Last August, my (now) fiance and I decided to move back from Dallas back to Las Vegas. Even though I had only been part of the Staff One HR team for six months, my manager and the company’s leadership went out on a limb for me by offering me the opportunity to work from home. At first, I think everyone was a little nervous because I would not have the same “office interaction” as when I was working in our Dallas headquarters.
Having the chance to work from home really made me feel valued as a team member. Although there are plenty of perks to working from home (i.e. no commute, casual dress, and hanging out with my dogs all day – what could be better?), there are also some challenges to being a remote employee that not everyone may realize.
Whether in a central office or working from a remote or home office, almost every professional struggles from time to time with motivation (or the lack thereof). One of the great things about being in an office is that you can turn to your coworkers or manager on the spot for encouragement or advice. The accountability that comes from being in an office with others is something you must learn to provide for yourself when you work from home
Working remotely also means you must stay engaged and hold yourself accountable for everything from the standard of work you produce to the number of hours you put in. Although I consider myself a motivated person, there have been some tough moments along the way where I lost momentum or focus. Those times taught me a few things that have helped me stay on track.
Here are four tips for staying motivated when working from home or as a remote employee:
- Set up a dedicated workspace that is secluded and make it feel like an office.
If you are trying to work in the common areas of your home, you may be distracted by other things that need to be done. It is important to have a specific workspace so that you can separate your “work life” and “home life.” Otherwise, your common spaces may feel less inviting because that is where you have been working all day anyway, causing them to lose the sense of “retreat” that they are meant to have.
- Follow a morning routine.
This also helps to separate your work/home lives. If you wake up and begin work immediately, you may feel rushed, and as though you’re consumed by work. This can lead to more distractions throughout the day. To combat this, I wake up, take time for myself, and have breakfast, so I’ve “fueled up” properly and can be much more productive throughout my workday.
- Have set times that you log on, take lunch, and log off.
Let’s be real – this can be tough, especially when it comes to being able to take your lunch at the same time each day. Having a set schedule whenever possible can be helpful in planning out your days more efficiently and knowing when to schedule calls, block off time for projects, etc. Sometimes you’ll have to be flexible and adjust something previously scheduled. It’s also a good idea to leave your workspace for lunch, rather than eating at your desk, even if it’s just to run errands or take a walk to get some fresh air. It breaks up the day and will help you stay focused and feel more alert.
- Keep an open line of communication with your leadership.
It is crucial that the lines of communication a) are always open and b) go both ways. If there is an issue on either side, there should be no problem addressing it despite distance, time zones, etc. Today’s technology makes it easy to stay in touch, via phone, text, email, video calls, or screen shares. Open and frequent communication fosters trust between managers and employees, and makes for a stronger and more cohesive team. The great thing about working remotely for Staff One HR is that I have leaders who are easily accessible when I need them. They make themselves available to me just as much as they would if I were in their location. Even though I am hundreds of miles away, I have never felt like I couldn’t get the information or answers that I needed just as quickly as I would if I were there.
Staff One HR can help you incorporate remote workers into your team, boost your company culture, and make sure you stay in compliance. Give us a call at 1.800.771.7823.