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Design007-July2020

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66 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2020 3. Manage Interruptions How do you tell the people that you love and share your home with to "go away and stop bugging me?" The answer is that you don't. Instead, you gently manage expectations so that everyone understands your schedule. If interruptions happen (as is bound to happen with children in the house), don't let them frustrate you. Instead, try to look for ways to include everyone in what you are doing so they don't feel disconnected from you. 4. Smile: You're on Candid Camera If you are set up for video conferencing, use it. We humans need to see and interact with each other. You wouldn't hide behind a mask in a meeting at the office, so don't hide now at home. Even if it doesn't help you directly, it will probably help others. I know of one engi- neering manager who has made it his policy to leave his camera on all day long so that other people can see him and know that someone is always available for them. 5. Reach Out There may be members of your own team who are struggling during this time, especially if they are extroverted and rely on regular contact with other people. Please seek them out and check in with them. If you can help your co-workers to succeed, then you will succeed as well. I started with these five tips, but there are many others. I would love to hear about your methods for staying productive while working from home, so please don't be shy about sharing with me. Who knows—maybe we'll update this list to include your ideas in a future column. The Benefits and Rewards Now, let's talk about some of the advantages of working from home. Of course, there are the obvious ones, such as saving money on commuting. I finally put gas in my car last week for the first time in three months. You can also save money on clothing and eating out, too—although, at this point, I think I would give a week's pay just to sit down in my favorite restaurant again. But what about some of the other benefits that might not be as obvious but are still equally rewarding? One pleasant surprise has been that, for many of us, life slowed down just a bit. Instead of the day whizzing by in a blur, I've discovered I am more focused on my work—and I was working from home to begin with. But with fewer exter- nal distractions that used to divert my atten- tion, I've found I now have more clarity in my daily tasks. Working from home also freed up time for some to invest in online education for both professional and personal development. For myself, I find I am doing more research into new design topics and ideas, with the byprod- uct of expanding my professional network. And just for whimsy, I took the time to put together a 1,000-piece puzzle (Figure 2). With- out my regular lunch appointments or errands to run, I was looking for a new way to take a break during the workday. It took me a month of lunches (along with some additional late nights), and just a tiny bit of frustration, but I got it done. I don't think that I've built a puzzle since I was a kid (not counting board layout, of course). Our entire industry has had to learn new ways of doing things, and it has been encour- aging to see how both individuals and corpo- rations have responded. One example is the increase in design-based webinars and online training sessions over the past few months. Figure 2: A completed "quarantine puzzle."

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