The Digital Corps began shifting towards remote work in early March. As employees adapted to working from home, students of the Corps began to develop project ideas that could be completed remotely. The Digital Corps-antine Diaries, which were developed at the beginning of quarantine, have encouraged Corps employees to pursue creative projects independently throughout this period of remote work. This opportunity has allowed many students to explore topics that they enjoy, that in some cases may typically be outside of their discipline.
After working on their projects for the duration of the summer, Corps employees have seen their creative ideas take life. However, this progress hasn’t come without roadblocks. Working remotely while in quarantine has presented many challenges for those pursuing creative projects.
Video Team member Nicholas Heilman has been participating in the Digital Corps-antine Diaries throughout the summer. Making progress on his own creative project, Heilman has become familiar with some unique difficulties of remote work.
Heilman describes his biggest challenge as being a lack of interaction with peers. However, he also states that “Staying motivated is difficult at times” when focusing on creativity in quarantine. Managing distractions in a remote setting can be difficult. According to The 2020 State of Remote Work published by Buffer, two of the most commonly reported difficulties of remote work are staying motivated and distractions at home.
Many Corps employees experienced limitations to their creative projects. Heilman’s initial idea shifted at the beginning oft he project. While he originally planned to focus on building 3D models, difficulty getting parts shipped led him to change his idea to focus on creative writing. Other students have used the challenges of quarantine to choose specific focuses within their projects.
Despite challenges with maintaining motivation and staying creative during quarantine, students at the Digital Corps have developed strategies to remain focused while working on their projects.
Heilman reflected on how maintaining a routine helped him stay motivated to work on his writing, saying; “It’s just doing it every day. Finding motivation is difficult, but if you get into a habit, then it’s harder to quit.” Corps employees are encouraged to maintain a schedule through bi-weekly project meetings where they all are able to share their progress. These meetings provide a routine that encourages them to make progress, but it also allows students to interact and learn about one another’s creative projects. Digital Corps students join a Zoom conference call to discuss their progress on personal projects for the Corps-antine Diaries Project.
These discussions have encouraged students to explore new avenues of creativity and share their progress in other ways. As students continue work on their creative projects many are considering how to utilize their work in their everyday lives. Some students are using their art for Spotify playlists, others intend to print their photography work they’ve collected throughout the project. By continuing to develop new skills in both their creative fields and in managing remote work, Digital Corps employees are preparing for a return to campus in the fall.
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