With the craziness of 2020 behind us, the first reaction is a sense of relief. “Thank God that year is over!” But like all things that challenge and test us, it is important to also reflect on what we came away with. 2020 was a problem child for us all in one way or another, but whether we like it or not, it did give us some pretty nifty tools and skills as designers.
New Ways to Communicate
Since we could no longer sit in the same room as our coworkers, we had to adapt to new methods of communication. Platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet are just some of the ways we were able to stay connected—and most importantly inspired—by those around us. We had to learn to articulate with words because visuals weren’t as easy virtually. The lack of in-person, visual brainstorming sessions was definitely missed, but it was also a chance to exercise communication skills we don’t normally rely on.
Working from home gave us a new sense of independence—and with it the need to strictly manage time in order to stay on top of our projects. Working independently, it was very easy to get distracted by our new work environment. Not having the accountability of your coworkers around you, we had to step up and become our own managers. Planning out our days and making sure we set ourselves up for success became our responsibility. With this new workflow, many of us found there was a greater sense of flexibility as well, working when we were inspired and giving ourselves mental breaks to recharge.
New Learning Opportunities
In the down time, we had the opportunity to learn new skills. Whether it was playing with new programs or finally mastering a skill we’ve been learning for years, we had the chance to widen our skill set. Sites such as Lyda.com and the Adobe website had a vast wealth of tutorials allowing us to branch out and try new programs.
Inspiration in Unexpected Places
Staying at home didn’t mean we couldn’t be inspired by new things! We took this opportunity to find a spark in our new work environment. We found that it’s okay to step away from your work station every now and then to take a mental break. Walking around the neighborhood on our lunch breaks or working in different parts of our home was enough to kickstart our brains.