How to stay motivated while working remotely

We explore the importance of setting targets to ensure remote workers stay focused.

Alex Miller

As the move towards remote working continues to increase, there are a number of ways to ensure you remain focused while working away from an office environment.

In a similar vein to office working, a ‘regular’ schedule is important – so consider what yours will look like and try to stick to it.

Similarly, look to adhere to a ‘normal’ office routine as much as possible. Get up, get dressed and ‘arrive’ at your desk five to 10 minutes early, to go through emails and create your daily task list.

Like any working environment, it is important to take the occasional break during the day to let your brain and body relax. Take a 10-minute walk, make some lunch or catch up with a friend over the phone.

When the working day is done, log off and focus instead on your personal activities to avoid burnout.

Short breaks will help give you the ability to refocus on your work tasks – ultimately supporting both your productivity and mental health.

Focus

Lee Owen, director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, says: ‘If you are going to be working remotely regularly, you need to make sure you have the right set up to help you stay disciplined and focused.

‘The biggest tip to keeping self-disciplined while working at home, is to keep to your previous working routine. That means that you should still try and wake up at least an hour before you are due to log on, to give yourself time to adjust before you start work.

‘Establishing and maintaining a fixed and consistent routine can help you get started with work with better focus and help you determine how much time you dedicate to work each day and therefore make you more productive.’

Setting daily SMART goals can also help guide how you wish to progress with your remote working, by helping you develop the habit of hitting your targets.

Owen adds: ‘To aid achieving these targets, it is important to know when to take a step back momentarily and take regular breaks, avoiding potential burnout.’

Cornerstones

Other factors to consider include good eating, sleeping well and exercise.

These are the three cornerstones of good physical health and they should not be ignored just because you are working at home.

There are plenty of at home exercise tutorials online which cover the full range of ability levels – from the fittest amongst us to the athletically challenged – and serve as a great way to break up the day.

Exercise can also be used as a reason to get out of bed promptly.

While you may not have to rush to catch your train, committing to a quick morning jog or a living-room pilates session can be an effective way to not only get your blood pumping, but also to signal to your brain that it’s time to get to work.

Your top tips

Whether working or studying – what are your top tips for keeping focused? Email us and you could feature in a forthcoming SA article.