How to Find Motivation Working from Home? (Wait, how long have we been working from home?)
Awakes… pours coffee…walks to the bedroom office... *Click, Type, Enter*... joins JUNO team meeting…sips coffee… goes to work… repeat
Sound familiar or just a normal reality?
Remember waking up, heading to Starbucks or a local coffee joint, and then heading straight to the office? Yeah, me neither. Working from home! Or, working from home? The future of work is changing, and it looks much different than we thought it looked before March 2020.
The world doesn’t stop even in a time of crisis, the focus just shifts in another direction. Working at home has been a normal reality for most people and the future of how society works will continue on that trend. The age of “zoom fatigue” has reached its peak but the transition back to in-person environments isn’t fully here and may never be.
Finding positivity moving into a new year of working from home may be challenging, but can be exciting. How can we stay motivated? Here are 5 tips to turn screen fatigue into screen fun!
1. Create and update a schedule
Work may still feel hectic at home, and with so many distractions around the house it's easy to forget the little things that need to be done. Maintaining and keeping an up-to-date schedule is vital to success and organization. This one seems so obvious, but it’s surprising how easy it is to get off track. Recommit to a schedule, be sure to highlight completed tasks and always stay up to date on what’s next. Google Calendar and Apple devices offer easy and free scheduling tools. However you decide to schedule your work, be sure to keep capturing updates and consider sharing more with colleagues to build trust.
2. Time management
One strange result of working at home is the drastic change in working hours. With work always nearby, many feel the pull of a 24-hour day to get certain work done. Schedules help manage out distractions but also manage out overwork. Not all things need extra time. Work has a tendency to expand allotted extra time, and that’s often unnecessary. Dedicate breaks and lunch, and communicate them to your team. Those breaks are incredibly important for mental and physical health. They also keep us refreshed which will allow us to resume our work in a more positive mindset.
3. Reward & challenge yourself
This is a big one! Working from home can be a drag, so we have to find extra forms of motivation. This step can be worked into your schedule. Maybe challenge yourself to getting a task completed before the due date. Go out of your way to pitch a new idea or seek a new opportunity. Most importantly, we have to find time to reward our accomplishments. When organizations worked in-person, it was easy to recognize and celebrate team success. As everyone types and clicks away from home, that isn’t as easy to do. If you are a business leader, get creative and offer unique rewards and motivational opportunities. If you closed a big deal, or maybe the company achieved an important goal, shout about it! Positive reassurance and celebratory emotions are incredible tools that create further motivation, especially when we acknowledge our success!
4. Always practice self-care
Working from home can feel lonely, or for those with full houses it can feel overwhelming. Practicing self-care starts with self-awareness! Check in with yourself. Especially now, when things continue to look uncertain, we must have those personal conversations with ourselves: How am I doing? How am I feeling? Stress and anxiety is never out of the question when working from home so it’s important to be real with yourself. With most organizations separated from team environments, work can become individualized, which can make employees overwhelmed. As the work from home experience continues to be part of our daily lives, work and personal life are blending together. You must take time away from work, and there must be time where family, passions, and downtime are prioritized. Be sure to stay in touch with close friends and colleagues and always reach out when things get overwhelming. If you are stressed or down, it can reflect your work. Stay positive and enjoy the little things, because that’s what keeps us going.
5. Have fun with it!
Create a work environment around what works best for you! These tips are designed to generate ideas for your work environment but they aren’t going to be helpful for everyone. It is important to find your individual groove but maybe this is a checkpoint to understand you’re in too much of a groove and need to switch things up. Find what’s meaningful to you when it comes to team interactions and break times. You understand yourself more than anyone so continue to do those odd quirks and enjoyments that will lead to motivated work.
This is the future of work: individuals that bring their gifts together to achieve common goals, in spaces that could span the globe rather than exist within a single office.