As a designer I have worked in a multitude of environments, from corporate offices, to boutique studios and large commercial business. Each place I have worked I have been seated at a desk, put in with the marketing crowd and done a 9-5 job. I enjoy going into an office and doing the hard yards, talking with the team and having a physical presence.
However over the past couple years I have expanded as a designer to become a freelancer and remote worker, being able to work at any time from anywhere and, I have to say, that this has not had a negative impact on my work at all. In fact it has made me a more dedicated and hard working employee.
Having the ability to work from home or while travelling has put me in control of how I use my daily working hours. I can get stuff done at my most productive times (for me this is the morning) when my brain is most active and not when the office is open for me to use. I can extend my work day and take breaks from work to learn new skills to enhance the products I am producing, not fearing deadlines or the dreaded COB because I can schedule myself over the week to get what needs to be done finished before deadlines without being limited to the confining time frames of the office.
I get to work in settings where I can be relaxed and focused and surround myself with inspiration. One of the most trying things I found working as a creative in a corporate environment is the cubicle mindset. Where everything has an official business aesthetic and there is no room for inspiration or imagination. I found that this environment led me to dry work and just getting the designs done rather then making something with a true impact, my only relief from my surroundings being interesting visuals I could source online to push my work forward. Remotely I can work in the comforts of home, at a desk filled with colour and inspiring content, with easy access to all my design books and the freedom to make a mess and experiment without impacting others. I can also work offsite, go out to cafes, co-working areas and work on the go, being surrounded by constantly changing aesthetics and gaining a unique approach to each project.
The big benefit to my employers is that I can be on call anytime, If something urgent comes up I can immediately hop on it and get it done, using the fluidity of remote working to reschedule my day. I am also available to them for longer because I don't have to commute, my work station is always right there (my laptop always in my bag) so I can easily whip it out and quickly send off design adjustments right when they are needed, and not an hour later once I get to the office.
The beauty of online communication and the plethora of tools available have made remote working so easy for both the employer and the employee that it is no wonder this form of work has taken off. All I have to do is send a quick email or Skype call across to check up on my work place and jobs to be done. I could hit up our group trello board or boot camp and see all the jobs currently running and have access to all our files through offsite server access or dropbox. There is really now practical reason to be tied to an office anymore.
This shift to remote work is also great for your employer because it drastically reduces their overhead expenses. No need to buy you equipment, to pay for multiple subscriptions, to supply amenities and a space for you to work. In some cases having remote workers means that employers doesn't even need to invest in a physical work environment at all, just hiring out a conference room every now and then to deal with major clients and the occasional cross the board work meet up.
Remote work is such a freeing experience for everyone involved. All it takes is a little bit of discipline to make sure you are on top of your game and some good time management. Personally the remote environment fits my personality to a tee because I know that people are depending on me and always get stuff done as quick as I can to as high standard as possible.
If you ever have the opportunity to participate in remote work, as an employee or employer I would recommend to take it. The benefits are endless, it is the work place structure of the future