10 Ways to Master Work from Home as a Designer

While many people believe that working from home is the Holy Grail of office life, it can be a bit of a challenge to actually get work done when there are so many distractions. From the comfort of your own bed on a drizzly Melbourne morning to the never-ending array of snacks, it can be hard to stay focused and be productive. 

Designers in particular can have a tough time since they often need to be in front of a computer for long periods of time. They also need to be able to work with other team members in order to get feedback and collaborate. Combine this with the fact that most designers are visual people with strong imaginations and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to trying to work from home.

If this is you, fear not! We’ve compiled these 10 simple tips for mastering your work from home days.

10 tips to help you make the most of your work from home days:

Photo by Lumin

1. Get dressed for work.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should work in your PJs. Getting dressed for work will help you get into the right mindset and be more productive. Studies have found that what you wear can actually impact your mood and how you work. So, ditch the sweats and put on something that makes you feel good.

2. Set up a dedicated work space.

If possible, set up a dedicated work space in your home so you can work in a comfortable, distraction-free environment. As a designer, this may involve second monitor or making sure you have the right software installed. Equally as important as the tools is the environment itself. Make sure your work space is in a well-lit area (or dimply lit, if that’s your thing) with minimal distractions.

3. Establish work hours.

When you work from home, it’s important to establish work hours and stick to them as much as possible. This will help you keep focused and avoid the dreaded burnout. Starting the day by checking your work email and checking in with other team members first thing in the morning can also set the tone for the day and help keep you and your colleagues accountable.

Photo by Farhan Abas

4. Take breaks.

The fact you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should work all the time. Make sure to take breaks during the coarse of the day, even just for a few minutes at a time. Get up and move around, step outside for some fresh air, or take a quick power nap. As a designer, taking breaks can also help refresh your creative juices.

5. Avoid distractions.

It can be tempting to watch TV or surf the internet when you’re working from home, but try to avoid distractions as much as possible. Stay focused on your work so you can get it done efficiently and effectively. The most common distractions include:

  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Phone calls
  • TV
  • Household chores

6. Set a daily goal.

Every day, set a goal for yourself so you know what you’re working towards. This will help you stay focused and motivated. Gaols can be as simple as “send 5 emails” or “finish X design project.” Or, alternatively, try the Pomodoro Technique and break your day into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks in between.

Photo by Glen Carstens-Peters

7. Make a to-do list.

At the start of each workday, make a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish. A list is a simple but incredibly powerful tool to stay organized and on track. Some people like to use web applications like Trello or Asana to help with this, while others prefer the old fashioned paper and pen method.

8. Stay connected.

When you work from home, it’s easy to feel isolated from the rest of the world. Make sure to stay connected with your co-workers and friends so you don’t feel alone. This can be achieved by setting up regular video chats, going for coffee breaks together (virtually or in person), text chat platforms like Slack or working in a coworking space.

9. Get plenty of rest.

When you work from home, it’s important to get enough rest so you can be productive and effective. Sleeping where you work can easily blur the line between being at work and being at home and sleep can suffer. Make sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep, even if there is still ‘work’ to do.

10. Take advantage of flexible work hours.

One of the great things about working from home is that you have more control over your work hours. If you’re a morning person, take advantage of that and get started on your work early. Or if you work better at night, work later into the evening. Experiment and find what works best for you so you can be productive and efficient.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your work from home days and be productive, efficient, and successful.


Cover photo by Keren Fedida