“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime is doubly so.”Douglas Adams, Author
The sun streams in through a crack in the blinds. You check your phone, it’s 11:03 am. You get up to make a cup of coffee and start your day. An hour later you’re ready to sit down and answer your emails when all of a sudden, the power trips. Cue you running out into the street with a coffee cup screaming bloody murder.
A day in the life of a work from home animator can swing any way the wind blows, but for many, that’s exactly what they want.
In this blog post, we’re going to cover the pros and cons of work from home animation jobs and an overall work from home environment.
We’re not about to be settling any arguments or debates here, but we will be providing you with the information you need to decide as to whether or not you feel like you can handle the world of remote work.
So let’s jump right in, with a little history lesson!
The shift from on-site to hybrid, and now fully remote work environments have not been particularly gradual. In the past few years, we’ve seen so many companies forced to make the shift to either hybrid or fully-remote work environments, shifting in favor of the employee.
The era of digitization has also meant that these shifts are not altogether impossible for most companies. Think back to the early 2000s when you got an email in the office, and clocking out and “quitting time” was exactly that. There was no chance for you to be contacted effectively outside of work hours.
Nowadays, there’s no corner of the globe where a client or a boss can’t reach you.
The line between personal and professional lives has also blurred significantly over the decades. With the globalization of social media, your colleagues and clients can catch glimpses into your personal life that were never before available.
Whether for good or bad, the world of work has changed.
With that in mind, let’s chat about some of the work from home animation jobs that are available for freelance animators these days.
More and more companies are adopting the work from home ideology, leading to more work opportunities being made available.
As a freelance animator, you can do almost anything from videogame design and animation to YouTube thumbnail animations and gifs, and everything in between.
Many companies are also hiring remote-based animation producers and directors, leading to some animation studios being run even without an office space.
The opportunity for animation internships is also springing up more often on sites like LinkedIn, making it easier to break into the world of animation from a remote perspective.
With all that being said, let’s now chat about the pros and cons of work from home animation jobs.
Freedom To Work Anywhere In The World
Quite possibly the greatest thing about work from home animation jobs is the fact that “home” is wherever you’re comfortable and have a working internet connection.
Whether you prefer working in your house, in a cafe, or even in an RV, as long as you can connect to Zoom and Google, you’re good to go.
The possibilities are endless as well for studios hiring animators as there’s no restriction on location..
Since there are so many tools like Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, organizing meetings, syncing calendars, and tracking projects are so easy regardless of whether you’re across the desk or across the ocean from your colleague or client.
Zero Commuting Costs
A continuation of the above point is that since you’ll be working from anywhere you want, there’s no consistent cost for commuting, nor the stress of sitting in traffic to and from an office.
Get some tea or coffee, grab your laptop, and simply get to work. And, you’re helping to save the environment. Way to go you!
We’ll talk about the double-edged nature of this point a little later, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of those who make use of work from home animation jobs statistically are happier, more productive, and produce better results than their studio-based counterparts.
The ability to choose when and how to work can make a massive difference in your work-life balance. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or you feel like you’ve been bashing away at something for hours with no progress, then just take a break. No one can stop you.
Guaranteed To Be More Productive
This might be a reiteration, but it bears emphasizing that those who are less distracted are more productive.
When working on-site, you are surrounded by distractions from colleagues and other background noise, both of which are more or less mitigated by work from home animation jobs.
The argument can swing the other way, which we’ll talk about just now, but in truth, being surrounded by that which makes you comfortable, will almost certainly allow you to get a significant amount more work done in a shorter amount of time.
Given the opportunity to get up from your desk, go for a walk, make a sandwich, and simply relax for an hour, why wouldn’t you choose to work from home?
It’s in the name of “work from home animation jobs” that you end up working from home, and if you’re the only one at home, that can get pretty lonely.
In a 2013 study by Stanford University in collaboration with a Chinese company, those who worked from home were, as mentioned previously, more productive, happier, and less likely to quit. However, loneliness, as well as other factors, caused more than 50% of them to return to on-site work.
Granted, this was many years ago. But the idea of being alone for long periods hasn’t exactly disappeared. Feelings of isolation can very often harm your productivity, so it’s incredibly important to schedule real-life social interactions now and then just to remind yourself that you’re not alone in this world.
One of the drawbacks of work from home animation jobs, and indeed freelance animation work in general, is that all of the software you plan on using will have to be acquired yourself.
While this may not be true for some applications or indeed some high-brow studios, if you’re working with individual clients from home, or even working for a studio from home, chances are you’re going to have to finance all your own software costs yourself.
