Updated: Apr 2, 2020
In 2019, 43% of Americans did at least some of their work from home.
Now, with coronavirus sweeping the globe, many of us have little choice about working remotely from home. If you're used to a busy office and lots of social interaction, this transition could be a real challenge for you.
How can you maintain high morale while working from home? What are some practical things you can do to stay productive and positive?
In this post, we'll discuss 5 ways to give yourself a morale boost from wherever you call home. Read on to learn more!
Working Remotely: 5 Tips for High Morale
Just because you aren't in your usual workplace doesn't mean you can't maintain your workplace morale. Here are some practical suggestions to stay positive while working remotely.
1. Minimize Distractions
The dog is barking, the kids are shouting, and the phone won't stop ringing. Working from home comes with its own set of distractions, but with a little ingenuity, you can succeed.
Start by setting up a dedicated "office space" in your home. A separate room with a door you can close is ideal, but you may have to make do with a corner desk or kitchen table. Set up apps to temporarily block social media and other distractions while you work.
Next, sit down with your family and put set some boundaries for everyone to follow. This should include not disturbing you during working hours, but there's more you can do too. If possible, assign someone else to answer the phone, greet the delivery driver, or keep the dog quiet while you're on a video chat.
By being proactive, you can stop many distractions before they begin!
2. Make (And Stick to) a Schedule
There's a common misconception that working from home means you'll be less productive. Interestingly, some companies in China found their employees were 13% more productive while working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The key? Find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. If possible, try to work the same hours you did when you were physically going to the office.
Treat your job like the job it still is. Take a shower, get dressed, and sit on a real chair (not the couch). Take pride in your environment and appearance, even if you're the only one present.
On the other hand, watch out that working from home doesn't overtake the rest of your life. No one expects you to work any less than you did before, but you shouldn't be working more hours either. Make time for your family, friends, and yourself just like you did before.
3. Stay Connected to Your Team
Communication is the lifeblood of any successful business, and working from home doesn't change that. In fact, communication becomes more important than ever when you're not physically present with your colleagues.
If you're a manager, make sure your employees know exactly how to reach you. Check in with them on a regular (even daily) basis to see how they're doing and address any questions they might have. Use Zulip or a similar messaging software to set up a group chat where everyone can stay in touch.
What can you do if you start to feel overwhelmed by the need to stay connected to your team? Consider delegating your human resource tasks so you have more time to focus on running your business.
As an employee, do your part to stay connected too. Respond promptly to emails, messages, and phone calls.
Don't limit communication to work topics, either. Make time to personally contact your coworkers, swap stories, and ask them about their day. If you're struggling to stay productive or positive, ask your colleagues for advice about what's working for them.
4. Focus on What You CAN Control
There's a lot happening right now that's beyond our control, but that doesn't mean we can't take some control over our lives.
One way to boost your morale while working at home is to create your ideal environment. Think about it! You can play the music you want to play (or have it completely silent if you prefer). If you need a little noise in the background, try the sounds of a coffee shop at Coffitivity.
You can set the thermostat to the exact temperature you like. Instead of that awful coffee at the office, you can brew your favorite brand at home. You can step outside for a breath of fresh air anytime you want to.
It may not seem like much, but focusing on those little things you can control can be a huge morale boost every day.
5. Include Self-Care in Your Daily Routine
Our final tip for keeping high morale is to make time to take care of yourself. Schedule breaks during your workday, but don't leave it at that.
Stick to a good routine of sleep and healthful eating. Even if you can't leave the house, find ways to stay physically active at home. Hit that treadmill, do some yoga, or download some home workout videos you can do anytime.
If you haven't already, this is also the time to discover what helps you to unwind and decompress. It could include taking a hot bath, writing in a journal, or enjoying some soothing aromatherapy.
Whatever works best for you, stick to it. Many before you have achieved a healthy work-life balance while working from home—and you can too!
Need a Morale Boost? Start Here!
Working remotely can be a real challenge, especially if you're used to a busy, interactive work environment.
It will take some getting used to, but rest assured that you can do it. Technology makes it possible for us to stay connected to our colleagues, no matter how many miles may separate us.
Set yourself up for success by creating a dedicated workspace in your home. Minimize distractions and stick to a schedule as much as you can. Communicate often with your team through email, messaging apps, and video chats.
And to really give your morale a boost, remember to take care of yourself too. Get plenty of rest, stay active, and include basic self-care in your daily activities.
The world may be changing fast, and we'll probably have to adjust to more new circumstances in the future. If you start feeling low, refer back to this list of tips for an instant morale boost.
Do you need help with human resources, leadership development, or other employee-related concerns? Contact us today and let's discuss it together.