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Staying motivated while working from home

by Michael Bailey | 23 March 2020

Has the recent Coronavirus Pandemic resulted in you having to work from home? Are you worried that you will find it hard to stay motivated while working remotely? Here are our top tips to ensure you can stay motivated and productive without heading into the office.

A vast number of UK workers have started to work from home this week as a result of the current Coronavirus Pandemic, many of whom may never have worked remotely before. Remote working can be a challenging thing to do, but it is useful to get used to as more-and-more jobs become home based or require an element of working from home.

At home you are more likely to be distracted by your surroundings, and it can often result in an un-productive and de-motivating working environment, something you definitely want to avoid.  It is therefore hugely important that businesses and workers do all they can to ensure productivity remains high during this unprecedented time. We sat down with Senior Manager and legal recruitment specialist Michael Bailey to find out how he stays motivated and productive while working from home.

Get up, get dressed and stay in a routine!

This may seem obvious, but I am almost certain a lot of people that are currently working from home for whatever reason will simply sit around in pyjamas or comfy clothing – something a lot of people often dream about. Whilst this is a novelty at first and fine on the odd occasion, it can have a huge impact on your motivation to get work done. When I am at home I ensure I get up, have a shower and get dressed. Now, this doesn’t necessarily need to be what you would usually wear to work, but getting up and out of what you were sleeping in will ensure you remain in a regular routine – even if you simply change into a t-shirt and jeans. 

If you really want to stay in the same routine as going to work you might also want to take a brief morning walk and use this as your ‘commute to the office’ – especially if you are used to travelling to work on a daily basis. Not only will this wake you up, it can help you get your brain into gear and ready to start work. 

Getting changed and sticking to a routine will give you the motivation to get your tasks done, which is something that is hugely important when working from home.

Take regular breaks and have a walk

You know what it feels like to be stuck in your office for too long – it can be draining and incredibly demotivating, especially if you don’t take any breaks and are particularly busy. The same will apply when working from home. I often find that working from home can be more tiring as many of us have external distractions to deal with as well as the day-to-day; the dog, kids or even housework can play on your mind. For that reason, you should set some time where you can go for a walk – even if you are in self isolation, as long as you stay a safe distance from other people.

Think about taking a brief walk around the street or go out into the garden and get some fresh air. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you can step away from your work, and take a few minutes to yourself. It will really help you recharge and give you a much needed boost to get on with the rest of your day.

You also need to take breaks throughout the day. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, take a full hour for lunch and stretch when you can. All of these things will aid your mood and ensure you can work to the best of your ability.

Leave work at work, and home at home

If you are due to work from home for a prolonged period of time it is likely you will have set up a space for you to work somewhere in your house – if you haven’t I advise that you do. Giving yourself a distinct office space, and setting boundaries between work and home will be essential – especially if you are going to be working from home regularly or for a long period of time.

You should also try to stick to regular business hours and know when to switch off, otherwise you might end up working much longer hours, which won’t be good for your health, productivity or morale.

Keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family

Working from home and social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop all contact – far from it. We all need social interaction to keep us sane, so it is hugely important that you stay in regular contact with your team, friends and family while working from home. Working in a sales role I know how important this is for my team. That is why we have committed to have at least three video calls per day to catch up and share success. Staying in all day without speaking to anyone can impact your mental and physical wellbeing, so it is important to get as much social interaction as you can.

If you haven’t got the option to speak to colleagues, then think about setting some time to speak to a friend at lunchtime, or when you are taking a coffee break. The important thing here is don’t overcompensate. You want to remain productive, so schedule calls at times that suit your workload, and keep them brief. You don’t want to get caught up talking and not have enough time to complete the work you need to do.

Get the right equipment

Remote working doesn’t mean you need to forgo all of the equipment you rely on to do your job. Make sure you have everything you need at home to stay productive and continue working as normal. If that means you need to ask your employer for some adjustments, so be it. Your employer has a duty of care to ensure you can physically do your work at home, so ask for anything you think you will need. 

You might also want to invest in a laptop stand and take home your mouse and keyboard. Not only will this ensure your equipment feels familiar, it will also help your wellbeing long-term saving you from arm, back and neck ache – trust me, it works!

If you are working from home and would like some advice or need more ideas on how to stay motivated while working remotely then get in touch, we would be more than happy to talk to you.