These added costs can dig into your pockets quite quickly, especially if it’s an especially slow month for you.
This can also apply to hardware and other equipment costs, and the repair and maintenance thereof.
Multitude Of Different Distractions
As mentioned previously, distractions are the mother of inefficiency. Sure, there are a whole host of possible distractions in an on-site work environment, but when you’re at home, there’s so much more that can take away your concentration.
Anything from kids, outside background noise like trucks and cars, social media and your phone in general, the ability to make endless cups of coffee and pieces of toast, YouTube’s endless rabbit holes, the list could well and truly go on.
Constant distractions can also very easily lead to increased mental health issues, and significantly deteriorate your ability to concentrate in general.
Using noise-canceling headphones can certainly help mitigate some of these distractions, but only as far as you’re willing to let yourself not get distracted.
Client And Company Communication Can Be Pitiful
When working on-site in an animation studio, any and all communication between you and the producers, directors, and so on, is direct. If there are any issues or concerns, you can sort them out immediately if possible.
Working from home? Different story. Sending an email only elicits a response from your employer, your clients, or even your colleagues, when it suits them to respond.
Sometimes it can take a day or two to even hear back about something that might be incredibly urgent, simply because your mail got lost in a sea of others.
A tip for Zoom meetings: record them all! That way you can at least have all the information in a convenient place, which should help alleviate some back-and-forth emails.
Looking for work from home animation jobs is a process that should not be taken lightly. There is a lot to consider before jumping into the world of freelance, let alone the world of working from home.
For some, it’s a dream come true. For others, it’s a nightmare that’s come to life. And that’s ok, we’re allowed to feel different things. Just make sure you consider these eventualities before staying home to work.
You Might Find Yourself Flip-Flopping With Your Feelings
You may very well find yourself treading the line between work from home animation jobs and on-site animation jobs, simply because of the ups and downs of both work environments.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll be more than comfortable with doing work from home animation jobs, but just remember that as important as financial stability is, your mental health and overall comfort are just as important.
And if you’re constantly shifting between the two, the lack of consistency and stability can do far more harm than good.
Stifled creativity is the bane of every animator's existence, and the last thing you want is to find yourself in a rut.
It’s true that inspiration can come from almost anywhere, but the flip side to that particular coin is that sitting at home all day every day can very easily lead to you emptying your creative barrel.
Be sure to constantly be aiming to improve by consistently evaluating your work; see how far you’ve come and then make a decision as to whether or not you want to keep hammering away with work from home animation jobs.
You Have To Learn To Be Flexible
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be taking yoga classes, although some people certainly do recommend it. Essentially, work from home animation jobs come with unique challenges, especially if you find yourself working collaboratively with other animators.
If you’re not face-to-face with others it can be quite tough trying to get your point across, so much so that you may find yourself reaching more impasses and deadends than highways to success.
You have to learn to be flexible not just in regard to bending over backward for your own health, but also for those you work with, especially considering the potential distance you’ll experience between you and everyone else.
work from home animation jobs have unique difficulties. It’s your job to learn how to navigate them effectively.
Following the global pandemic and surge of work from home opportunities, the ability to find relevant work from home animation jobs online has increased tremendously.
So much so that sites like Fiverr and Upwork are made almost specifically for these purposes - for freelance animators to find work from home animation jobs.
Let’s mention a couple.
We just mentioned these two applications, and we’re going to mention them again.
Fiverr and Upwork are two fantastic services for freelancers looking for work from home animation jobs. They’re great for attracting clients and finding animation work online, but they also work as sneaky tools for you to eyebrow the competition.
They’re both very popular, and both have their similarities and differences but are among the best tools for finding work from home animation jobs in this day and age.
With the right hardware and software tools, the right internet connection, and the right chair to sit on, work from home animation jobs are a possibility for everyone.
There are many animators all around the world and with so many opportunities to connect with your fellow creatives, such as through Reddit and Discord, figuring out the best way to work from home is as simple as it could possibly be.
The world of animation has indeed changed, and for many people working from home is the ideal work environment.
Whether work-from-animation jobs are good or bad is almost a never-ending conversation and there is so much information out there that frankly jumping into the deep end of remote work might do more good than harm.
Just remember to take your mental health into great consideration, regardless of where you work.
For more info about the animation industry and being a freelance animator, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, be sure to follow our blogs, check out our free masterclass and our Animation Business Accelerator Program, download a copy of our free marketing handbook, and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!