Through the eyes of an art director working from home in 2020
It’s been almost three months now since I opened my eyes that first Tuesday morning when I began working from home: March 24, 2020. My daughter and I had been on a H4H medical trip in Honduras during her spring break when the country closed its borders. Getting back home to New Hampshire was a two-day adventure, but I’ll save that story for another time. However, I will share that I was ever so grateful to return from that experience, exhausted yet able to work from home. For me, that was beginning of what life has been like as an art director working remotely due to this worldwide pandemic.
It’s been three months since the start of our work-from-home orders in New Hampshire, and I want to share what it’s been like for this creative person. Honestly overall, I’ve been quite content. My desk is situated in a corner opposite our kitchen with four windows surrounding me. They overlook the front lawn of our house, and I’ve been able to witness the seasonal transition from winter to spring: from bud to blossom and into green leaves. What once was brown and white in March is now in full greens of every shade.
There were mornings I watched the snow fall and cover the ground to white and by 11am it had disappeared like it never even happened. But its not just the view I enjoy, it’s the fact that I’m at home. My cats often sit with me as I work, and often drop into our weekly online meetings. My UNH children have also been around doing their courses online. On a daily basis, we’re all busy doing work, so our house remains relatively quiet and easy to focus.
When my computer is uploading or downloading something large or thinking of a file being saved or opened, I’m able to put a load of laundry in or put away the dishes. I’m a mom! Multi-tasking is what I do best. Oh, and I really enjoy our weekly status meetings via Zoom. My face looks fabulous with the automatic touchup feature. It takes at least ten years off my age! But, most importantly, working remotely has helped my creativity. This opportunity has given me the time and space to think and create and see the world clearer: with new eyes. It has helped energize my interest in learning new additional technical skills using design programs, website applications, and social media tools. It has enhanced my writing skills, broadened my video knowledge and added a fresh visual awareness of what is most current across all media.
There are some drawbacks to the stay-at-home situation as well. The creative work we collaborate on is a bit more challenging to share remotely. There are creative discussions we often find ourselves having on the fly simply being around one another that just aren’t happening being out of the office. As a personal downside, sometimes I find myself still in pajamas after noon and my lunch isn’t as appealing as going out to get a sandwich or soup at the Green Bean, our local lunch spot in Exeter. Oh yeah, and then there’s the occasional turkey sighting while I’m working by the window that can be quite distracting.
So, where do we go from here? I’d say not all is lost during this stay-at-home order and after. Working separately “together” has offered us an opportunity to sharpen our skills to work remotely. We now know how to conference through Zoom and other tools. We’ve all had to be more creative, too. For example: structuring our home environments to replicate the day-to-day in the office. It has forced us to work on our social media skills and enhance our online presence. Now more than ever, this has really been an opportunity for us all to become more skilled at our communications: precisely what our business is all about!
Going forward, we can integrate what we’ve learned and put into practice these skills designing a system that allows ourselves more freedom to create, collaborate and communicate no matter where we are. My hope and prayer is we continue “working together” this year having new eyes and clearer 2020 vision.