By now, we’re sure you are posted up in your home working remotely in efforts to keep yourself and your team healthy through this pandemic. We don’t blame you, we are too! Some of us though are not experienced in what it takes to be effective at working remotely, and that is why we reached out to a couple of people who we know have done it well. We wanted to get their advice and share it with you all in hopes that their knowledge can help you through this tough time of isolation.
One of our team members, Reese, has had a lot of experience in the past with working remotely, while he doesn’t do it on a day to day basis for his full-time gig, he does work remotely for us and it has turned out pretty well. Ben Stineman, on the other hand, has 12 years of consistent experience working remotely for some of the biggest companies in the country. Below are a few tips from each of them that we thought you could use to help you out a bit. There is some overlap, and we left it in there intentionally to reinforce the importance of the tip when both of these guys are referencing it in their own experiences.
Tips from Reese
Utilize presence effectively. If you are at lunch…say so.
Have a dedicated space to work.
Get up. Shower. Put on real clothes. Have a cup of coffee. Eat breakfast. Stay in your normal routine. Working in your pajamas is great for a day. For a week, it can be a problem.
Communicate with the group as if you were there in person. If you have a one on one conversation but your intent is to have that conversation be heard by others, they won’t hear you unless you bring them into the convo.
Set an hourly timer to get up and take a break. It is easy to get sucked into work for the day. You need to step away for a few minutes every hour.
Take a lunch break away from your desk. Again, it is convenient to work through lunch but it isn’t healthy.
Do your best to socialize outside of work. If that means playing an online game with friends, do it. If it means movie night with your roommates, do it. Force yourself to keep a social life.
Be available during normal work hours.
Tips from Ben
When you get up, do a morning routine as if you were going to leave where you live and go to work. Take shower (if that’s a morning thing for you). Put actual pants on. Get a coffee. etc.
Don’t work from the couch – have a desk or sit at the table if that is what you have.
Try to isolate from your housemates / family / SO – if that means setting up a small table in a bedroom, do it.
Slack is great for communication, but it can also be distracting. Try to resist the habit of responding to everything immediately so you can have blocks of concentration time.
That being said, communication as a remote worker takes more effort for some people. If you need something, say something. Also, if you need to step away from your work area, let people know. Have a dedicated OOO/away slack channel for this.
Resist the urge to do things like watch Netflix or play games – be an adult and control yourself. You are being paid to be productive for the objectives set forth by the people that pay you, not play/chill.
If you spend time on video conferencing or do anything network intensive, get ethernet cable from your router to your computer – wifi will let you down, consistently.
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge of working remotely? Will these tips help you through the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us know in the comments below what you think. If you have any of your own tips, drop them down there as well.
When I was first asked what I am thankful for, I instantly thought of my family and my husband. There are also so many other things I am thankful for, that it was difficult for me to narrow down. I began thinking of my interests. Something that I do almost every day is some form of graphic design. Whether that be designing social media posts, newsletters, posters, small animations, illustrations, etc. Designing is something I love to do and helps define who I am.
While I was a college student working toward my bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, I loved learning about the history of graphic design. It was so interesting being able to see how much design has evolved. Design can even be found over a million years ago in caveman carvings. If you are interested in reading a brief history on graphic design, I would suggest this article: https://99designs.com/blog/design-history-movements/history-graphic-design/
There is such a rich and ever changing history of graphic design, and it has made me thankful to live in the 21st century with advanced computers, affordable design programs, fast reliable internet. The design world has expanded so much in my twenty-four years of life. Some things went from being non-existent, to a daily part of almost every designer’s life.
While design has constantly changed throughout history, I truly do believe it has changed more in the last twenty-five years than in the last few centuries
It used to take designers days, weeks, or even months to create something from start to finish. Now, it can take as little as hours or minutes. While I love where design has come from, I am truly grateful to be alive in a time where design has grown in leaps and bounds! It’s an exciting time to be a designer or in the creative field!
The Pixel Labs team has been working with The Art of Education since almost their beginning. Overtime, our team has had the privilege of watching them not only grow but go through an accreditation process to become The Art of Education University.
The bulk of the work we do for the AOEU team consists of creating content. We create every piece of content for their curriculum and subscription services. The multi-camera shoots and unique challenges to creating video courses has been an ever evolving process. Due to this, we learn something new on ever shoot, which is a lot. We travel almost monthly across the country capturing content for their website. This gives us an opportunity to refine the process each and ever time.
Beyond the Education
Beyond the course and subscription content that we shoot, we create content for their biannual digital conference, Art Ed Now, and create culture pieces that serve as recruitment content for new presenters and team members.
Joywheel Cycling came to us with a challenge. They needed a video created that would build hype around their new cycling studio. However, that wasn’t the challenge. The challenge was that the studio was a few months from being completed.
First, we took to the drawing board. We then developed a concept. After these steps were completed we found a space to execute the project that would resemble the focused environment that the studio would soon provide.
The Open House
Joywheel Cycling opened up with a huge turnout! Due to this, their classes are packed and everyone loves the new cycling experience that they have brought to the community.
Our next piece we created for them was an event recap from their open house. The goal was to show the excitement that was surrounding the new fitness experience in the Cedar Valley!
“We need art because through the process of creation, we pour out our bottled thoughts, our worries, our hopes. And in a cathartic release, we can finally confront what we feel, not just what we’re told.” – Chase vs Everything
Some might say that art, or the creation of it, is not a solid contribution towards society. We have all heard the common phrase, “Get a real job” or the hesitant “It’s great what you’re doing, but you need to put food on the table and pay the bills.” While these statements do hold some merit (otherwise the label “Starving Artist” wouldn’t exist), seldom do the people saying these things actually realize how common creation is all around them. These are the people we categorize as the doubters, the naysayers, the haters.
A hater may be found in the YouTube comment section or they might be your grandpa, Steve, telling you to follow the rules and play it safe. As they tell you to not follow your dreams and to not express yourself in an outlandish way, they consequently fail to realize just how heavily they rely on the very existence of creation. That keyboard warrior on YouTube? He or she wouldn’t have videos to consume if we didn’t create. Or your grandpa, who listens to music on the radio and watches his favorite shows on TV. All of us humans, haters or not, love to consume the ideas of others.
Imagine your life without Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Reddit, Instagram, or even a good novel to read once in a while. What would your day be like? The words boring and bleak come to my mind. We create because we need to. We create because life would be so hopelessly bland and bare if we didn’t.
Even if we set the “artistic” or “creative” inventions aside, there’s still that phone in your hand or that computer monitor you’re reading right now. Or the chair you’re sitting in or that light above your head. These objects merely started as ideas in somebody’s head and then that somebody created them. Without this explosion of intuitive self-expression throughout human evolution, we’d still be dragging sticks on the ground and living in caves. Creation, both on an artistic and pragmatic scale, has spurred us along as a species.