A huge reason for launching Decology – the UK’s first completely online interior design service – was to offer designers the flexibility to work anywhere at anytime and take on multiple projects at once.
The rose-tinted view of remote working is that it’s all emails from bed and quitting the commute for a lay-in, and while this might be occasionally true, the reality is you have to be more motivated than ever to reap the rewards.
Being a productive remote worker will not only help you get the most from Decology and help you complete design projects quicker, easier and less stressfully, it can transform you into the epitome of efficiency in every situation – and who doesn’t want that?
With this in mind, we asked a group of top interior designers for their tips on why Decology works for them and advice on how to become a remote working guru…
Paris-born Najwa Mroué moved to the UK to become an interior designer in 2005 and now works at London studio Atelier NM.
Just one of Najwa’s vibrant projects
“My business was created remotely and I owe it to the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and social media. The world is moving towards more efficient ways of working, using technology and virtual platforms such as Decology.
“Decology recognises a business is not restricted to an office with limited working hours. Designers can set themselves up anywhere, on any device, and can pick up where they left off. A lot of my clients live abroad and love Decology because they can keep up to date with the progress of a project wherever they are.
Read more: The Uberisation of Interior Design
“Choosing my own working environment and hours makes me more productive. Avoiding long commutes also means my time is spent on the creative process and execution of the design.
“Use the right business apps to help you complete tasks at a time that suit you. This guarantees a smooth work stream. For work spaces, choose venues that inspire you. This will lead to creative, fun, and healthy challenges.
“Whether you are cooking, shopping for a client, or having a business lunch, draw inspirations from your daily activities as this can positively influence your work – then show the results on social media.
Karolina Barnes has run her own design business from Kent for three years and has also previously designed home offices for clients.
Karolina’s home office makeover for a client
“I’ve been waiting for an e-design platform like Decology for a while. Designers no longer have to be physically present and managing projects first hand.
“For me, working remotely is no different to traditional methods. I still present my proposals, samples and technical drawings in the same way. But it gives me flexibility to handle multiple projects at different stages and I can fit work around my family – this makes remote projects more satisfying.
“Tools like Skype or Dropbox are vital for clear communication and success of the project as working remotely requires high organisational skills. I had a project in Prague last year which was done completely remotely and documenting every conversation and every step was vital to its success.
“A system like Decology, specifically designed for remote working with clients, makes life much easier and coupled with the right tools you can execute any project well.”
Elena Romanova, from Surbiton in Surrey, quit her corporate career to launch her own design business six years ago.
Elena’s family home makeover included this classic living room
“I run my business from home, which means I don’t have ‘standard working hours’. I can offer my clients complete flexibility and I work a lot with professional couples who can only meet in the evening or at weekends.
“Sometimes the boundaries between your personal and professional life become a bit blurred. A good tip is learn to switch off and have slots during the day when you are not checking emails.
“A well-organised home office is a must. With all those wallpapers, fabrics, floor samples, and hundreds of tester pots, you can be quite overwhelmed, so come up with a system that works for you.
“Working on your own can be lonely, so networking is helpful. Whether it’s other designers or just like-minded entrepreneurs – get out there and meet them! You will learn from each other and it may even lead to new business.”
Jess Clark is a mum-of-two from Newquay in Cornwall who works post 7pm after her children have gone to bed. She designs luxury holiday cottages for Unique Home Stays.
“I’m frazzled most of the time, but remote working means I can do the job I love, see my kids and live in an amazing place. Time management is critical, so set yourself work times so clients know when is best to catch you in interior designer mode, as opposed to playing Spiderman.
“Working remotely allows me time with the family, but it means there is no official end to the day. I try to take half an hour to completely clear my brain. I have set times when I’m a phone free zone as there’s never anything that is so urgent it can’t wait a short while.
“Focus when searching for ideas or design features online. Without the structure of an office environment it can be easy to get distracted, so be strict with yourself.
“Give yourself a break. No-one expects you to be perfect and no-one will notice if the pressed seaweed you laboured over for hours wasn’t quite as you envisaged. Working remotely means I’m my own worst critic and I can waste hours procrastinating over minor details. Finally, embrace the chaos!”
Interested in becoming a freelance interior designer? Apply here….