10 Tips to Stay Motivated While on a Coronavirus Work From Home Setup
If you’re one of the millions of individuals that have been working from home since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out in early 2020, then there may have been times that you’ve felt completely unmotivated. Remote work fatigue is completely normal during these unprecedented times, but it doesn’t have to stay that way especially if you’re providing for your family or if you’re aiming for faster career advancement. Check out these ten tips to stay motivated while working from home during a pandemic:
- Work From Home Tips to Help You Maximize Productivity
- Tips to Stay Organized While Working From Home
1. Dress like you would do for work
This may be a simple tip, but it’s a crucial one if you want to jumpstart your career on the right track. If you’re feeling uninvolved with your work the past few days or weeks, then wearing pajamas the entire might just be the culprit. Dressing up has always been one of the main factors that separate work and personal life. It’s no coincidence that suits and dresses are only worn in the office while shirts and pajamas are only worn inside the house.
There may have been numerous times that you’ve worn your favorite office attire and immediately felt a sense of motivation and confidence. It’s no secret that dressing up gets you ready for work no matter what work you are involved in— giving you the necessary push to finish all your tasks even you’re physically and mentally tired from the previous day. Your work clothes may have been collecting dust in the closet by now, so take out them and start wearing them regularly. Take note that you don’t have to dress formally and wear full makeup, but if you feel like a formal business attire helps you with your productivity then don’t hesitate to go with that outfit. Your boss and colleagues will definitely appreciate you taking the time to show off your WFH outfit during regular video meetings.
2. Designate a home office or workspace
Similar to dressing up even when working at home, designating a home office or workspace is important to help you stay motivated at all times. Whether it be your room or a small space in the living area, find a space that is free from loud noises and possible distractions from your WFH co-workers a.k.a. your spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or relatives. This also applies if your living with friends or acquaintances in an apartment.
Remember that you don’t have to build a separate office from scratch as it is unnecessary and very costly. By simply placing your desk and computer in a separate area and informing the entire household of your work schedule, you can easily stay focused on doing your tasks efficiently for the rest of the day. If your room becomes your makeshift office, never work on your bed and never lie down if you still have numerous tasks to finish. You will only be creating bad habits which can contribute to you being more unmotivated for work.
3. Set a strict work schedule
Speaking of work schedule, maintain a schedule that is similar to what you’ve been accustomed to at the office. This doesn’t only help you finish your work on time but also keeps you stay focused for the rest of your shift. Clearly defining WFH office hours is important so that you will be ready to work once you sit in your chair and open your computer. And once you’ve finished all of your tasks within the day, you can now move on to spend time with your family or roommates.
A work schedule isn’t just a schedule where you can just ignore. Remember that even if you’ve set a schedule, you will always finish late if you don’t adhere to it diligently. You never want to work late in the evening or the wee hours of the morning if your schedule is supposed to end at 5 PM. This isn’t only detrimental to you but also to your company as backlogs will only pile up which almost always results in substandard and inefficient work.
4. Remove all distractions
Some working from home tips to stay motivated doesn’t get more important than removing all the distractions you have in your remote work setup. Nothing keeps you more unmotivated and unproductive if you are constantly distracted. Some of these distractions include your smartphone, the television, gaming consoles, and other stuff that isn’t related to your work in any way. Other distractions may include your family but as you know, keeping them away from your work for the entire time may prove to be very difficult. Your only workaround here is to make them understand that you’re busy. Place a signage or note on your desk while you’re in a meeting with a colleague or client.
Much like not adhering to a strict work schedule, being unable to remove distractions from your workspace will only keep you in your work much longer than expected. Remember that a remote work setup isn’t a 24/7 job so make sure to have a balanced work-life schedule, starting with keeping all distractions at bay.
5. Communicate with colleagues often
You may no longer be seeing your workmates in person, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop communicating with them. After all, you’re still working for the same company and you’re still reporting to one boss. The stress of being in isolation is a common theme in companies these days, and if left unchecked poses a lot of problems even for the most productive employees in the company.
