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Following the pandemic, research shows that over 60% of UK adults are working from home (finder) in isolation. Many businesses have been forced to adopt a much more proactive approach to hybrid working, with the realisation that many tasks can be completed just as effectively remotely (Gov.uk). Many of us have adapted our setup to suit this relatively new way of working.
Technology, although brilliant, has made remote working very easy but it’s also made workers accessible around the clock. Analysis conducted by William Russell, show that as a result people find it hard to find the right, healthy work-life balance when working from home. With no commute and sometimes no set start and finish time to the day, people can often find it hard to set clear boundaries, stay motivated at home and switch off.
Motivation and a lack of work-life balance are not the only things the UK workforce is struggling with. A survey by Statista found that not only do 47% of us find working at home distracting, but also 35% of people find it very lonely (statista). Loneliness is the biggest challenge remote workers are facing (fitforwork). Feeling isolated and alone can create serious negative consequences for our emotional health, productivity, motivation and team performance (fitforwork). With the stresses of loneliness and lack of motivation, many people are also worried about future job prospects and the best way to juggle hybrid/remote work with personal and family commitments (NHS – Better Health).
It’s therefore vital that businesses implement effective strategies to ensure employees remain motivated when working in isolation at home and have the right support to protect their health and wellbeing (YouGov). This Mental Health Awareness Week, take some time to reflect on your remote working situation, work-life balance and its affects on your health.
Below are our five top tips to help you combat the stresses of working from home for a more positive working environment:
1. Create a schedule
According to Mind Charity, scheduling and organising your day to suit you and your goals increases motivation and productivity (Mind Charity). The NHS recommends scheduling in a clear time to begin and end work to contribute to a healthier work-life balance and improve your wellbeing (NHS – Better Health). Get your hardest tasks out of the way first, enjoy breaks and try to stick to your personalised schedule (verywellmind). This will help you get the most out of your working day, set clear boundaries and provide a healthy work-life balance.
2. Take advantage of the flexibility home working provides
There’s nothing stopping you from making the most of the flexibility remote working creates. Mixing up your environments can help you stay motivated and creative. Working one day in your favourite coffee shop or café provides a change of scenery and helps to re-energise you (fitforwork). When you do work from home, be sure to establish a dedicated work space away from the television and other distractions where possible (verywellmind). A quiet place in your house that you find stimulating is very important for keeping motivation levels high. Limit distractions and interruptions by setting boundaries with people you live with (verywellmind), but also give yourself time to interact when you’re taking a break; this will help combat that feeling of loneliness.
3. Reward yourself
Give yourself praise for your successes, regardless of how small you think they are. Practice self-care and leave time to relax, rewarding yourself with things you enjoy is an extremely important motivator (Stylist). Go outside at lunchtime and get fresh air to refocus your mind – being in nature can be very rewarding!
4. Challenge yourself
Challenges lead to personal growth (verywellmind). The best things happen when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Being at home alone may be the epitome of your comfort zone and this high level of comfort can become de-motivating so be sure to create challenges for yourself so you remain switched on, motivated and ready to deliver.
5. Proactively reach out to co-workers
According to Forbes, one of the best ways to combat loneliness is by reaching out to co-workers (Forbes). Hopping onto a call to communicate and brainstorm with your team members will help you feel included and less lonely. Stay connected and involved, this will lessen that feeling of loneliness and increase the feeling of belonging which we all enjoy.
With the majority of us working from home permanently or making the shift towards a more hybrid working pattern, it’s essential that we understand the ways in which our routine can affect our motivation and productivity levels. Getting to grips with the negative side of remote working and how to combat those challenges will help us prioritise our health and wellbeing.
Check out our other helpful blogs you can read this Mental Health Awareness Week:
Further resources to help you stay motivated when working remotely: