Name: Yen Chu RGD
Company: Rogers Sports & Media
Job Title: Creative Director of Design
Take us through a brief overview of your remote workday.
Having a morning routine has always been important to me and gaining an extra hour in the morning that would’ve been normally spent commuting is great. Generally I have around three Skype meetings a day, other than that, I’m directing or designing as usual. I’ve discovered that my sense of time is off working from home because the usual signifiers of colleagues going to lunch or leaving for the day are gone so I’ve had to become more diligent about setting those parameters between work and home.
What are you currently working on from home?
At the moment I’m working on a channel ID rebrand and some podcast creative which is fun because it’s a chance to create a fresh new creative every time. Also, the past few weeks have been spent putting some of our “regular” projects aside to create COVID-19-related content for social. It’s been very interesting being part of an organization which has been impacted by the shut down of broadcast content like the NHL and seeing how my colleagues have had to quickly pivot to dream up new ways to continue engaging viewers/fans.
Have you found any helpful tactics or strategies for staying focused and productive?
Focus hasn’t been an issue at all. In fact, I find that I’m way more focused/productive working at home. If anything, I’m missing the “distractions” of chitchat.
How do you combat feelings of isolation or disconnect from your team?
We’re all in contact via email and group chat but there’s nothing like seeing/hearing each other about three times a week online just to catch up socially for a few minutes. I’m an introvert, as are many designers, so the idea of chatting on camera wasn’t super compelling to me initially but it’s definitely a highlight of the week. Another facet of working from home is finding that balance between super clear communication while not inundating each other with email and meetings.
If applicable, how are you approaching working from home while your partner/family/roommates etc. are also home?
We’re lucky enough to each have our own workspace so we’re not together 24/7 and it’s been great being able to have lunch together (and have someone bring me a glass of wine while I’m still working). I’ve heard from colleagues who have younger kids that it’s been difficult to strike a balance so at a time like this, we just need to give ourselves the flexibility to define what our workdays look like.
Have you discovered any advantages or disadvantages to working from home? If so, what are they?
Advantage: Focus. I find that there can be something vaguely performative about being at work. When I’m relaxed, I’m more creative. Let’s face it, loose pants is the answer. Also, I like the odd break to give my dog a cookie and a kiss.
Disadvantage: I miss the ritual of “going to work”, being around people in general and solving stuff together with my colleagues in person.
Do you have a favourite playlist or podcast that you’ve been listening to while working from home?
At the moment, the podcast "Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend" is cracking me up.
Though seemingly contradictory, social distancing and community are intertwined. Do you have any thoughts or insights you’d like to share with other designers during this time?
We’re all in this together. Unlike certain (orange) Americans, Canadians, for the most part, have a strong sense of social responsibility and understand the value of a little personal discomfort for the sake of the greater good. We’re very lucky that way.