Working from home; you either love it or hate. Some of us are more productive than ever before vs others who really have to get used to. As an employer, how do you ensure that people who do not like to work from home, but who are forced to do so, maintain their motivation?
There are several reasons why people don’t like to work from home and even get stressed by it. For example, your colleague lives in a thin-walled apartment and noises are every where, which decreases focus. It may also be that a colleague has difficulty getting into work mode and is therefore more distracted. For example by doing the laundry or preparing dinner in advance. A third colleague experiences the feeling of having to prove that he or she is working, now that it is not literally visible. Taking breaks and relaxing becomes difficult. And there are many more reasons why working from home can be challenging.
Providing the right support to those colleagues who are not a fan of working from home starts with raising awareness about the most common struggles. By sharing practical tips many complaints can be prevented and with that motivation increases. Below are seven tips on how to turn some of the most common struggles into positive challenges.
1. Maintain your regular work rhythm
When colleagues are not used to working from home, people regularly switch to vacation mode in the beginning. The alarm will go off later as there is no travel time. And working from bed or in a pyjamas is quite comfortable. Although getting up later ever now and then is ok, it is important to stick to the regular work rhythm as much as possible. With a starting time, full lunch break and end time at the of a work day.
In addition, it has been proven that the clothes you wear not only influences how you feel, but also have a positive effect on your productivity. By exchanging the pyjamas for the office outfit, this is picked up by the brain as a signal that the work day is about to start, and that has an an extra motivating effect.
2. From pause to complete
We all have a tendency to put off things that we find annoying or dreadful. It can be motivating to discuss this with colleagues, but when they are not available, the Pomodoro technique offers a solution. This technique works as followed: work continuously for 25 minutes on one task, then take a 3 to 5 minute break. This process is repeated for two hours, followed by a longer break of 10 to 15 minutes. It is a goal-oriented way to complete work tasks effectively.
3. Changing the never-ending to-do list
The same goes for too long a to-do list. We also prefer to postpone this when there are too many tasks on the list. Not completing the to-do list brings the feeling of running behind and dissatisfaction at the end of a work day. Planning up to three main tasks offers a solution. The task that you dread most, is the number one to do first. Only when that task is (sufficiently) completed, you pick up the next main task. Working focused and undisturbed leads to more productivity. And also brings more energy, so you ultimately get more done than expected.
4. Move that body
A struggle of working from home is that we tend to sit more often and longer, and relax less. The risk of neck, shoulder and back pain increases and the continuous mental strain causes colleagues to burn out more quickly. For every 60 minutes of sitting, the body needs at least 90 seconds of active movement to allow all bodily functions, including the brain, to function optimally again. It is therefore very important to take regular short breaks with physical movements. Such as going for a walk or doing an office workout.
OnlineFitCompany specializes in short workouts specifically for office workers to keep the body and brain healthy on work days. We call the office workouts snack exercises and have the effect of preventing and reducing RSI complaints. They give the body the positive break it needs to reset in a very accessible and fun way. Which contributes to keeping motivation high. Such as this shoulders workout:
5. The best snacks to eat when working
Working from home can increase unhealthy lifestyles followed by irregular eating habits. Such as snacking chocolate bars, biscuits or chips. Not only does eating these snack decrease the productivity, the calories consumed are far more than the energy we expend. Which leads to gaining weight. When working, and especially when working from home, it is vital to eat snacks that keep us hydrated, are low on calories and easy on the stomach. To maintain a satisfying energy level before, during and after work. We have made an overview of the top six best healthy snacks to fuel the body when working.
6. Celebrate at the end of your workday
It can be very effective to mark the end or your workday with an alarm. When it goes off give yourself 15 minutes to finish up by checking your to-do list. Delete the tasks that are complete and think of away to celebrate that. For example by reading your favourite magazine or ordering your favourite meal to be home delivered. Afterward clean out your desk, close off the laptop and remove all items that you are not using right now. This will help to end a days work and give you a fresh start on the next workday.
7. The ultimate tip to remember
Of course increasing awareness on struggles when working from home helps to stimulate motivation. And that can be reinforced by openly talking with your colleagues and asking them how they are doing. Ask why they don’t like working from home and what could help to change that. Often small changes make a big difference and keep the motivation high.
- How does a COO take care of her own vitality? Read the interview with Marion van Happen of USG People.
- Keeping the eyes healthy whilst working. What happens to the eyes when looking at a screen? Including eye exercises.
We believe in a high quality of life by achieving a complementary balance between physical and mental health. The way to achieve that balance is by stimulating vitality awareness. We build live online vitality platforms that increase the sustainability specifically of office workers based on four key points: office workouts, office mindfulness, office food and office academy.
Our Office Talk contains informative blogs on physical and mental health and inspiring interviews with office workers and vitality experts who reveal their best personal tips. Office Talk is available on our website.
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