How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home

How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home

How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home

With a second lockdown in England, employees who can work from home are being told to do so again.  Many office workers have been working remotely since March but the prospect of full-time home working during the darker Winter months doesn't seem as appealing to some.

Despite productivity rising for many organizations, about two-thirds of individuals apparently don’t feel very productive when they're working remotely.  So, how do you stay motivated?  Here are some of the ideas we’ve collected over the years:

1. Stick to a routine:  For example, if you get up at 07:00 to go to the office or to visit clients, then do the same when you’re working from home

2. Have a separate office:  If your home has the space, have a dedicated office where you can shut yourself away from your partner, children and pets!  We’ve all seen videos of children and pets interrupting video conferences, which is amusing, but interruptions can be annoying if you’re on an important telephone call with the CEO or your biggest client, or just trying to concentrate on preparing your teams end of year reviews or presentation for the annual conference

3. Set boundaries with your housemates:  Housemates or families often think that if someone is ‘working from home’  they can fix the washing machine/mow the lawn/chat on the phone for ages/cook a big meal/do the shopping!  Clearly stating why you’re working from home and what you’ve got to accomplish works well, especially if you can give a time limit to finish with a reward at the end

4. Wear office attire:  As tempting as it is to sit in your PJs or tracksuit bottoms and fluffy slippers all day, if you dress as if you’re going to work, you’ll feel and act more professionally.  Previous male colleagues would say they had to have their watch and shoes on (as well as shirt and trousers of course!), whilst female colleagues would advocate having their make-up and jewellery on to feel like they were at work

5. Have a plan and try to stick to it:  If you’re used to having a ‘To Do’ list, then stick to your way of working when you’re at home to keep you on track and, if you’re struggling, work backwards from any deadlines

6. Use the time for you: Use the quiet time to have a catch-up meeting with yourself, to check that your work is aligned with the company vision and strategy, and ask: what’s working, what needs improving, and what can you do differently?  Having time away from the office noise is very useful to evaluate your position and progress against objectives, both personally and work-wise

7. If you really can’t get motivated:  On a grey Winters day as you stare at the horizontal rain, it’s easy to start Googling holidays in the Caribbean, or leaping on to any social media platform, or even the company’s IM to chat to anyone who is free.  Switching off any alerts to concentrate on writing that report will pay off, again giving yourself a reward once it’s completed

8. If you really, really can’t get motivated:  Sometimes it’s not easy to get up, have breakfast, go in to a spare room, and start work straight away.  If it’s possible, going for a run beforehand, or a brisk walk helps to focus the mind and if you really can’t get going, then call a friend or colleague and ask for help, or ask that you can be accountable to them, for example, they may suggest spending 30 minutes on a report or business case, and then submitting it to them for their ideas  

9. Take regular breaks:  If you are working from home alone, then still take regular breaks from your laptop, but don’t swap one screen for another and start watching ‘Loose Women’ or ‘Neighbours’ as you’ll start to feel lethargic and suddenly loose a couple of hours and then may feel guilty

10. Switch off:  Chances are that once you get going, you’ll suddenly realise it’s lunchtime.  Make sure you don’t snack all day, but have regular meals and if possible, have some exercise later on in the day, even if it’s stretching or a quick walk.  Then unplug completely at least an hour before bed.

Good luck, stay safe and shout if you need more tips to stay motivated!

About Jill Maidment

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