Designers are a complicated breed of employee that doesn’t conform to the same rules as your regular employee. Designers are unique because instead of following a set pattern or list of roles, they’re a creative type that seeks to do things differently and find different solutions to a problem. If you tell them “make me a website” then they could probably have five different sketches ready for you within the hour.
That’s why you need to accommodate designers and treat them differently to the rest of your employees. So if you’re thinking about hiring one, here are a couple of tips that will help make them feel right at home instead of being alienated.
First of all, unless you’re hiring a freelancer or hiring via an outsourcing company, you need to provide them with the tools they need to work. They won’t be using simple computers like the rest of your employees, however. Designers need access to some very specific pieces of equipment and high-powered computers in order to carry out their work.
For starters, they’re going to need a pen display such as the Wacom 27QHD. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s an asset that will become invaluable to your designer. In terms of a computer, they’re going to need a relatively powerful one to support the creative applications they use. Speaking of applications, they’ll likely need access to software such as Adobe Creative Cloud if they’re going to do digital designs. If your designs are destined to be used in public, such as being printed on flyers and so forth, then accurate colour reproduction is an essential part of their design flow. This means they’re going to need a good monitor that can display those colours properly, such as a Mac screen or a Dell IPS monitor.
Lastly, you’re also going to need disaster recovery services in case their computer dies or server fails. Although it’s something you should be practising regardless of if you have a designer or not, designers can spend hundreds of hours on a single project and if there’s even the slightest hiccup due to a bad storage solution or flakey network, they could lose those hundreds of hours in a single moment.
Aside from all the expensive hardware a designer needs, their environment also needs to suit their workflow. Don’t expect to sit a designer between two other office workers and expect it to go well! Designers usually work great on their own, so try to remove as many distractions as possible from their workspace. Ideally, set them apart from the rest of your office workers so they can focus on their craft. In addition to needing a lot of space, you’ll have to provide them with ample lighting so they can see their work.
Designers are also going to need a lot of table space to work on drafts and sketches. In short, accommodating a designer is going to require a lot of space, so don’t even think about it until you can provide them at least twice the amount of space you do for a regular employee. This might require a new desk, lots of storage space for their equipment, and a considerable amount of art materials depending on their chosen medium.