The amount of people choosing to work from home is steadily increasing, with technological advancements meaning that many duties can now be completed remotely without the need to venture into the office. Remote working is highly desirable for many, removing the need to contend with rush hour traffic, allowing you to operate from a familiar place, and helping you to create a better work/life balance. However, in some cases, working from home may not be quite as easy as it first seems.
A common concern, of course, is motivation. Traditionally, home is the place where we relax, and switching the purpose of the home in the mind can be tricky. Additionally, in working from home we lose peer-to-peer motivation, which can sometimes be one of the most important contributors to success.
Fortunately, there are ways to create a great, motivational home working environment.
Consider Your Space
Finding the right space is essential. Ideally, your home work space should be large enough to enable you to work comfortably, yet compact enough to feel manageable. Try to keep your space free of distractions (e.g. loud washing machines), and make sure you have a door to keep little hands off your documents!
Keep it Professional
Although working in your pyjamas may seem like ‘the dream’, what you wear, and how you decorate your work space, can really impact productivity. While a suit may be overkill, try to ensure you’re suitably dressed, and try your best to keep your home office looking professional – so no dirty laundry on the floor!
In a traditional office environment, a lunch break can be a notable milestone in the day. At home, it’s easier to let one task run into another, and another, and another, resulting in burn out. Try to create a ‘break space’ that you can retreat to, to ensure you’re able to take a breather in the day.
One of the best ways to create a motivational home working environment is to ensure you have what you need to stay connected to the office, and to your team, even if you can’t all be together physically. Furnish your home office with a landline and computer/laptop, and have a mobile charger nearby!
While it’s not possible to be available 24/7, ensure that your team knows when they are most likely to catch you, and the best methods of communication.
Consider Check-in Frequency
You can boost your own motivation by ensuring that you check in regularly with your team members to hear their progress, and update them on your own progress. However, if you are a manager yourself, consider how regularly you need your reports to check in. Remote ‘micromanaging’ can affect productivity and flow, and make employees feel less motivated.
Ask for the Right Tools
You want to have the most effective, efficient, productive, and motivating home working environment possible, so take some time to consider if there’s anything the business is able to offer you to make this happen. Faster Internet connection? Noise-cancelling headsets? What other available tools or benefits can be used to help keep you productive?