Working From Home – How To Stay Motivated
One rare positive to come from the lockdown is how well people have adapted to having to work from home. People have surprised themselves with how well they have made the transfer from commuting to walking across the hall to work. With this new way of working comes it’s own struggles and complications. Staying motivated and managing to perform at a level deemed acceptable can be a struggle.
So here at Dorset Tech as we have had to entertain this way of working and we have some experience of this we’d thought we’d put together some pointers on how best to approach this, more so now as more and more businesses have embraced this way of working and will continue to offer this as a working option even after restrictions have been lifted.
Work The Same Hours:
This could also come under the routine heading too. Try make sure you start work at the same time and finish at the same time. You could even take short breaks and your lunch breaks at the same time too, as you would if at work. This is also good as it allows family members in the same household to know when you are working so they can plan their day around this also. Housemates will know not to have the TV or radio on loud during these times also. If you change these or just decide to work when you feel like it your work will become counter-productive and you will struggle to stay motivated.
Have A Routine:
If you start work the same time every day this will allow you to have a routine, ideally a pre-work routine. Such as going for a walk, taking the dog out or doing exercise in the garden. Knowing you start work say at 9am means you can plan what you need to do beforehand. So, by a set time you are sat at your desk or table with a cup off coffee ready to start your working day. This also allows your family to work with you in making sure the morning goes smoothly before you start work.
Have Ground Rules At Home:
This one is quite important and is essential in making sure the environment you work in is as optimised as possible to keep motivated and in a work frame of mind. If family members suddenly start blasting out loud music or watching action films on the TV this will easily distract you. Rules could include things such as no TV before 5pm and no loud music if it’s in the vicinity of where you are working. If you are in a private room then make it known people can’t just barge in, especially if you are on a video call.
Even when you worked in the office you took breaks so this should be no different when working from home. Essential for your mental and physical well being. Regular breaks where you get up and walk around should always play a part in your working day. Try have your breaks the same time each day though this is not always possible due to things like meetings running over etc. Make sure you leave the desk or table where you are stationed though during your break. Try get some fresh air if the weather allows it.
Have A Dedicated Work Space:
If possible you should use the same space each day for your office set up. If a table is spare use that, try get a comfy office chair too so you don’t have to use a dining chair. This helps with posture and also re-enacting the office environment. Maybe have some photos around you if you do this at work. You should have the space set up so you know when you sit down you are in a work environment. Mouse mats, office chairs and pen and pads can all make your space that little bit more office-like. If you have worked on a PC at the office then try work on a PC at home, don’t be tempted to try work on a laptop unless you are used to it.
Keep In Touch With Colleagues:
This should be part of your normal daily working routine anyway. Using software like Zoom, Skype or Face-time always try have some form of interaction that’s not just email or texting. Face to face video calling helps keep a sense of normality, even if it’s for 5 minutes. At the very least voice on voice calls should be frequent. Don’t just keep it to work related topics also, everyone is going through the same thing so it’s good to share experiences and funny stories about your daily life and how working from home is going for you.
It might seem enticing making every day a duvet day but this can quickly lead to letting other things slide in your daily work from home routine. Avoid the temptation to just walk across the landing in your pyjamas, this will soon be reflected in your work. Make an effort to get dressed for work, we don’t mean a suit and tie but the actual action of getting up and making an effort.