5 tips to stay motivated, productive and engaged while working from home

A steaming cup of coffee sits next to an open laptop and mobile phone.

Are you struggling to stay motivated and productive while working from home? Here are some strategies that can help you stay engaged and on task.

Prior to 2020, working from home was a reality for few. That changed overnight when COVID-19 shut down cities and offices.

Almost three years on, many employees enjoy a hybrid working schedule – some time in the office and the rest of the working week at home. A November 2022 survey from digital agency Embryo found that 30 per cent of full-time UK employees are hybrid, while more recent data from Statista found that 40 per cent of employees in the UK worked at least one day from home in the last week.

It seems there’s a disconnect between what employers and employees want when it comes to where they work. Research from LinkedIn showed that in November 2022, 11 per cent of job posts listed remote work – down from 15 per cent in January of that same year.

Even during an economic downturn, there are many benefits to the hybrid working model. Employees can still connect IRL with their colleagues while saving time and money commuting only a couple of days a week.

But for those who split their time between home and office, or work remotely full-time, it can be challenging to stay engaged and productive. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you stay focused and motivated while you’re working from home. 

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Set up a daily routine

A man is working at his computer on top of a purple tinted home office setup.
Setting up a daily schedule and routine will help you focus throughout the day. (Envato/Getty Images/PinkNews)

Without a structured routine, it can be easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. To avoid this, establish a regular schedule for your workday. Set specific hours for work, breaks, and lunchtime, and stick to them as much as possible. By creating a predictable routine, you can train your mind to focus during work hours and relax during your breaks.

Create a dedicated workspace

A home office is depicted with plants with lamp.
Having a dedicated workspace free from distraction is a way to stay productive. (Envato/Getty Images/PinkNews)

Find a comfortable space in your home where you can set up a desk, chair and any other necessary equipment. Make sure this space is quiet and free from distractions, such as television or other people. When you enter this space, your mind will recognise that it’s time to work, and you’ll find it easier to stay focused.

For those who have the luxury of a separate room that you can dedicate to work, leave work there when the day is done. Alternatively, if you find yourself losing focus in your home office, consider spending some of your work day in a coffee shop or co-working environment. Sometimes those breaks from your constant physical space can refocus your energies and you can be more productive. 

Take regular breaks

A woman is walking her dog in between two apartment buildings and there is a cartoon plant.
Taking regular breaks through the day will help you focus and keep you energised. (Envato/Getty Images/PinkNews)

Taking regular breaks throughout the day will help maintain your focus and productivity. Sitting at a desk for long periods can be draining, both physically and mentally. Stand up and stretch, take a walk, or do some light exercise to get your blood flowing and give your mind a break. If you have a four-legged friend, they’ll appreciate an extra long walk. 

Set goals and priorities

A man is sitting behind his computer.
Set yourself up for success by writing out a list of goals and priorities. (Envato/Getty Images/PinkNews)

Setting goals and priorities can help you stay motivated and focused while working from home. Create a list of tasks you need to complete each day, and prioritize them based on their importance. By breaking down your tasks into manageable chunks, you can focus on completing each one individually, which can help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you work through your to-do list.

Connect with co-workers

A woman is wearing headphones and is conversing with her coworkers.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate and connect with you colleagues. (Envato/Getty Images/PinkNews)

Working from home can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. You can still connect with your colleagues daily, but it does take a bit more effort. Luckily there are so many ways to connect with your co-workers. Nearly all companies use Teams or Slack, making it easy to collaborate on projects, get feedback and make small talk. Consider taking a walking meeting or a virtual co-work for an hour or two per week.

Love it or loathe it, working from home (in some capacity) is here to stay. For many it can be a rewarding experience, but it requires a bit more motivation than daily trips to the office. With some strategy and planning, you can turn your home office into a productive and efficient workspace, and you can be just as (if not more) productive than you would be in the office.

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