive from home is to be disciplined with your time management. Using the Pomodoro technique might help you be more productive and get things done. I find that sometimes I get distracted easily when I’m on my own, so I use a timer to keep me on track.
2. Make sure to rest
Take a break every 90 minutes! this helps you get back in the zone after a period of intense focus and also prevents physical fatigue. Working as a freelance designer from home means I need more breaks during the day than when I’m at an office. This keeps me from becoming frustrated by not being as productive.
3. Create your ideal little corner
Always have a workspace that inspires you! usually, when people think of working from home, they think it’s going to be an isolated environment with no human contact, but actually having the right working environment can make you more productive as well as happier during the day.
Make sure you have some things in your space that help remind yourself why this career is worth fighting for! (put up posters and pictures of things that interest you)
4. Get up and take a walk
Take care of yourself physically!! Sitting for long periods of time can be a strain on the body. Sometimes we get so focused on work we forget about taking exercise breaks or doing something healthy like eating right and drinking enough water.
Being able to step away from the computer and take a quick walk is always a good way to change your mental state.
Find what works for you
The lessons I learned from my time at home still shape how I do design today, and as a freelancer working from home has truly made me a better designer and was one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken. It’s important to find what works best for you and stick with it so you can take full advantage of everything that working from home has to offer.
The advantages outweigh any disadvantages when it comes down to whether or not someone should work from home. Working remotely may be challenging but in many ways makes life easier by allowing people more freedom in their schedule – which will likely lead them towards finding greater happiness than they would have if they were working in an environment where there is less freedom to design their own path.