7 Tips to Keep You Motivated When Working from Home (Again!)

The pandemic has changed a lot of things — but none more so, perhaps, than the workplace.

Lockdown restrictions mean we’ve all had to adjust to new ways of working. Although some had returned to the office (at least part-time), fresh guidance means many of us are finding ourselves working from home once again.

Whilst there are many perks to working from the comfort of your home, it can be easy to get out of your routine — especially in the winter months when all we want to do is hibernate. These seven simple tips will help you feel more productive, motivated and take care of your mental health, even when the weather outside is cold and dreary…

1. Find the perfect workspace

Not everyone has a spare room in their home to use as a dedicated office, but it’s still important to have a quiet space to work at. These days, there are loads of multi-functional desks available (such as ladder desks, bureaus and floating shelf desks), which are perfect for smaller spaces.

Make sure you’re comfortable, too. Sitting on the sofa may be cosy in the short term but could cause issues further down the line. It’s much better to sit at a desk or table — ideally with an adjustable office chair. Good lighting can also make a world of difference to your work setup and overall mood, so try to sit near a window if possible for maximum natural light.

2. Get ready for the day

When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas and work from your bed all day, but this is perhaps not such a good idea. Instead, choose a ‘working-from-home uniform’ that’s comfy yet prevents those lines between work and personal time from becoming blurred.

Getting up at the same time every day and eating a proper breakfast will also help you get in the right mindset. So use the time you’d usually spend commuting to make yourself a delicious breakfast for the working day ahead.

3. Plan your working day

One of the main benefits of working from home is flexibility. That being said, it’s still important to have a routine. Using a planner, whiteboard or to-list can help you plan out your day and stick to a schedule. This will also help you set clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day, allowing you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

You may even want to schedule in something like exercise, listening to music or reading during your usual commuting time. The most important thing is to stop working when your workday stops. It’s all too easy to open up your laptop out of hours, so make sure you shut down completely.

4. Take regular breaks

Even just five to 10 minutes of short breaks each hour can help boost your productivity and alleviate stress, so it’s essential to make time for breaks. Try to take a half-hour or hour-long lunch break away from your desk every day, as well as regular screen breaks if you’re working at a computer. Allowing yourself time to do and concentrate on something else for a little while will leave you feeling refreshed and more focused when you return.

If you struggle to stick to your break times, there are various apps — such as TimeOut for Mac and Smart Break for Windows — that’ll remind you to step away from your computer on a regular basis.

5. Go for a walk

Yes, even when it’s cold outside! Sitting still at a desk all day isn’t good for anyone, so it’s essential to get your body moving to improve blood circulation. Fresh air and natural light will do you a world of good — both physically and mentally — so get outside and go for a walk. Not only will it leave you feeling invigorated, but it’ll also break up the monotony of being at home.

Time spent in the great outdoors does wonders for your mental health. And if you live in Surrey/Hampshire or the surrounding areas, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are countless green open spaces where you can enjoy a walk before work or during your lunch break. (Save the after-work walks for summer when it’s still light out.)

6. Prepare for distractions

Although you won’t have colleagues to distract you with tea breaks, there may be other distractions at home (especially at the moment), so it’s crucial to have some ground rules for other members of your household. For example, if you share the space with a partner, roommate or children, try to set some quiet times when you shouldn’t be disturbed.

Having an open discussion about everyone’s needs and sharing your schedules will help to keep the peace and ensure you stay happy and productive whilst working from home.

7. Stay connected

Working from home has many benefits. It can get a little lonely, though, if you don’t make an effort to stay connected with colleagues. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to socialise virtually, so be sure to schedule digital coffee breaks and make the time for online get-togethers (on a Friday afternoon instead of the usual after-work pub trip, for example). Picking up the phone instead of emailing can also help maintain the human interaction we crave.

And remember, many of your colleagues probably feel the same way you do. So, don’t forget to check in regularly and ask how they’re doing.

Looking for full-time jobs in Surrey and Hampshire? On Track focuses on recruitment in Hampshire and Surrey and has been successfully introducing candidates to clients for over 20 years. Get in touch today at info@ontrackrecruitment.co.uk or call 01252 727887 to find out more.