Can you introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Mica Andreea. People call me Mica 🙂
I am currently working remotely at Design+Code.
I am a multidisciplinary designer, in love with UX and Creative Design. I do all type of things such as:
- UX research
- Brand strategy and Design
- Creative design (web/editorial illustrations, iconography)
- UI design, and many more.
My passion for human behaviour science got me really interested in UX for the past 2 years+, and since then my main focus is to improve my UI skills too so I can focus my career in the future only on UX/UI design.
How did you start working remotely and why?
I’ve been working as a freelancer for the past 5 years, and working remotely was really not planned at all, it just happened because I was offered a full-time position (instead of a usual project-based contract) at Design+Code, and I said: “why not, let’s see”.
I thought about the fact that I will have the opportunity to see how is to work in a team, learn from other designers/coders, get feedback on UX/UI projects, and maybe improve faster than I could ever do on my own.
It was a hard decision because a remote job is really different from a freelance business.
It’s a more “full working mode”, and less of networking, hustling, or learning all the time how to grow your own business type of thing, as freelance business was for me.
What is your typical day like?
I wake up at 7 am and start working at 7:20 or so. I open Slack to see if I have any messages from my teammates, urgent things to do, then I check Notion to see if there is anything new there.
I usually know what I need to do for the current week. At the moment I am working on creating more vector illustrations for our Shape.so product.
I start by doing some research on what are our customer’s requests, what are designers using and needing in their project, then I start sketching, trying new styles, and I do that until I find something I think works best for our product.
At about 11 am, I take my breakfast break – 4 whole eggs and cheese 🙂
Then go back to work. I take another break at around 1 pm to go hit the gym and have lunch.
I have a home gym because I thought it was a time saver for me. I used to work as a personal trainer 7 years ago, and this allowed me to know exactly what equipment I need to be able to develop muscle/strength and keep my body fit.
I lift weights 4 times/week, and been doing that for the past 10 years 🙂
At 4 PM I’m back at work. This is the hour all the team is online on Slack, and you can contact everybody and talk in real-time about what you are working on, what you are doing today, what you’ve done so far.
At around 6-7 PM I finish work and I go for my (almost daily) 5 km walk with my girlfriend. This is a perfect time to talk about our day, discuss new ideas, business and so on.
Every day I read at least 1 h. I do this so I can grow myself, and because I really like learning. Now I am reading Universal Principles of Design.
How do you stay efficient and engaged while working remotely?
As an “ex freelancer”, I kind of have this function “installed” inside myself already. I guess is just self-efficiency and want to give your best all the time.
Some days your best is really awesome, some days your best is just ok, either way – this is something you have to get used to it and take it one day at a time.
What are the tools and workflow that you’re using to get things done?
Slack, Notion, Zoom, Adobe Illustrator, Figma and that’s it :)I use sticky notes lots of times too, it’s easier to keep my tasks in my viewpoint all the time 😀
How do you think remote work will evolve in the future?
I hope more companies will implement this because once you learn how to manage a team remotely, you really can offer your team a better work/life balance.
I do think this will be more the norm in the future.
How to you stay in touch with your team?
Daily Via Slack and we have 1 video zoom meeting/week, every Monday.
What do you enjoy most about working remotely?
The fact that I never lose any commute time, and I spend that time with my loved ones, or learning, or working on something I love.
The fact that I don’t need to wear jeans at work 🙂
What is your office/workspace look like?
Sound: Yamaha THR • Logitech MX Master 3 • Macbook Pro 2019, silver 16 Inch
What are the challenges of being a remote worker?
To find a company that offers you the benefits, salary and team-building time, as you would get from a non-remote job.
I would say being alone all the time too, but I am working in the same office room (home) with my girlfriend, and I never feel this way.
Do you have any side projects? Can you speak about them?
Yes, I am almost always having side projects.
I just finished a really awesome cool project for Adobe, working along with Linn Vizard and Patrick Faller on a 5 part Design System articles series.
I was in charge of doing all the illustrations, infographics to best capture the amazing articles.
I love side projects because it’s a great way to evolve and work with different people, learn about different cultures, and learn about what are others working on and be a part of this.
What are your future life goals?
Work as a full-time UX/UI designer/Product design (bonus: with people that are really into the human-centred design) I would actually do this both remote and on-site, wouldn’t mind.
How do you combat feelings of loneliness, isolation and burnout?
I never experience feelings of isolation, but I do experience burnout’s a lot of times.
I just go for a walk, talk to my girlfriend about it, plan a different “attack plan”, and I’m back on my feet 🙂
What is special about the place where you live?
Not much. As a gay person its really a big struggle to enjoy a very homophobic country.
I am planning to move to Berlin as soon as I can because I think it’s one of the most amazing places in the world to live in.
Besides work, how do you like to spend your time?
Learning UX/UI/Science, spending time with my girlfriend, go out to eat, lift heavy weights and watch crime/political documentaries
Do you have any recommendations for those who want to work remotely too?
Find a good company that suits your needs.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for, keep looking, always keep networking, always keep having side projects, keep learning.
Don’t burn out – entirely 🙂