Due to the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), companies all over the world have been forced to reassess the traditional work-model that has served us for so many years. People are working from home-offices, dining room tables and kitchen counters by the thousands. Whether you’re a fan or not, I think it’s important we accept that working from home may very well be around for a while. Here are some ways in which you can improve the way you’re doing it to bring more motivation and thus gratification from your work.
Firstly, I think we should start by acknowledging what a privilege it is to be able to work from home. Not to disregard any feelings of anxiety or frustration you may be having at the moment around the lockdown situation – I get it. BUT, psychology research shows time and time again that maintaining a grateful disposition is in fact linked to someone’s overall state of happiness and wellbeing. So, instead of reluctantly trudging to your chosen work spot in the morning, hold a mindful moment around what you are grateful for about your job. It starts your day with intention and frames your outlook for the day in a positive light! An added bonus is that you’ll be a much nicer person to communicate with via Zoom, Skype or whatever other digital platforms.
A lot of the anxiety that comes with working from home is derived from the fact that you have lost your main source of structure. Our office jobs invariably take up 80% of any given week and we plan all the other little things around that. So, then it only makes sense that if you’d like to decrease your anxiety, you must increase your structure. Here are some tips on how you could do that:
- Go to sleep and wake up at regular times – as tempting as it can be to stay up later binge-watching your favourite series.
- Stick as close as possible to the hours you would be working in the office.
- Get dressed properly. Tracksuit bottoms and a jumper don’t communicate to your brain that “It’s time to work!” That say, “It’s time to watch Netflix…”
- Be reasonable about the breaks you take as you would in an office environment.
Lists Are Your Best Friend
Did you know, accomplishing small goals triggers a release of dopamine in your brain? Dopamine is what is commonly known as ‘the happiness drug’ and essentially, the more we have of it flowing through us, the longer our positive mood is sustained, encouraging us to keep doing more! At the end of each workday, write a list of the things you need to accomplish the next day. You can include non-work-related items as well such as ‘take out the rubbish’ or ‘feed the children’ (just kidding.)
A good tip when writing lists is to break down the things you want to achieve into bite-sized chunks rather than unrealistic items. This also means you get to tick things off more frequently which means more dopamine, which means more happiness and productivity. For example, instead of starting with, “Send Financial Report to Board of Directors”, try “Finish off Section A of Financial Report” and “Send proposed due date to Board of Directors.”
The above suggestions might all sound obvious, but before you brush them under the rug try actually implementing them with intention and watch your work satisfaction and productivity increase from home. Productive people are happy people.
Written by Gemma Pemberton – firstname.lastname@example.org