Tips from a 100% remote design team on getting through the lockdown.

At Pepperplane we run a 100% remote team which is great because it allows us to work with clients all around the world from anywhere. Over the past 3 years we have learned a lot about working from coffee shops, clients, shared office spaces and of course, home! We are in the midst of a world health crisis with the COVID-19 virus spreading at an alarming rate. Working from home could save you and a lot of other people from infection. We thought it could be helpful to share some of the team’s tips for working from home.

#1 Create your Workspace

It can be very tricky to concentrate on work in an environment where you have been used to relaxing after a day of work and traffic. You might also be sharing your home space with family or roommates and this could get tricky if none of you are used to working from home.

The first thing to do is to designate a space as your “Work Space” at home. It can be a desk in your room, your dinner table or your closet (if things get really distracting, although not recommended). This means that you can “go to work” and keep similar business hours as much as possible.

This designated space will also warn housemates that you are now working and probably not available for a quick coffee or chat when in that space.

#2 Get the right tools

We make use of a bag full of tools in order to stay connected and communicate effectively. Here are some of them:

We use Slack for real-time chat between all our team members. We do our daily updates, group discussions and all private chats on Slack.
InvisionApp calls itself a digital product design platform. It is an amazing tool for prototyping, project presentation, collaboration and asset handovers.

Google Hangouts
For any video calls, we use Hangouts. It is free, works really well and is really easy to share links in chats or calendar invites.

We use Monday for all our business and project management, tracking and reporting. It keeps everyone in the loop no matter where they are.

See a full review of the tools we use here…

#3 Beat the feeling of isolation

 If you are used to being in a bustling office or studio environment, sitting at home alone could be very uninspiring. Our tips to combat the creative cabin fever:

Do video chats with colleagues

  • You might be someone who draws their creativity from interacting with co-workers or clients and users. The isolation makes that impossible and you will need to find ways to work around it. One way would be to have video chats with clients or colleagues to get the interaction you need to fuel the creativity.

  • Put podcasts on to hear some human voices while you work.

  • Join online design communities and contribute as much as possible. Dribbble is a great place to do that! It is very interactive and a great way to get feedback when you need it.

#4 Stay active

Get up and move around whenever you can. Working on the couch or in bed might be a bit too comfortable and before you know it, it is 4 pm and you haven’t moved a muscle.

If you don’t have a lot of space, check out some YouTube videos on stretches, yoga and home exercise to keep the juices flowing.

#5 Segment your life/work/life

Relax, break and sleep enough. Working from home might mean that you actually have fewer distractions than at the office. This might send you into productivity overdrive which sounds like a good thing but that can have negative effects over a long period of time. Remember to look up from your screen now and then, get up and take some deep breaths. Waking up and going to sleep at your regular times, keeping office hours and sticking to your normal routine could also assist with this.

Remember to eat! At the office lunch breaks might have been a definite break in your day. A chance to socialise with co-workers and just step away from your desk for a while. When working at home you might find that you eat too little or way too much (just because the fridge is right there!). Be cognisant of these changes and find a healthy way to manage them.

In ending

Working from home might be a big adjustment for most people but in the end, it is for a good cause and will help the world get through this pandemic much quicker and better.

If remote working is something that you have wanted to try out, now is the right time. We hope these tips will help you make the most of it!

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