How to Stay Motivated While Working From Home

Do you work from home? If so, do you find that, whilst you enjoy the benefits of doing so, you sometimes feel demotivated and miss the office a little? In this article, we'll give you some ideas to compensate for the downsides of teleworking.
How to Stay Motivated While Working From Home
Sara González Juárez

Written and verified by the psychologist Sara González Juárez.

Last update: 23 April, 2023

In the post-pandemic society, teleworking has become normal, particularly in some sectors. However, maintaining motivation while working from home can be complicated if certain conditions aren’t met. In fact, it’s a way of working that still has some practices and customs in need of improvement.

In this article, you’ll find several tips to help ensure that remote work doesn’t become too difficult for you and help you keep your motivation levels high.

Working from home and motivation

A few years ago, if we’d been offered the chance to work from home, many of us would’ve accepted without hesitation. More than likely, we’d have seen it as a chance to get rid of toxic work environments, save time and money in transportation costs, and have everything to hand we needed. All apparently beneficial aspects.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when this reality suddenly materialized, we discovered that, although it may have seemed simple, in reality, it wasn’t. Indeed, in a scenario where the mental and physical health of the population was declining, the stress of switching to remote working (and its associated difficulties) increased dramatically.

From that moment, studies like the one published by the Antioquia School of Engineering began to multiply. This particular study identifies three factors that have a negative impact on the motivational level of employees. They’re as follows:

  1. Increased demand for productivity. Many employees claimed that they were pressured and required to be more productive because they were at home.
  2. Reduction or absence of social interactions. Employees who enjoyed the socialization aspect of their jobs noticed a decrease in their psychological well-being.
  3. Lack of supervision and accompaniment. This was especially apparent in employees who’d just started in a new position. They felt that their colleagues and superiors weren’t around when they needed them.

You might be interested to read Seven Recommendations for Teleworking

Woman complies with teleworking accompanied by her pet
Those who work remotely could ask their company to activate wellness plans for better performance.

How to stay motivated while teleworking

If you work at home, you’ll probably have found yourself facing and needing to solve certain problems. In fact, keeping your motivation levels high can be tricky. Here are some useful tips.

1. Avoid monotony

Before you started remote working, you probably found that coming home after work was a welcome change of scenery. But, when you work from home, you simply get up from your chair at the end of the day. Unfortunately, carrying out all your daily activities in the same place can create feelings of monotony. In turn, this decreases your motivation.

Therefore, you should try and take advantage of your spare time to do something different outside your home. The simplest thing will suffice. For instance, taking a walk in the park, going for a coffee, or visiting family. Just use the time you used to spend on that annoying trip to your workplace and do something positive with it.

2. Find ways of socializing with your peers

If you used to enjoy time after work with colleagues or your conversations in front of the coffee maker at break times, you may miss that socialization. But, there are many ways you can resume it. You can organize occasional meetings or even have a virtual coffee together. After all, there are plenty of other people in the same situation as you.

3. Give and ask for feedback

One of the advantages of face-to-face work is the ease of interaction, accompanied by elements that favor empathy and cooperation, like face-to-face dialogue. On the other hand, when you work remotely, interference and distractions can multiply.

Whether your position implies more or less responsibility, remember to protect the way in which you communicate. For example, tomorrow you may require the help of that colleague who needs your assistance today. Keep this image in mind and think about how you’d like to be treated.

4. Respect your break times

A study published in the Industrial Engineering and Management Systems journal, claims that a lack of rest has a negative influence on performance. In the same way, working too many hours (or doing many hours in a row) is detrimental to psychological well-being. This can cause your motivation to suffer.

Overwork is one of the main causes of burnout syndrome.

Make sure you respect your schedules and take breaks. This is important in the short term to avoid fatigue. It’s equally significant in the long term since chronic fatigue and lack of free time are directly related to burnout syndrome, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological conditions such as generalized anxiety and depression.

5. Focus on self-care

Self-care is a protective factor for psychological well-being, as a study published in Desbordes magazine points out. Indeed, self-care is the path or tool with the greatest impact on your motivation. Moreover, you’re able to control it. So, ensure you maintain a distance from the demands of work. You must recognize that they only form a part of the far broader context of your life.

Employee in pajamas attends virtual meeting to give feedback as part of motivation while working from home
Regardless of your position, one of the ways to stay motivated while working remotely is by giving and receiving feedback.

Welfare plans in the workplace and psychological help

When you have to stay motivated while working from home, there are many measures you can put in place on your own. However, the role that the company you work for is just as relevant.

Despite the fact that research, such as the study published in the Revista Colombiana de Psicología, confirms that employee productivity is greater when they enjoy well-being in the work environment, this remains an outstanding issue, both in the corporate world and at the social level. Due to this fact, part of any motivating action should be to ask that your company activate welfare plans for their employees.

Furthermore, the support and guidance of a psychology professional can be extremely useful. They can help you better manage your emotions and acquire psychological resources to solve any problems in your working environment. Remember that we’re living in a time where the weight of the world is placed on the shoulders of individuals. It’ll be less heavy if we all hold it together.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.