A Pratical Guide to Home Office Work
How to Stay Motivated While Working from Home
Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have the freedom to work in your pajamas and avoid the dreaded commute. On the other hand, it can be hard to stay motivated when you're surrounded by distractions and lack the structure of a traditional office environment.
Full disclosure - I’m writing this article in red and blue plaid pajama pants. So, I guess you could say this is a first person motivation piece.
If you're finding it tough to stay focused while working from home, don't worry - you're not alone. Here are 5 tips to help you stay motivated and productive while working from home!
Set up a Designated Workspace
Working from your couch might seem like a dream come true, but it can be a major hindrance to productivity. The Apple TV remote is just within reach, and you haven’t yet finished the first season of The Last of Us. “Yeah, I can have it running in the background while I work…”
🚩 RED FLAG.
Instead, set up a designated workspace in your home. This could be a spare room, a corner of your bedroom (like mine), or even just a specific area of your living room that is well away from immediate distractions. Make sure you have a comfortable chair, a sturdy desk, and all the tools you need to do your job. Having a dedicated workspace will help you mentally separate work from leisure and make it easier to focus when you're in "work mode". But that is just half the battle. That space is only for work! When the day is done, close your laptop and be done. Now you’re in “pleasure mode.” For some, it can be a major temptation to return back to work mode, but keeping work and life / pleasure separate is just as important as staying motivated during work hours.
Stick to a Routine
When you don't have to physically go into an office, it can be tempting to sleep in, take long breaks, and work odd hours. Those of us with kids know that this is a pipedream 🙂 and we do our best NOT to envy those with this opportunity (right?). However, this can quickly lead to a lack of motivation and productivity.
🚩 RED FLAG
Instead, try to stick to a routine as much as possible. Set regular working hours for yourself and try to stick to them. Take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge, but make sure you're not spending too much time away from your work, no longer than 10 - 15 minutes. By creating a routine, you'll be able to establish a sense of structure and make working from home feel more like a traditional job.
Stay Connected with Your Team
One of the downsides of working from home is the potential for isolation. When you're not in the same physical space as your colleagues, it can be easy to feel disconnected from the team. Inside jokes are being passed back and forth during your biweekly online call-in meeting, and you’re not quite sure how to respond to what is being shared.
🚩 RED FLAG
To combat this, make a concerted effort to stay connected with your team. Schedule regular video calls or check-ins to stay updated on projects (and office gossip) and stay connected with colleagues. At TeamShirts, we offer custom printed business T-Shirts, so why not consider ordering matching t-shirts for you and your team? Maybe it sounds cheesy, but physical shared connection, even something as simple as a custom printed T-Shirt, will not only create a sense of unity, but will also help you feel like part of the team even when you're not in the office. Don’t be shy to suggest such “ridiculous” ideas. You might be surprised how easily a team can be unified through these shared experiences.
You may have noticed while working in the office, that coworkers often come by your workspace to ask a question, have a quick chat or share some juicy gossip. Sometimes these are welcome interruptions, however these can also be very distracting and pull you out of the productivity zone. So, upon first thought, you might assume that working at home alone without these micro-breaks will allow you to stay focused in the zone and lead to more work being completed.
🚩 RED FLAG
What you may not realize is that these short interruptions often lead you toward a quick break here and there; whether to get a coffee refill or just stand up from your chair to stretch.
This is why it is important to remember to take breaks throughout the day when you're working from home. This could be a quick walk around the block, a 5 minute pilates session, or even just a few minutes of quiet reflection. When you are pausing for quick timeout be sure to let your colleagues know you are “AFK” or “away from keyboard”. This will help manage expectations from anyone who may need to get in touch with you. Many studies actually show that taking breaks not only help you recharge and refocus, but often lead to greater productivity. So go ahead relax for a few minutes but be careful not to take advantage of the situation.
Celebrate Your Successes
Last but most definitely not least, it can be easy to feel like you're not accomplishing much when you're not in the same physical space as your colleagues. You finish a task but no one is there to take note of it so you just move on to the next item on your to-do list.
I mean, what's the difference? It's all just work that needs to be done, right?
🚩 RED FLAG
Don't ever forget or underestimate how important it is to celebrate your successes, especially when working from home. This is one tip I cannot stress enough. At first, celebrating a success will feel more like self-indulgence than a necessity, but that’s OK! Just because you're not in the office doesn't mean you're not making progress. And regardless of who sees it or notices, celebrating wins - no matter how trivial or small you MIGHT think they are - will lead to better productivity, efficiency and even stronger mental health!
So, take time to celebrate your accomplishments, whether it's hitting a big deadline or mastering a new skill. Treat yourself to something special, and don’t forget to mention it to your team and/or boss. In today’s corporate world there is nothing wrong with a little self-championing, so long as you remain a team player.
And there you have it! Hopefully, these tips will help you stay motivated and productive while working from home. Remember, working from home can be a huge blessing… or a curse. It all depends on how you treat the situation, how you prepare your work (and freetime) environment and how you ensure that you remain connected to your team.
Speaking personally, and writing this in my red and blue plaid pajama pants, I can ASSURE you that a productive work from home environment is MORE than possible… it's actually quite easy.
Excellent service and perfect…
Excellent service and perfect execution. The design tools available on the site worked perfectly for our needs. The products were delivered a day before we expected, and the quality is top notch. I would order from TeamShirts again.
Quick and efficient and the team was…
Quick and efficient and the team was really helpful to get my logo just right on the shirts. The one issue was the colors were off for the different shirts we got, but they still look good.
Loved being able to design a customized football team shirt with my sons name and number on it! It arrived perfectly, fits perfectly, looks awesome and I'm so excited to wear it to his football games!
The website was very intuitive, and the responses to my questions by email were fast and respectful, and the shirts are far and above more quality than I expected.
Shirts were amazing
Shirts were amazing, arrived earlier than expected. Material of shirt was great.
4.5/5 based on 914 reviews