Working from home is more popular than ever, with flexible working hours and work-from-home options being two of the most important workplace benefits employees look for. 

The benefits of remote working include increased flexibility, no commuting and better job satisfaction and with the current concerns over infection control, reduces the workforces’ risk of catching bugs and illnesses.

However, there are some disadvantages from this style of dynamic working. Staying productive and motivated throughout the day can be difficult when you’re not in a traditional office setting. Throw in the distractions of working from home, a café, wherever… and it could mean disaster for your workload.

If you’re a home-worker, or perhaps you’ve found yourself in a position of flexible working location, these are the 7 top tips to staying motivated when working remotely.

Start your day off right

Treat your day as if you were working from the office. Wake up at your normal time, follow your normal routine and sit down to work ready for your shift to start. The temptation to stay in bed is very real, but your productivity will take a hit and have a knock-on effect on your work. Follow the same pattern as you would at work – try wearing smart clothes, have your lunch at the same time, drink the same drinks.

Create a productive workspace

Working where you sleep has a doubly negative effect. Not only will you not be in the right mindset to work, but it will affect your downtime too. Having a dedicated work room or space puts you in the right frame of mind to get work done and gives you a sense of professionalism. That way, you can actually still ‘clock off’ when your shift is up, and you still have that divide of work and home life.

Check in with your colleagues

Just because you’re working remotely, doesn’t mean you’re working alone. Don’t forget about your colleagues who are also working from home, or those in the office. Remain connected with the on goings of the business with regular communication between you and your boss or colleagues. Internal messaging software such as Slack are a great alternative to emails, enabling comms to be quick, efficient and casual.  

Take a break

Working from home doesn’t mean you have to work solidly through the entire day to prove you’re committed to your job. Breaks are important to boosting productivity and are a normal part of office life, so incorporate them into your remote working. Try to take a full lunch break, away from your computer, to return to work rejuvenated and ready for the afternoon.

Make the most of saved time

On average, commute time in the UK is 219 hours per year. Think about how much you could achieve in that time! Take advantage of the time you’d usually be stuck in traffic to do the things you need, or love, to do. A midday break to run errands or go to the gym can be motivating and have a positive impact on the rest of your day. As long as you’re responsible with this extra time, can improve your quality of life.

Don’t forget to clock off

One risk of working remotely is not being able to switch off and to continue working long past your actual finish time. Planning your day efficiently is key to being aware of when to stop working and finish your day. Overworking is directly linked to burning out which is worse for productivity in the long run. Achieving what you set out to do each day, and finishing off on time, will let you keep your work life and home life separate and healthy.

Reward yourself

Getting distracted is easy when working remotely so being strong willed with your schedule is made easier if you reward yourself. As there is no ‘home-time’ feeling, rewards are important for motivation and staying on track. Missed last night’s episode of your favourite show? Let that be the first thing you do when you clock off. Need to ring an old friend for a catch up? Power through a couple of hours of work then take 20 minutes to ring them. Just be mindful of time tracking so you’re fulfilling your contractual hours!

Working remotely isn’t for everyone but with these 7 tips in mind, you can create a functional and productive work space to get the job done and enjoy yourself. Staying motivated needn’t be hard if flexible working is offered to you so take these on board and make the most of the situation.

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