Takeaway #1: Adapting Nimbly to the Challenge

Rear view of businesswoman working at home office

The vast majority of designers have continued to execute client projects even during the height of the crisis, mostly by setting up home offices. Those who have made the transition to remote working say they are adapting quickly and even nimbly to the challenges, and are focused on enhancing the experience with more infrastructure, closer collaboration and, most of all, more robust communications. That is not to say that everyone is unscathed. Some have been sidelined or seen projects delayed or defunded, and have had to be extremely resourceful to keep work flowing or motivated to use the downtime productively.

SELECTED COMMENTS:

We’re continuing to work. Adapting to a new way of working is truly what it means to be creative. Communication is more important than ever, and design is a reflection of that. We had a jump start on being prepared for this challenge because we are always seeking ways to improve processes and communication.

My work continues but everything is done remotely. Our firm is doing more cold calling and offering smaller design packages to help support other businesses who are trying hard to adapt the crisis or are simply working with smaller budgets.

I work in a creative department for a company in the healthcare industry. We were already well equipped to work remotely with laptops and VPN policies in place. The only shift has been with the video team; we now help people manage recording video and audio, and we’re investing more in our podcasts and webinars. All face-to-face events have been postponed so that work has disappeared, but research on COVID has filled it’s place.

Work has continued. I use a lot of video conferencing technology (Webex, Zoom, Go To Meeting) and a lot more shipping of physical samples.

I have continued to work. I have been working remotely from home since 2014, with the exception of traveling into the office once a week. That no longer happens. The biggest challenge is making time during the day to complete my work and also to homeschool my son. After the first week or two we developed a good routine, so that we could each accomplish our daily goals.

We are working though the entire team is now remote and at home. There have been no major changes in our creative practices.

I’ve been working from home for years. Our company was already positioned for remote work. The biggest adaptation is staying in contact with each other. Email can be so impersonal, so we’ve encouraged turning on the video feature more often and we speak more frequently by phone.

We are all working from home offices, the change was rather seamless. Our work has slowed down and opportunities to develop new business are limited.

I am freelance. I had projects lined up and this hit just as we were finalizing the contracts. My clients, current and prospective, can’t afford to pay or wont until they have more confidence in their own finances. I have decided to use the time to update my website, and to generally upgrade my facilities and capabilities.

We noticed a drop off with some clients depending on their industry. We have picked up more print-related client work, specifically packaging. So we are concentrating more on package design and print production, areas in which we have valuable experience.

I still have a couple of clients sending me small projects. Recently, I started to look for opportunities through platforms like Upwork. I’ve been freelancing for the past 8 years so there hasn’t been much change in the way I work, but it is definitely more challenging to find new opportunities.

Brought work computer home, with all its corporate firewalls, etc., and have not missed a beat.

My company has kept a few of us on. Work has certainly changed. I work from home and the type of work we do is different. We used to focus more on print media, but everything we do now is digital. I took a few resources from the office to help: a large monitor, a wireless keyboard, a mouse and a standing desk. We also had to integrate a communication platform to help everyone stay connected.

I am working from home full time. My husband is also working from home and we are balancing the care of our 3 month old baby between meetings. I have my ‘office’ set up in our dining room. The most challenging piece has been connecting with my team. I find that small things take much longer.

Because so much of my business is design and advertising for events, it has come to a grinding halt once ‘social distancing’ took hold.

I tell people that I have worked from home for about 30 years, so it would appear that nothing really has changed for me. Except one big thing: I have no work

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