While going through my Twitter feed recently I came a across a tweet that a friend and fellow graphic designer had posted: “More employers should be aware that employees don’t need to occupy the same space to collaborate and produce excellent ideas and work.” I had to stop and reflect on that statement for a bit…
Working remotely has been getting easier for many professionals in recent years, and this is mostly due to the expanding methods of communication that only a few years ago weren’t even feasible. With emailing, instant messaging, video conferencing and even collaborative online documents, working from home, a remote office, or even from a mobile device when you’re on-the-go seems like a perfectly viable option.
But is it better?
In my career as a graphic designer, I have found myself in a number of situations where, if I had been working remotely instead of in an agency/office environment, the quality of my work would have suffered, or I would have exhausted more time and resources to get the job completed to the level it needed to be. Working collaboratively with others within the same office space provides opportunities for instant feedback. If I’m unsure as to the direction of a work in progress, it’s super easy to just ask for an opinion and get feedback in a matter of seconds. And that’s a two-way street. Colleagues can easily ask an opinion or bounce some ideas off me. In fact, I’ve provided some quick feedback to a colleague as I was writing this post.
A matter of perspective?
I’ve learned to pay very close attention to initial reactions of my work from my peers. There have been times where I’ve been working away on a design only to have someone from another department walk by my desk, glance at my screen and make a comment. Those comments can be profound and lead me in a completely different design direction. Because of that comment…that initial consumer reaction, I may have just received an entirely new perspective or angle that I hadn’t previously considered.
Communication takes time!
In my experience, the major drawback to working remotely is the time that you need to invest in communication. If I need to ask my art director for an opinion, or ask a client a question about content, or ask a developer about coding a website, that means picking up the phone, writing an email, typing a text message, launching Skype for a video conference etc.. In an office environment, I simply could have just talked to someone directly and show them what I’m talking about. How many times have you spent your valuable time typing out a detailed message – sent it – and waited for a response? And amongst all of those instances, how often did you actually get the answer you were looking for on the first try?
What do you think?
Do you find working remotely is working well for you?
We’d like to hear your feedback, and your perspective.