Staying in touch with your colleagues does not only ease the feeling of isolation but also helps you stay motivated as you know there are people who are willing to assist you even if they are miles away from where you’re living. Communicating with your colleagues doesn’t have to be a video call for the entire shift as five to ten-minute calls or short chats throughout the day are more than enough. Additionally, you can also have some off-topic conversations before or after meetings.
6. Look for training opportunities
It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to working from home. But if there’s one factor that makes remote work a much better proposition than an office job is that it gives individuals a chance to enhance their skills through online training opportunities. If you have never found the time to develop different skills during your day job, then now is your time to get it done while working in the comfort of your own home.
In a regular office setting, companies usually limit the access of employees to equipment or software that are only needed for their actual work. This can be very detrimental if you are planning to add new skills to your portfolio. But in contrast, if you are working remotely you can easily insert additional learning sessions during your spare time especially in circumstances where you’ve finished your work and there are no other tasks assigned to you the rest of the day. You can also work on getting some quick training done during breaks or when there’s not much activity going on during your shift. At the end of the day, new learning opportunities are some of the best benefits of working from home
7. Maintain a separate phone number
It can be exhausting to receive calls or texts from colleagues after your shift is over. Aside from that, there may also be times that your supervisor may send you multiple messages while you're enjoying dinner with the family. This can only sap out your energy even more and will make you unmotivated in the long run. One solution for this to have a separate phone number for all your work-related communications.
You can either purchase a new landline or a new mobile phone (together with a SIM card). You can also go with free VoIP services such as Google Voice and Skype. If you are going for a cheaper alternative, Google Voice and Skype are your best options. These services may even be connected to your work so it will be easier to turn off once you’re done for the day. Having a separate phone number will eventually help you balance your work-life schedule Remember that the more time you allot for work the more stressed you become, resulting in motivation that will slowly decrease over time.
8. End your day with a routine
Much like the morning coffee you take before you start work, do something similar after you’ve signed off. Having an after-work routine will signify that you’re truly done with work for the day and spend the remaining hours of the day relaxing. Your after-work routine may be anything such as simple tasks like shutting down the computer and cleaning your desk or more proactive activities such as taking a 30-minute jog in the park. Whatever you do, make sure to avoid checking emails or messages from colleagues as this can only ruin your routine and will only make you think about work even more.
Looking for training opportunities is also one routine that you can consider. As previously mentioned, training opportunities are helpful if you want to advance your career. As long as you don’t get stressed during the training sessions, you can even make it your go-to after-work routine. You can even apply for part time jobs while on training, with these jobs mostly revolving around data entry, call center, or customer service jobs, just to name a few. Just make sure you’ll have time with your family afterward.
9. Take a few days off
There is a reason why short vacations keep employees energized and motivated. Taking a few days off helps recharge the batteries and also aids individuals from burning out. Although working for weeks or months on end without any breaks can lead to a faster promotion, it won’t do any favors for your physical and mental health in the long run. You may even be spending your rest days in a hospital bed and getting sick is the last thing you want to have in this time of a pandemic.
Since travel is still very limited these days, your cross-country trip may have to be altered in the meantime. But there are still numerous things you can do on your day off, such as taking a walk in the park, buying some stuff in your local store, or even spending more time with your family at home. With the Coronavirus still raging in most parts of the world, it still advisable to stay at home for extended periods. But if being stuck at home is affecting you mentally, then just follow health protocols set by your local government when going outside.
10. Stay positive
It may difficult, but staying positive helps the ease of work from home struggles. By focusing on the brighter side of things, it will help you stay focused on work and keep you productive despite the things going on around you. Remember that most people on a remote work setup are experiencing struggles in some ways, so you are not alone if there days that you feel overwhelmed.
As previously mentioned, your colleagues will help you manage through some difficult moments so make yourself available when you need anything even if it’s not related to work. Depending on the relationship you have with your boss or the human resources officer, you can also lean on them for personal concerns. With most offices still closed due to the Coronavirus, it’s only ideal that everyone should be lifting each other up on a daily basis.
Work from home jobs has become completely taken on a new meaning. That is why staying motivated is easier said than done during these tough times. But it can still be done as long as you follow the 10 tips listed above. Once you apply the mentioned tips, remote working will no longer feel like a drag and it won’t be long before you get back at your former best or even better.