How to be motivated whilst Working from Home?
The world has been sent home to work. But if you thought working from home was going to be easy-breezy, you’re probably kicking yourself now.
To combat COVID-19 and stop the curve, many countries have gone into lockdown meaning many offices have sent their employees home to work. It’s nice to mix things up a bit and get out of the office. You don’t have to deal with annoying coworkers, have your boss breathing over your shoulder, or deal with commuting. You’ve got your own space with your own kitchen and a fully stocked fridge. Your own computer and a comfy chair. What could possibly go wrong?
The problem with working from home is that it is hard to stay motivated. It’s impossible to get all your work done and stay as productive as you usually are in the office whilst surrounding yourself with everyday distractions. Establishing a difference between work time and home time is hard enough as it is, without merging the two.
Businesses worldwide are adapting to the lockdown, with hundreds of thousands of employees working from home. Natalka, from Quadrant2Design, is here to share her top tips to staying motivated (and sane!) when it comes to making the change. Using these top tips, you’ll be able to get motivated (and stay motivated!) whilst you are working from home. And, you’ll find it much easier to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Let’s get into it.
- Establish your Routine
- Wake Up Early
- Take Regular Breaks
- Create a Home Office Environment
- Eliminate Distractions
- Get Ready for the Day
- Host Daily Team Meetings
1. ESTABLISH YOUR ROUNTINE
It’s important to follow a routine when you are working from home. Just because your environment has changed, doesn’t mean your working day should. Use the mornings to respond to your emails and have lunch at the same time that you usually would. If you have coffee or tea at a certain time try and stick to it.
Following your workday routine will help you get into that mindset, and increase your overall productivity. If you’ve got scheduled break times then you’ll have something to look forward to, and can put loose deadlines on your tasks.
2. WAKE UP EARLY
It’s very tempting to stay in bed for that extra half an hour that you would usually spend commuting, but if you want to stay motivated you need to wake up early! Set your alarm as normal and spend the extra time you’ve got watching TV, listening to the radio or browsing your social media. Taking this break in the morning will stop you from getting distracted during working hours. It will also help you establish a difference between working hours and home life, which can be difficult when you are working from home.
Without realising, your office provides you with a lot of little breaks throughout the day. Even 1-minute encounters with a colleague are enough to switch your brain off from your work. These small, frequent breaks are essential. We all have a concentration span much shorter than we care to admit, but by switching off from what we are doing we are able to come back as if fully recharged.
When working from home you have no colleagues to act as these little distractions, so you have to find your own. Give yourself a five-minute break every hour or so, away from any screens! Get a word search or puzzle book and take short breaks to complete it. When you go back to your work you’ll have a fresh mind and will know exactly what to do to complete it. You are also allowed to leave your home once a day to get some exercise. The question is, what’s better for your legs – walking or cycling?
4. CREATE A HOME OFFICE ENVIRONMENT
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start working from home is not creating a working environment. They jump on their sofa with their laptop, and get cosy with a blanket whilst attempting to get some work done. This has been proven to reduce productivity and make you feel much less motivated.
Rather than getting comfy, create your own office environment within your home. This could be at a desk or at your table, but should definitely not be from your sofa or bed! Gather everything you need for the working day in one space and spend your working hours there. At the end of the day you still get to ‘go home’, or throw yourself on the sofa whilst you stick on the TV. Working from home like this, using an at-home office environment, could save your sanity!
5. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
An obvious, but necessary, point to make. All of your favourite things are at your house, as well as all of your favourite people. Working on anything isn’t easy when you’re surrounded by distractions so do what you can to eliminate them.
Turn off the TV, or work from a room that doesn’t have one if your family want to watch it. Put your phone down. Trust me when I tell you you aren’t missing any social media drama whilst we are all stuck in isolation. Don’t do the dishes in the middle of the day, housework comes later.
The key to keeping motivated whilst working from home is to avoid the distractions of your home life entirely. Make the distinction between work and home and you’ll see your motivation sore.
6. GET READY FOR THE DAY
As well as getting your home office space ready, you need to get yourself ready so that you are in the mindset to work. That means getting up and showered as you usually would, putting on your work clothes and seizing the day. You probably don’t need to go as far as getting you coat and shoes on, but putting the clothes that you would usually wear to work on (instead of pyjamas!) will help you stay motivated.
At the end of your working day, reward yourself by getting changed back into your comfy clothes. That way you’ll have something to look forward to at the end of the day, and another way of establishing the difference between your home life and your working day.
7. HOST DAILY TEAM MEETINGS
The final step you can take to increase your working from home motivation is to communicate with your team. Host daily team meetings by video call. There are free apps and software that you and your colleagues can download to stay in touch with each other. As you can imagine, these have increased in popularity since we were placed under lockdown. They’re easy to find and simple to set up.
Even if you have nothing to say, or bring up at a team meeting, this feeling of community can help boost everyone’s motivation. Take turns to discuss your workload, any new projects that you are taking on and what you’re hoping to have wrapped up that day. By sharing information this way you can input your insight into other people’s work and get feedback and help with your own. Two minds are always better than one!
SUMMING IT ALL UP
With these seven helpful tips, you should have no problem staying motivated whilst working from home. Keeping your spirits up during this isolation can be tough. By keeping a clear distinction between your working day and your home life will help you get through it. Life would be so cool if you learn to earn working from home.
Creating a distraction-free home office face and getting up early to get ready to ‘go to work’ will definitely help you stay motivated and increase your productivity. Keeping in touch with your coworkers will help you stay sane and deal with everything that is going on.
Keep working together, and remember that this will be over eventually! Until then, look after yourself. Stay safe. And stay at home.