How to Stay Motivated When Working from Home

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Remote-working has several advantages. These advantages include the convenience of working from home, the proximity of your family or roommates, and the luxury of having a casual Friday every day. While it's good to have a lot of flexibility, and most reports show that working from home increases overall productivity, it can sometimes be distracting.

If you're working remotely and simply can't get into your regular work routine, here are some surefire ways to boost your motivation and increase your productivity.

Set up a home office

Most people like to sit on their couch, watch TV or have a snack in the kitchen. But let's face it. If you try to combine work with your favorite activities at home, you won't be very motivated to do the job.

You may even find yourself in the middle of the last episode of Scandal eating a bowl of popcorn, only to discover that you haven't looked at your computer once.

If you really want to work, you need your own home office. To get the best results, your office needs to be free of distractions. That means you need a lockable door and you need to establish ground rules with your family or roommates about when they can and cannot enter your office.

Just as your family or roommates would not barge into your business office in the middle of a meeting, they need to understand that they cannot enter your home office during business hours.

When you set up your home office, it also helps to make the room look like an office. Make sure you have easy access to all the tools and resources you need to succeed. This may include your computer, printer, video conferencing equipment, paper, pens, etc.

You can also decorate your room to include all of your professional achievements and awards, your diplomas and/or certificates of study, and the corporate image of the company you work for. The more your room looks like an office, the easier it will be for you to stay motivated at work.

Above all, never work where you sleep. Why shouldn't you? The urge to sleep is strong. And it's easier than you might think to justify a nap or "5 more minutes", no matter how many appointments you have.

If you cannot find comfortable office space in your own home, there is no shame in renting an office near you. You will have the same advantages when working from a distance, but with fewer distractions from home.

Wake up early

It's hard to get up early, even under the pressure of being in the office at 8am every morning.

However, if you work from home and do not have a fixed schedule, the desire to stay at home in bed or work on a project increases.

If you want to stay motivated, do yourself a favor and set a specific time to wake up each day.

If you are a morning person, wake up early. Studies show that people are more proactive in the morning and more likely to identify with the idea of being responsible for getting things done.

What better way to stay motivated than by waking up early to start the fire to make things happen?

By the way, it is important to remember that not everyone in the world is an early riser. If you are not a morning person, you are not doomed to fail in the business world.

Other studies have shown that evening people are often more creative and sometimes more intelligent. If you know yourself well enough to know that you don't get things done in the morning, don't waste time becoming a morning person. Instead, take time to focus on the best work you can do. Which brings us to our next point.

Create a regular routine

You may be tempted to steal from behind every day, but if you do, you will soon feel disorganized and overwhelmed.

A better idea is to approach your work as the creature of habit that all humans are. Determine when you are doing your best work, and then set up a regular work schedule for that time.

For most people, this may mean getting up early, exercising, showering, getting dressed for work, eating a healthy breakfast, and then making a list of everything you need to do for the day.

When you start your routine, you'll find it's much easier to stay motivated and achieve your goals.

Don't forget to plan the tasks you need to do, regular breaks, any meetings you have and much more.

Using productivity software

Guess what? You no longer have to rely on your memory or your handwritten "to do" list. There are several productivity tools that will help you stay organized and motivated.

Here are some of the best productivity tools for remote workers
  • Slack - Slack is one of the best communication tools for remote teams on the market. With Slack, you can send messages to all your team members (regardless of their physical location) from one convenient application. You can also create special discussion channels to organize different projects. In addition to sending messages and creating channels, you can also exchange files and add comments to documents. Finally, Slack can be integrated with a variety of other software and social media for added convenience.
  • Dropbox - Dropbox is a cloud file-sharing program that is perfect for organizing your files and sharing large files. With Dropbox, you'll never have to worry about wasting time or blocking an inbox again.
  • Focus Booster - Focus Booster is a time-tracking application that helps you focus on the task at hand.
  • Asana - Asana is a task management software that helps you track your projects, view upcoming deadlines and submit jobs. In addition, you can use Asana to receive notifications of upcoming appointments. There are many other tools that can help you with task management, time management, file exchange, communication and much more.
  • Azendoo - Azendoo is a work management application available on the Internet and on mobile phones that allows you and your team to communicate, share documents, collaborate on tasks, and get organized together. It's a great alternative to asanas and is ideal if your team is geographically dispersed.
  • Pipefy - Pipefy is a cloud-based process management application. It is intuitive, easy to use and enables companies of all sizes to centralize their processes. It works like an online Kanban: tasks move sideways through the phases of the process - each phase can have its own rules, triggers, etc. - and can be managed by a single user.
  • Visiple - Visiple provides software for cloud-based video conferencing. It enhances your video experience over any device or service. It enables video conferencing for everyone, no matter where you are.

