Working remotely or from home, on the face of it, sounds like a great idea. No boss breathing down your neck, no congested commute to cope with, and no need to sit in uncomfortable workwear all day – result!
However, it can be challenging in equal measure, not least when it comes to maintaining motivation and productivity whilst working away from your usual office environment. It’s easy to get distracted, be it the pile of washing getting which is bigger by the day, or by the daytime TV drawing you in on your morning coffee break. Perhaps you’re home alone and the house is too quiet, or the opposite might be true with the children being too noisy and making it tough to stay on task.
While it’s convenient in many ways, remote working can be hard. So, to help you make the most of the opportunity, we’ve pulled together some top tips that will help you to feel empowered to get your head down whilst working elsewhere.
1. Get Dressed
It might sound silly, but getting dressed properly can be the first step to ensuring you have a productive working day when you’re not in the office. Staying at home in your pyjamas for the day is extremely tempting, and we’re not suggesting you need to get fully suited and booted for a day working at home. However, dressing in something that is work appropriate will send a message to your brain and remind you that it’s time to get down to business. Mindset can be affected by the smallest of things, so getting dressed to start your working day can help put your mind on the right track.
2. Dedicated Workspace
The idea of working from your bed or sofa all day also sounds great.
But, when you associate your bed or sofa with work, it can blur the boundaries between working and home life, and this can impact the way you sleep or wind down out of hours.
To combat this, create a workspace that is separate from your personal living area – ideally one that gives you a dedicated desk space or specific corner where you can work without distractions. And ensure it is inspiring and comfortable too! Add elements that boost your productivity, such as plants and natural light, and try to remove distractions and clutter where you can.
3. Establish a Routine
Creating a structured daily routine, similar to what you would follow in your traditional office setting, can be a really useful way to steer your motivation when working remotely. Set regular working hours, take breaks at scheduled intervals and try to allocate specific time slots for different tasks. This can really help to maintain discipline and focus throughout your day.
Defining your goals and objectives and listing the things you want to achieve throughout the day or week can also prove beneficial to productivity. Give yourself a clear roadmap to follow, ticking off tasks along the way. Physically being able to see the progress you’re making will help keep your mind occupied and avoid distractions.
It’s crucial to establish boundaries between work and personal life when you’re not going into your company’s office every day, too. Whilst it’s important to organise your day, it’s equally important to set time aside for activities that you enjoy outside of work. This could include exercise, spending time with family and friends or taking up an old hobby.
4. Stay Connected
Working remotely can be extremely isolating. With no team members or colleagues around you, it can be easy to feel like you’re working alone. Although this might be true in a physical sense, there are ways you can stay connected to colleagues who are also in the same boat as you. Maintain communication through video calls, messaging apps or virtual meetings. This can really help reinforce a sense of belonging and collaboration and will help hold you accountable for your work, which in turn will keep you motivated through the day.
5. Take Breaks
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – breaks are a really important way to maintain consistent levels of productivity, motivation and energy. Not allowing yourself some breathing space away from your desk can leave you feeling burnt out by the afternoon. Take a short walk, go to the kitchen for a cuppa or spend five minutes petting your dog. That short moment of disconnect from work will help you engage better when you’re back at your desk.
6. Reward Yourself
Whether you’ve finished an important task or got to the end of a long working day, find ways to treat yourself and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. This could range from grabbing a croissant when you do your mid-morning coffee run, to taking a long relaxing bath in the evening. Acknowledging your progress and rewarding yourself will help boost your motivation and positivity throughout your remote working journey.