Additionally, the type of work means that there is an inherent need for web designers to work in isolation.
This is why remote working is on the rise. As technological advancements open up new possibilities, people are increasingly adamant about working from their comfort zones. Research has boldly predicted that 60% of the modern office-based employees are expected to work remotely by 2022.
However, it is safe to say there is more to remote working than meets the eye. While the allure of working in your pajamas attracts a lot of workers, some complications affect your work-life balance and your ability to work remotely.
Here are six things you didn’t know about working remotely as a web designer:
1) Discipline Is Crucial
Remote working means you can work from anywhere, but therein lies the problem. To put that into perspective, here’s a saying: to be everywhere is to be nowhere. And that rings true for remote working web designers.
While the common perception among the web designing community is that working in isolation can boost your productivity, it can quickly go wrong. An office environment gives way to multiple distractions, water dispenser chat, and lunch breaks. When you work remotely, there is none of it.
Slowly and gradually, the boundaries that dictate the work-life balance get blurred. You find yourself working more hours than you had initially planned, as there are no office hours that tell you when to stop. This makes it hard to know when you’ve done enough work to feel satisfied. It’s tempting to add on extra hours today that you will inevitably pay for in fatigue and burnout tomorrow.
A successful remote web designer needs to be disciplined about setting a fixed schedule that they abide by, which includes breaks during work hours to give the mind a break. Not only does it help you meet the deadlines, but it will also leave you less stressed out in the long run.
2) Team Communication Takes Real Effort
One of the hardest aspects of remote work is that the web designer feels disconnected from the team they are working with. There are zero guarantees that you’ll be in the same region or time zone. Such a situation often leads to a drop in communication and eventually impacts the collaboration.
Many remotely working web designers face a backlog in the team chat, and most of the informal communication goes right above their heads as they don’t know what’s going in the office.
Office colleagues are one of the most influential factors in a professional career, and developing cordial relationships with the team is the underlying reason why experts place an emphasis on communication in the workplace.
For remote web designers, that means additional responsibility to communicate their problems and suggestions with their teammates to:
- Feel associated and a member of the workplace
- To ensure your queries and concerns reach the respective authority and your input is used in the decision-making process
You can save yourself from potential problems by establishing the team’s communication expectations before engagement. Get together with the team to arrive at a time that suits everybody. If you require regular updates or work review, set up a bi-weekly meeting schedule.
Some designers on your remote team may be introverts, which is why an independent work environment is so appealing. If you’re managing introverted remote designers, you should learn about nurturing introverts in business in order to create an environment in which they feel comfortable.
3) Take Some Time Out for Yourself
While this may surprise some, in reality people who work remotely tend to overwork themselves – rather than underworking. Several studies reinforce what we already know: people who work remotely are more productive and engaged with work.
However, devoid of a real office open and close time, they are pushed to work more and end up developing a habit of turning down an opportunity to socialize or go out, in an attempt to get more done.
An overworked person is stressed, which can also lead to problems in their sleep cycle. The snowball effect further affects the duration of their sleep and when they wake up; which leads to reduced productivity the next day.
The increased isolation is part of the package when working remotely – which is why it’s important to strike a work-life balance.
Prolonged hours in front of your laptop is detrimental to your psyche, and web designers should spend time with friends and family. Don’t take our word for it – science backs this up. Multiple research studies have indicated that people with strong social relationships are happier, healthier, and live longer.
4) Have a Dedicated Workspace
Devoid of an authority figure keeping a check on work, there are just so many distractions to get into. The flexibility provided by remote working conditions means that excuses eat into your time.
To get work done, there has to be some resemblance to a work-conducive environment to trigger you to work productively. Without a proper working structure, there will always be things to do that will eat into your ‘work hours.’
Even dedicating a corner of your apartment where you sit and work will do wonders, as leaving that spot once you’re done leads to a sense of achievement and separation from your work environment. However, if you’re aiming for more efficiency, you may also opt for a nearby library, coffee-shop, or a co-working space.
This is in line with how our psyche is formed. The Hawthorne effect states that people tend to work better when they are being observed. Additionally, going out for ‘work’ cultivates a feeling of accomplishment while simultaneously diminishing the sense of isolation often reported among remote workers.
5) Get Rid of Your Distractions
In 2006, Salary.com conducted a survey which found out that an average employee will waste approximately 2 hours a day because of distractions. These seemingly negligible productivity losses cost organizations $544 billion per year!
Although the survey is from 2006, distractions have only grown since then. Smartphones, social media, and a wave of other mediums lure employees to waste more time. In the case of remote work, the threat is doubled.
Devoid of any immediate reporting authority, web designers are left on their own to control such distractions – and safe to say, many fail.
The key to avoid wasting time is to set time blocks, utilize workflow applications that help control distractions, and to ensure maximum productivity by devoting your mind to work with the help of applications designed to do so.
6) Prioritize Your Comfort
Why in the first place did you leave your cubicle anyway? Comfort and convenience are the principal reasons why web designers overwhelmingly prefer working remotely as opposed to working in regular office locations.
Therefore, it doesn’t make sense if your remote working environment is not comfortable. The important web design project cannot be completed within a deadline if you are constantly distracted by the back pain you are experiencing due to an uncomfortable chair.
Which is why wherever you work, be it your home, your favorite coffee shop, or merely a travel destination – it is imperative to invest in comfort to bolster your productivity.
As a remote-working web designer, the more comfortable you are, the more productive your output is. Enough said.