With millions of people in England being moved into a new Tier 4, the planned relaxation of the rules for Christmas being scrapped, a virus that has mutated and spreading at an ever-increasing rate, and the most recent news that most of Europe has closed it’s doors to the UK, it isn’t surprising that many people are fearful. Yet again, people are being advised to work from home when possible and it seems likely this advice will remain in place well into the New Year. Staying motivated when working from home is increasingly challenging but also so important for people’s mental health.
During 2020, millions of British workers have already had to adjust to the practice of working from home. Without a strict schedule to keep, and without a place of work to travel to, many have found the process a little bit of a struggle.
Working from home, to be sure, requires a little bit of self-motivation. If you find that your mental health has taken a dip at the prospect of isolation and boredom, then you’re not alone! While everyone has their own unique psychology, here are a few strategies that you might use to remain motivated to do the task in front of you. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Keeping a daily written log of everything you’re going to do, and then reviewing it at the end of each working day, is a great way to ensure that your tasks don’t end up slipping away from you.
Perhaps your log is in the form of a diary? The advantage of a personal diary is that it allows you to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings, as well as what’s going on. Many people find a handwritten diary hugely beneficial for their mental health.
However, for larger collaborative projects and for keeping track of workflow in general, it might be worth considering an application like Trello or Monday. The Healthy Life Essex team uses Trello on daily basis and finds it extremely effective.
Check-in with a colleague
If you’re collaborating with other people, then try not to rely too heavily on email. Pick up the phone and talk through the tasks you’re going to take care of on a given day. It won’t just provide you with information – it might help to focus your mind on what’s required of you.
Phil Woodbridge is the head of operations for Parcel2Go, which is an online means of comparing international couriers. According to him, the company has taken an approach which accounts for this:
We have weekly touchpoints set up with all staff to review how they are feeling, look at their performance and review any coaching/training needed. We have full visibility on KPI’s and we allow our team to have them also to drive each other.”
Dress for work
Since you’re working from home, it doesn’t matter how you dress, right? Actually, that isn’t true. How you dress for work when you don’t have to go into the office has a fairly profound impact on your personal psychology and staying motivated while working from home. You’ll feel more awake, alert, and in the mood to do work-related tasks if you’re actually dressed for work. That means ditching the dressing gown and slippers before you get going!
Take regular breaks
Staring at a screen for hours on end isn’t just unhealthy – it can actually hamper your productivity. Even a five-minute spell away from work can help to provide a fresh perspective on the task you were working on.
Similarly, you should set aside an hour for lunch, and spend it away from the computer. If possible, why not try to get some fresh air during your lunch break by incorporating a short walk or even doing a few jobs in the garden.
Of course, taking breaks also relates to longer breaks such as the Christmas period. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted or pressurised to work over the allocated holiday period if your office would normally be closed. You need to take a break, even if the festive period isn’t going to be what you had originally planned.
When working from home, you probably don’t have the same type of desk, equipment, and supportive chair that you would in the office, resulting in aches and pain that can reduce productivity. And it is certainly difficult to stay motivated when working from home if you are in pain! But did you know spending just a few minutes stretching to ease those aches and pains could make a would of difference? Check-out these desk stretches and build them into your daily routine.
Create the right environment
If you’re working in the middle of a busy kitchen or a lounge, then you’re asking to be distracted. That’s why a home office makes such a lot of sense. Do consider converting an existing quiet nook or spare bedroom for the purpose if you possibly can, and wherever your workspace is, do embrace these Feng Shui tips for working from home which suggests including air-purifying plants in your office space to improve mood states, reduce stress and anxiety, and assist in staying motivated when working from home.
Think about ergonomics when you’re positioning all of your equipment – your eyeline should be level with the top of your screen.
Keeping fit and healthy
Perhaps most importantly of all, ensure you keep fit and healthy by exercising, eating the right food, and getting enough sleep. There’s loads of information in our articles and blogs to help you!
Image by นิธิ วีระสันติ from Pixabay