Remote working and working from home have become part and parcel of our working lives. Back in 2019, just 5% worked mainly from home.
Thanks to the legacy of lockdown, that number has risen dramatically. Today, nearly 25% of us work from home all the time, without going into any formal place of work at all.
The 100% work-from-home scenario is not for everyone. Although attractive in theory, the long-term reality is a little different. Once the novelty wears off, many workers have felt isolated, unmotivated, and crave the real-time human interactions that on-site work provides.
So what should you do if you are an at-home worker struggling to stay motivated and invigorated? How can you remain on task and productive in an environment without colleagues to stimulate you and offer you that collective commercial mission?
Here are some ideas to help fight work-from-home fatigue. We hope they keep you going while still allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of working from home!
Staying motivated while Working from Home.
Look at your workspace.
Your workspace is crucial to your productivity and output. If you have the space, create an at-home office you can dedicate to work.
This will stop you from being distracted by your ‘Homelife’ and let you concentrate on your professional work.
Many at-home workers find it difficult to draw a line between home and work. Without the commute and the separate space, it can be difficult to switch off. Having a door you can close behind you will help to mark the end of a work day and the start of your evening.
Create a routine.
Home workers may find it useful to create a routine for themselves.
Despite being at home, having a morning structure sets the tone for your working day. It helps set the pace. If you can, try to start at the same time every day and take structured breaks.
On your breaks, fresh air will keep you motivated and refreshed. Taking a short walk or sitting in the garden with a coffee will allow you to make the most of the time at your desk.
The routine probably won’t be set in stone, but having a rough idea of what happens when will give you focus, while the planned breaks will keep you on task.
Become an expert communicator.
Working from home can make it difficult to keep in touch with colleagues and form positive working relationships. Without office micro interactions it can be difficult to get to engage with the people you work with. It has been suggested that it’s these small informal connections that help to keep us creative and engaged.
Luckily, technology has stepped up a gear over recent years. It has been elevated to allow professional communication lines to be open and transparent. While they can’t replicate face-to-face collaboration, they have gone a long way to support successful at-home and remote working.
At-home workers need to get on board with online communication channels. Platforms such as Microsoft Teams make video calls and group conferencing really easy, while platforms such as Slack streamline workflows and easily support project work.
These channels are both examples that support the more traditional email. They lend themselves to a back-and-forth interaction that is less formal and best replicates onsite office working.
At home and remote workers need to be really tech-savvy and embrace all the communication channels that tech and the company offer. These interactions will keep your productivity high. Your efforts will be rewarded by a feeling of connection to the job, the business, and your colleagues.
One common theme among at-home workers is that they have difficulty switching off. Typically, they start off with good intentions about sign-off and sign-on times. Slowly, these boundaries are crossed and work merges with home.
It’s advisable that at-home workers set clear boundaries with colleagues from the beginning. Help manage the expectations on your work and time by starting as you mean to go on.
Additionally, your work and work rate are not as visible to your colleagues and line managers as they would be if you were in the office. They can’t physically see you at your desk or what you are working on.
Make sure you offer realistic timelines for your tasks. To over-deliver is better than to over-promise. It’s much harder to find the balance at home and you’ll need to manage your time to make sure you reach your deadlines in a realistic way.
What do you think?
Do you agree? Are you a 100% remote worker? How do you make sure your work day doesn’t leak into your home life?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!