Schedule regular breaks and holidays

Work can pile up, and sometimes it seems best to work during breaks.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. And there is ample scientific evidence to support the claim that productivity increases when you take breaks.

Here are some of the most interesting facts about why you should take regular breaks:
  • Breaks, even if they are only mental daydreaming breaks, can help you make connections and improve brain function (Science Daily)
  • Short breaks can help you stay focused (Science Daily)
  • Breaks help you reassess your goals and keep you on track (Harvard Business Review)
If you do not know when and how to take a break, do not worry

The Atlantic has a formula that identifies the perfect balance between work and rest. The Atlantic suggests 52 minutes of work followed by a 17-minute break.

You probably don't need to extend your breaks to 17 minutes. Just take some time to relax.

Not only should you plan regular breaks, but it is essential to take a vacation from time to time. Vacations should help us relax, recuperate and come back refreshed and ready to work.

If you never give yourself time to recuperate, you will see your motivation to work plummet. In America, it's normal to take a few days here and there, or even a week or two, but in other parts of the world you can take up to a month or two of vacation at a time.

Dressing for work

I joked earlier about how every day at work can be casual Friday. Not wearing pants to work comes with a certain amount of bragging rights, but unfortunately, it doesn't improve your productivity level much.

When you throw away your sweatpants and get dressed for work, reports indicate that you are more productive. Wearing nice clothes can give you confidence, make you feel more powerful, increase your ability to think abstractly, help you make more money and allow you to see the big picture.

When you wear nice clothes, even in the home office, you feel better about yourself and are more productive.

Eliminate distractions

Do you find yourself on Facebook every time you get bored? What about Twitter?

Interested? LinkedIn? etc. If you're trying to focus on your work, make sure you're not checking your profiles in social media while you're working.

If it's absolutely necessary, check them during one of your scheduled breaks and not while you're working.

Social media platforms are not the only form of online entertainment. It's easy to tap into your favorite sports network site, your favorite blogs, news sites, Reddit, YouTube, any site in your bookmarks bar, and more.

When you really need to focus, turn your attention away from the Internet and concentrate on your work.

The Internet is a huge distraction, but nothing can really compete in terms of distraction with online chat services like Gchat. It may seem harmless to answer a few chat questions, but before you know it, you could get sucked in and spend hours with your friends.

And if your volume is high, your computer will send out a "ping" every time you chat, which will put your concentration on a loop. The best way to eliminate chat distractions is to become invisible. This way, people who ping you often won't even know you're online.

When you are at work, put away your mobile phone as well. This means that you can check your favorite applications, read the messages, send SMS messages, and perform any other activity.

You can help eliminate distractions on your phone by turning off your notifications. This way, you won't receive notifications on your phone and you'll have to physically enter an application to see if you have updates.

Establish a reward system

Companies pride themselves on having a deadly corporate culture. Typical office benefits include free food, donations of money to achieve goals, extra free time, more paid vacations, gift cards, team trips and much more.

Guess what? Just because you work from home doesn't mean you're not entitled to the same kinds of rewards. The best part is that you're your own boss, so you can set up a reward system that works for you.

You can agree that once you've finished your work for the week, you can go to your favourite restaurant or bar. This may motivate you to do all your work on Thursday instead of Friday, and you'll get a day off.

Perhaps you can motivate yourself by going to the movies when your day's work is done.

It doesn't matter what kind of reward system you put in place. Just take the time to create your own corporate culture by setting up a performance reward system.

Change the scenery

If you lack motivation, change the scenery from time to time.

If the company you work for is a local company, allow some time to get in touch with people who are working on the same projects as you. This is particularly useful if you don't feel motivated and need human interaction to re-motivate yourself.

If the company you work for is too far away, at least go outside. You can recharge your batteries by going for a walk, having a tasty drink or even working at a shared workplace for the day.

If you're dragging your feet, sometimes the best remedy is some fresh air.

It is great to work from home as long as you can stay at your workplace. If you follow the tips above, you can set up a successful home office and stay productive.

If you're looking for an HRIS system to increase productivity of your remote employees, we suggest you IceHrm which is one of the best HRIS systems which has so many HR functions automated into one system.

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