Love it, hate it, or simply just over it; it seems remote working is the new normal. Many businesses have already ditched their office environments opting for full-time remote working structures or making flexible working arrangements available, leaving full-time office hours a thing of the past.
At first, the transition to WFH felt like the ultimate luxury and probably the dream work scenario for some. But as time has ticked on and we are still working from home, the novelty has worn off, and the distractions have gotten greater (is the fridge calling my name?) and staying motivated while flying solo from a home office has become harder and harder.
Since remote working isn’t going anywhere, learning how to efficiently and effectively work from home is extremely important if you want to succeed in your job and love going to work each day.
Fortunately, we’ve rounded up 7 of the best and most unexpected ways to stay motivated and have fun while working from home.
1. Keep a commute
Having a 30-second commute from your bedroom to your desk might seem like a perk of working from home, but keeping a daily pre-work journey can be a fun and beneficial experience (we promise!). Not only will it help maintain a morning routine, but it also helps get you into “work mode”.
The best part is, there’s no need to spend money on a transit pass or pay attention to yellow lights. Simply start your day by leaving the house and walking a kilometre – or two (no pressure, whatever feels right). Loopback around, and let yourself into your ‘office’. You’ll immediately feel more grounded and efficient. And at the end of the day, ‘commute’ home, which will help you switch off from work.
2. Set ground rules with anyone else who will be home
So you’re working from home, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re alone. Make sure housemates, family members, and dogs (okay, maybe not dogs) respect your space during allocated work hours. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.
If you share a workspace with another work-from-home adult, setting up ground rules around meeting times, shared spaces, and quiet times is essential to ensure everyone can work happily and effectively. Even having small signals that can let people know you’re in work mode can help. For example, wearing your headphones means do not disturb.
3. Incentivise Yourself
Everyone loves an incentive, right? So why not set daily incentives for yourself. For example, tell yourself you can have a doughnut after dinner if you finish your day at 5 pm, or tell yourself you can buy that new bag as soon as your event is over. You may find you work just a little bit harder if you know there’s a reward waiting for you at the end.
4. Keep work behind a closed door
Even if your office is your kitchen table, try to create a dedicated office space, preferably with a door that you can open after your commute and close behind you after you’ve turned off your computer. Having a physical barrier between you and your computer acts as a psychological barrier to your ‘work brain’ – No running to your laptop when you see an email come in. Just because we are working from home does not mean we are working 24/7. Evenings are our personal time to focus on family, friends, or just our favourite tv show after a long day.
5. Meal Prep
It is way too easy to spend time preparing bacon and eggs for breakfast or cooking up a lavish lunch when you’re at home. Your meal breaks can quickly absorb hours of your working day and become a massive distraction.
Meal prepping the night before or having snacks ready to grab and go will help keep your break times on point and the focus on fuelling yourself rather than ignoring your to-do list.
6. Find your inspiration
The most significant advantage to working from home is that you don’t have to worry about distracting your co-workers. So, blast your favourite pop tunes, try a relaxing playlist with natural sounds/instrumental music, or use a white noise app to help get you into your flow.
You may even pull inspiration from flowers or plants, a mood board, or even pictures of past adventures. Creating a workspace that inspires you and makes you feel your best every time you sit down at your computer is important to your productivity, so make sure you love your workspace.
7. Experiment with different tips & tricks
There are many tips, tricks, and advice online about being productive from home and keeping your motivation high. But working styles are unique, and what works well for one person might not work well for another.
So, give yourself the time and space to experiment with different strategies to discover what suits you best. You might feel more motivated in the evenings, or you might love to jump out of bed and get straight to business. Find what schedule and strategy make you feel your best and most motivated.
And don’t beat yourself up if you have an “off” day where you just can’t get in the zone, and you just sit and stare at your computer – we all have those days, and that’s okay; every day is a new day to start again.