After 18 months of yo-yoing in and out of lockdowns, the positives that remote working has brought to the table for many employees are endless. According to a new survey by RADA Business, nearly half of workers would like to continue working remotely post-pandemic, with the younger generation being most in favour of this shift.
The reasons for the desire to move to this model vary dependant on the personal circumstances of each individual but the most common benefits cited were time saving, money saving, flexibility, more time to spend with family, healthier habits, and productivity.
However, interestingly – and perhaps contrary to popular belief – this research found that many didn’t want remote working to become a full-time feature. Only 9 per cent of 16 – 34-year-olds wanted this model five days a week, and while this percentage rose slightly for those aged 35 – 44 (18 per cent), it remained incredibly low.
The reason for this will vary from person to person. Issues such as a drop in job satisfaction and job motivation have arisen since many began working from home or remotely, as well as increased stress levels.
Due to findings such as these, many employers have opened the board to employees and given them the choice as to whether they would like to be office-based, remote-based or a little bit of both. However, there are a few select employers who have made remote working the only option after having closed numerous offices.
So, whether you’re working remotely as a one-off or for good – how can you ensure your motivation levels remain high throughout the working day?
Take regular breaks
For so long, we have valued the success of our working day on hours sat at our desks rather than output achieved but this couldn’t be further from the right way of doing things.
The human brain can only focus on one task for between 50 and 90 minutes and even then, this very much depends on the environment you are in. If it is a noisy or busy one, then this time is reduced further to only 20 minutes.
To ensure that your brain doesn’t succumb to fatigue and that the standard of your work doesn’t drop, take regular five-minute breaks to help yourself refresh. This could be to make a cup of tea, stand in the garden for some fresh air or even just walk around for a bit to get your circulation going again.
Keep tasks manageable
When working on your own, the amount of work you may have on your plate can feel overwhelming – especially if there’s no one around to bounce ideas off. This is where time blocking can help enormously.
Instead of flitting between one task to another while trying to cram in meetings as well as time find somewhere to have a lunch break, time blocking keeps you focused on the job at hand. By scheduling your day hour by hour, not only does it help you manage your workload, but it also helps to set boundaries with others.
One key issue with productivity, in the office and at home, is distraction from colleagues. Someone may ask you to ‘quickly’ check over something or have a conversation ‘just for a minute’, both of which are likely to spill into your valuable time. Time blocking reduces the risk of this happening and helps you remain focused.
Wind down at the end of the day
When working from home, it can be difficult to separate work from life – especially if you do not have the space for a separate office. However, to keep you job satisfaction and motivation for work at a good level, it is crucial that you take the time to switch off and move away from your job each day.
Whether it’s small things like putting your laptop in a drawer (out of sight, out of mind), or bigger things like going for a long walk away from the house in the evening to officially end the working day – it’s important you do whatever works for you so you can really achieve a state of rest and relaxation.
Working from home isn’t for everyone and it may not be something you do very often, but it is likely you will do so, even just briefly, at some point in the future. If you struggle to stay motivated, follow the tips above to give yourself the best chance of keeping up the hard work, even away from the office.