How to stay creative whilst working from home
So given the last couple of weeks of madness, it seems the office environment is a thing of the past and we’re now living in a remote working world. Here at Giggle, we’re no strangers to working from home. Both Jonathan and Steve WFH most of the week anyway, and the rest of the team often have to work remotely on events, so you could say that we’re experts! Most of our work is computer-based and any shoots we had on the go we have changed to animations so that we can do them from home. All of our clients have been wonderful and we have managed to pivot some of our work in this way.
On this theme and because we are all creative people. Does working from home help to aid creativity? And if not, what can you do to stay creative?
Creating some kind of normality and structure will help you work creatively. There are several ways to do this: get up and get dressed every morning, this will help you differentiate your work and home life and help you feel in the right brain space to start work. Make sure you’ve got a good set up, ensuring that your computer is at the right height, you have good back support and you have a clear working space and everything you need will make a big difference. Finally, try and stick to a schedule. For some people, it can be tempting to work more relaxed office hours and work in the evening, but this could decrease productivity and even make it much harder for you to get back into the swing of things when you’re working in the office again.
One downside (depending on who you ask!) in working from home is not being able to chat with the rest of the team. It’s now easier than ever to work remotely and still be in touch with all of the team. Software like Slack, Dropbox, Facetime and Zoom all aid a collaborative remote working environment, and as a result helps with creativity. Being able to bounce ideas off one another and just chatting about everyday life can actually help to inspire new and creative ideas, so having regular calls with the whole team will help. We are taking this time to do some training that has been cancelled and doing this online with each other so that we can learn together.
One way to get creative and inspired (that you may not be able to do whilst in the office) is to have a shower (although Jonathan prefers a bath). According to a recent study, 72% of people had creative ideas when they were in the shower. This is likely because you are able to let your mind wander, but also because water de-ionises the air and boosts oxygen levels which improves the connection between the left and right sides of the brain. So if you’re really stuck in a rut why not take some time to have a nice hot shower and see where your brain takes you.
Not leaving the house can affect your mood and your creative ability without you even knowing, but making small changes around the house could make a big difference. One way that Iina does this is changing her location in the house throughout the day depending on where the sun is. This has helped Iina stay creative whilst also keeping her vitamin D levels topped up! But Iina is lucky that a lot of her work can be done on her laptop or drawing on her iPad Pro, so if moving is not possible for you, why not move some pictures or ornaments each day to that things are constantly changing. If you’re currently working from home with your kids, this could be a fun activity for them to get involved with in the evening.
Exercise has countless benefits for your body and mind, but it can be particularly important whilst you’re working from home. For lots of people, WFH means you no longer walk to work, the station or your car, so missing out on these couple of minutes of exercise can make a big difference. But following on from Boris Johnson’s address to the nation last night, we are now only allowed out once a day, so why not try an at-home exercise class? Several personal trainers and fitness fanatics are already uploading free home workout classes to youtube and to Facebook. So you’ll definitely be able to find something up your street and with no need for that gym membership!
Make sure you take lots of little breaks. In the absence of the ‘watercooler’ moment or chatting over coffee it’s important to take little breaks. If you try to work from 9 am to 6 pm with only a small break for lunch you’ll find that you’ve actually achieved very little and it won’t be your best work. This is because your brain needs breaks. So this is the perfect opportunity to try something new. Dave has decided to try some gardening to give himself a break. He’s currently growing rhubarb, carrots and tomatoes. Gardening also gets you outside and active which will stimulate creativity. Or if you’re bogged down with work then sometimes a change is as good as a break: switch to working on a different project, or have a sort out of files, you’ll soon find that your creative spark will be back and better than ever! This is something that Steve has tried, in the last couple of weeks he’s gone back to drawing, painting and even tried a little bit of dressmaking!
Whatever you’re doing we hope that you are staying safe and distant and we can all get through this thing together if we support each other.