Designing Remotely Feature

Designing Remotely – Five Essential Tips

20202020 Blogs, 2020 Design, 2020 Fusion, 2020 Ideal Spaces, Home Design & Remodeling

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In light of current events, we’ve felt the need to reach out and give some useful advice for designing remotely. 

Offices are closing and social distancing is preventing us from many of the usual methods of conducting business. With a primary focus on safety and in keeping with the guidelines set by trusted and reputable health resources, we can still do our best to maintain an energetic and effective design business. We'll start off with some healthy tips for adjusting to working from home and move on to some detailed solutions for practical remote design.

For a more in-depth look and insights from a curated team of design professionals, stay tuned for our upcoming webinar on designing from a distance. For the meantime, here are some essential tips to keep the ball rolling in the right direction. 

Create a Designated Work-Space

Designing Remotely - Designated Work-space

It is very important that you have an area in your home dedicated to the same functions as your office. Whether you have an entire room or the kitchen counter, keep your work area focused and effective. Your ideal home office will be organized and separated from distractions. If space is an issue, consistency at the very least is critical. Don’t bounce around day-by-day. Generate as close a replica as possible to the act of stepping into your office at work. 

Give yourself the necessary equipment to allow both capability and comfort in your new home office. Your home computer may not have your saved files, apps, or other features accessible to you at work. Bring as much as practicable from your office building. If you can’t bring home your work computer, move everything you'll need to access to the cloud. Get yourself a good chair, as well. The stool at your breakfast bar or your living room couch will not do your back any favors. Bring in an ergonomic office chair or use the next best thing at home. 

Make sure you have the WIFI bandwidth to maintain your work needs as well as any family you are sharing with. If you have employees, make double sure their needs are met in all the aspects mentioned above. 

Healthy Work-From-Home Habits

Designing Remotely - Healthy Habits
First things first; wake up the right way. Practice your usual morning routine, take the time for any steps you may sometimes miss when rushing out to the office. Make yourself presentable. As well as being necessary for any video conferencing or one-on-one chats with clients, this is an important psychological step to get you on your A-game when it comes to productivity. Don’t sleep in any longer than you would on any other workday; don’t treat this like a vacation. 

Manage your time efficiently. Set your hours and try not to multi-task too much. Make fixed break times and finish what you start. The idea is to keep some structure in an environment that may allow for more distractions than you are used to. Make sure to get the whole workday in, but don’t over-do it. End the day at your normal time, shut down your computer, relax and decompress. 

Don’t go too hard on yourself, either. Allow yourself the perks of being at home during your set break-times and before and after work. Make yourself a healthy lunch from scratch, keep the coffee fresh, take the dog for a walk and interact with family members while the situation allows you to have more time for it.  

Communication Is Key

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When meeting in-person is becoming less of an option, your clients are going to need more communication than ever to keep them satisfied. Use face-to-face online platforms like Zoom and FaceTime whenever possible. Share plenty of visuals in your virtual meetings. Update honestly about any delays while remaining confident and reassuring. Take the time to go over any details or ideas that can keep things moving forward. 

Your employees are going to need more communication as well, especially if they are not familiar with working remotely. Stay in touch, be realistic in your expectations - making them precise and clear without micromanaging. Use teamwork platforms like Microsoft Teams and Monday to track projects and engage employees in frequent conferences to keep everyone involved. If video chat is not available, make up for it in conversation and allow for the personal interactions that would normally take place over coffee or around the water cooler.

Effectively Managing Projects from Home

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Work online to generate leads and engage new clientele. With so much of the population working from home, many people may find themselves looking around their homes, noticing all the different ways they could update and improve their surroundings. Get online and create some fantastic mood boards to inspire and intrigue new customers.  

For projects underway in client's homes or at jobsites, make certain that you are maintaining all health recommendations. The well-being of your clients, employees, contracted workers, yourself and anyone you interact with at home must always come first.  

Projects in developmental stages will require your attention to make sure the client has no doubts about the future. This is where communication is so important. Use every tool at your disposal to help give your clients something solid and impressive. Send some stunning renders and 360 panoramas to show them a true vision of their new home. Give them something to look forward to. 

Take advantage of technology. Show your clients how to use apps like MagicPlan to scan rooms for measurements and help create floor plans. Genius Scan is a great tool for exchanging documents from your phone, while apps like Docusign allow you to close deals from a distance. 

Harness the Opportunity to Enhance Your Online Presence and Reach Out to Your Global Community

Designing Remotely - Managing Projects

Now is the perfect time to get caught up on your self-promotion and make connections. Get online, expand your social media presence. If there are any platforms you are not yet using, get started now. Fill your pages with fresh and vivid content to keep your audience informed with optimistic projections on where your work is going. All of the ideas, inspirations, brainstorms and projects that you’ve kept on the back-burner are available for you now to show that you are looking forward creatively and proactively. 

Get connected with your peers, become a more active and present part of what makes up your world. Break down boundaries and have a look at all the wonderful work that we are doing as a whole - not just as colleagues or competitors, but an artistic community that both brings you inspiration and also stands to benefit from your own contributions. 

Above all else, stay safe, and keep informed through proper health resources. Remember that we’re all in this together. Though we may be physically confined with social-distancing and self-quarantine, there is no reason why we can’t still come together in the building of a brighter future. 

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