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How to stay motivated when working from home


The benefits of working from home are evident, but there are also a few challenges that you should be aware of.

Especially when it comes to motivation and productivity, the challenges arise due to the very fact that you’re not working from an office and that you’re not surrounded by your co-workers.

Let’s have a closer look on the four main challenges of working remotely:

1. Loneliness and missing companionship

When working from an office, you’re physically in the same place with your co-workers: you can feel the energy in the room, feel your co-workers’ mood and even read their body language.

The simple fact that there are other human beings around and working there with you, motivates you to work as well. And it’s not just that. You can also get inspired by a co-worker’s energy and get motivated by seeing how they work or how they tackle a problem.

When you work from home and only interact with your co-workers online, it’s very difficult to sense and witness such moments and there is no such thing as getting motivated by “the energy” of the room.

It’s therefore important to find different ways to interact with your fellow co-workers, so as to create a sense of companionship which can make everyone feel more connected.

2. Celebrating wins

After a hard day of work or after concluding a big project, you’ve earned yourself some celebration. But that’s easier said than done. How do you celebrate your wins if there isn’t an office where you can bring a few beers or cupcakes to share with your co-workers?

It’s important to acknowledge and to reward yourself for the hard work you did, so don’t skip on the celebrations otherwise, in the long run, you can easily lose your motivation. Instead, find ways to share your little wins with your co-workers, try to be extra mindful about the progress you make each day and don’t shy away from rewarding yourself for a job well done.

Likewise, it’s important that you check in with your fellow co-workers asking them about their progress and helping them celebrate their wins, to fuel their motivation as well. This will create a positive circle that will contribute to an overall increase in motivation and team spirit.

3. Getting Support

Things don’t always go to plan and it’s in those moments that we need some extra comfort and advice to fuel our motivation.

Receiving compassion and support is difficult when you’re working from home, as co-workers can’t see that you’re struggling, that you’re feeling down or that you’re unmotivated. While in an office a co-worker might witness or sense that you’re stuck and that you need a little cheer me up, when working from home there is no way your co-workers can see what you’re going through unless you tell them.

The only way to get the support you need is to ask for it. It also means that you need to be mindful about how you’re feeling so you can proactively reach out to your co-workers or friends.

4. Monotony

Lastly, what most people experience when working from home, is that there is a certain monotony that creeps in and which can make you feel increasingly unmotivated.

People who work from an office are exposed every day to new inputs and stimuli. During the commute and while in the office, you encounter several people and face different situations who will naturally make no day like the other.

When working from home, there are no such inputs and stimuli. Every day seems to be the same, if not identical, to the day before, and your interactions via email or chat are simply not the same, and not as memorable, as having them in person.

Change is important. It helps us feel alive, fuels our motivation and heck yes, it gives us a sense on why Tuesday was different from Wednesday. Try to think about how to structure your day and sprinkle small changes here and there so to bring variety into your day, be it before, during and after work.

Avatar photo Written by Sabine Staggl

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