Everything You Do is for Your Future: How to be a Highly Motivated WFH Employee
Working from home is the new normal. More organizations than ever before are hiring remote staff to diversify their talent pools and maintain high levels of productivity, despite their empty offices.
Remote work can be incredibly challenging for a WFH employee, even though it’s usually very beneficial for their employers. This form of work offers a certain degree of freedom to control your own schedule and working hours. However, as the working environment has such a major impact on productivity, it’s crucial to strike a careful work-life balance to avoid burnout and stay motivated.
The Perks of Working from Home
According to the Owl Labs Global State of Remote Work, employees that work from home at least once a month are 24% more satisfied, on average than those who work exclusively from their employers’ offices. This is because remote workers are awarded more control over their work lives. Plus, they have the power to be more self-organized and self-motivated than their office-based peers. This combination of discipline and freedom is the key to success and happiness as a work-from-home employee.
Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2018 Report also notes that respondents named flexible schedules as one of the biggest benefits of working remotely. Working from home gives you the freedom to decide your own work times and to build your work schedule around your personal responsibilities. It minimizes long commutes to work, travel costs, and energy expenditure while maximizing your comfort levels and potentially, your productivity as well.
Here’s what you need to know to turn yourself into a highly motivated and happy WFH employee:
1. Work with Purpose
It’s essential to gain meaning from your daily work when you work remotely, as you won’t be able to enjoy the social and personal contact that usually comes with working in an office environment. Regardless of the nature of your job—recruitment, IT support, marketing, or any other field—there are always ways to prioritize purpose in your work.
Consider who will benefit from your efforts. You may be able to help customers solve their most pressing problems, or write an article that can assist thousands of readers. Intrinsic motivators are more important than ever before, and your work shouldn’t just be a means of earning an income.
2. Lay Out Clear Expectations
You need to understand exactly what’s expected from you in your role in order to stay motivated while working from home. If you’re a small business entrepreneur, this rings true, but it will be up to you to determine and clarify your own business goals.
If you work for an employer, follow up after meetings to sum up the actions you should take and clarify any misunderstandings or points of concern. The more specific you can be, the better equipped you’ll be to avoid miscommunications.
3. Measure Your Progress
It can be tricky to keep track of your progress as a WFH employee. You can simplify this task by using collaborative tools like DropBox, Slack, and Skype to communicate your progress on pre-set tasks to your team.
These tools make it easier for your remote colleagues and managers to request progress updates when they need them. Keeping track of your own progress will help to keep you motivated on the job as well.
4. Host Regular Virtual Meetings
Are you working on a project with other remote team members? If so, it’s essential to hold regular scheduled online meetings. You need to stay in touch and ensure that you are all on the same page.
Having regular meetings gives you and your fellow team members the chance to discuss topics that may not otherwise have been brought up. This increases your collective productivity and understanding of the task at hand.
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5. Designate a Specific Home Office Space
Ideally, your home office should be in a separate room of your home where you can concentrate undisturbed. You can easily convert a spare bedroom into a home office, or even use a portion of a rarely used room to set up a desk, computer, and other equipment you may need.
If you don’t have a separate room available, let your family members and roommates know when you are working so that they know not to distract you or make too much noise.
6. Take Breaks Often
Many WFH employees find that they have fewer distractions when working remotely. This is a great thing, but it can encourage you to sit at your desk for too long without taking breaks.
Set a timer to remind yourself to get up every hour, enjoy some fresh air, eat, stay hydrated, and stretch your legs. You can set an alarm at the end of your workday to avoid working longer hours than necessary. Taking breaks often will reduce the risks that come along with a sedentary lifestyle and prevent burnout as well.
7. Prevent Loneliness
Loneliness is one of the biggest challenges that WFH employees face. It’s easy to feel isolated when you work alone online all day. This is especially true if you have recently started working remotely after having worked with an in-person team for a long period. Not only is loneliness bad for your mental health, it can impact your sleep patterns, increase your stress levels, and lead to ill health.
You can reduce feelings of loneliness by playing music or radio while you work, listening to news or podcasts during your breaks, and actively seeking social contact during your personal hours. You could consider using a co-working space if it is safe to do so.
8. Dress Professionally for Work
Technically, you can wear whatever you’d like to wear when you work from home. However, it could benefit you to dress professionally while working remotely. Maintaining a professional look ensures that you are always prepared for unexpected video calls and sends a message to your team and employers that you are hard at work.
Dressing up could boost your productivity. If you look good, you will feel more confident and perform accordingly. Donning a professional wardrobe while working from home can help to establish boundaries between your home life and your work. It’s very easy to blur the lines between the two, but work attire creates a clear distinction between your working hours and your leisure time.
9. Establish a Flexible Routine
Flexibility is a huge perk of working remotely, but it’s still important to structure your workdays as much as possible. Work at set times to whatever extent you can, but feel free to adjust those times if you need to. Especially if you need to meet other obligations like fetching children from school, going to doctors’ appointments, and taking trips to the grocery store. You can always catch up on the weekend if necessary!
The Bottom Line
Working from home has its advantages and its drawbacks, particularly when it comes to remaining motivated and productive. You can ensure that you continue to be a highly motivated employee while working remotely by working with purpose, taking regular breaks, and laying out clear expectations of yourself. Regularly hosting virtual meetings with your peers is also important.
We recommend using collaborative technology to keep in touch with your colleagues and track your professional progress. This will ensure that you remain eager to continue progressing as time wears on, and it will facilitate productive, orderly teamwork as well.
About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.