5 Tips for Staying Creative While Working from Home
By now you’ve probably heard that the Atomicdust team is working remotely because of COVID-19. Our team is spread out across the area, united through Slack, email and our individual coffee makers working overtime. While we’ve always had flexibility and the option to work from home when needed, doing so for a prolonged period is a big adjustment for many of us. So we’re sharing our tips for staying creative while working from home.
Set up your space.
The desks inside Atomicdust’s office space hold everything from family photos and silly doodles to mini action figures and Rubik’s cubes. Spend a little bit of time making your workspace at home as curated as your desk at the office. Grab your favorite design books, hang up a few photos, steal some of your kids’ play-dough to keep on your desk for brainstorm sessions. The world might be working from home for a while—so take the time now to make the space you’ll be inhabiting feel warm and inspiring.
Keep making things.
For some creatives, work might slow down a bit as the economy slows. For others, inspiration might feel fleeting. The trick is to keep creating. That’s why we launched the Atomicdust Design Challenge on Instagram. Each week, we’ll share a prompt with something to design. Our designers will also participate, and we’ll share all of the posts so that everyone can feel connected and inspired. Join us and design along!
Stop making things.
Ok, so this is the exact opposite of what we just told you to do. But sometimes the best way to get inspired for a project is to stop thinking about that project. Studies show that our creativity can increase when we let our minds wander, so if you’re feeling particularly in a rut… take a break.
Right now we’re limited in options when it comes to things we can do (setting up shop in your local cafe is probably off the table for a while). However, you can still get a breather in other ways. If you can, go for a walk around the block. If you can’t, find a 10-minute exercise video on Youtube. Or make a cup of tea, taking your time to boil the water in a kettle, choose your favorite mug and steep until perfect. Start a jigsaw puzzle. Read a book. Call your dad. Write a list of as many state capitals you can think of. When it comes to things you can do to help you be creative… well, be creative.
Find ways for your team to be social while social distancing.
On our first full day of working from home, one of our developers suggested a speed-off. He sent out a link to speedtest.net and everyone tested their home wi-fi speed. We shared screenshots of our results—ranging from high-powered speed demons who must have monster internet bills, and the slow-pokes with internet so laggy it’s almost like dial up (I was in that second category, and I’m calling my provider ASAP). The competition was fierce.
Create ways you can connect, compete or collaborate with your coworkers virtually. Share an afternoon brainteaser via Slack, or suggest a costume contest for your next video call (I’d suggest an internal call without clients, but you do you.)
Make new friends.
One of Atomicdust’s developers, Alex, moved to Boston last year and works remotely, so she’s got the working-from-home thing down already. Last year, when a turkey appeared in her neighborhood—yes, a real live turkey—she was enthralled. She documented its bizarre behavior on her Instagram stories for all of us back in St. Louis to watch (it was great content!). It’s weird, but so is working from home. Make friends when you can, laugh when you can, and share the laughs with others.
Now get back to work.
You’ve probably already come up with some of your own tactics for staying creative while working remotely, whether you’ve realized it or not. If you’ve got an idea we didn’t include on this list, let us know!