Friday 24 May 2024

Remote Working: 5 ways to keep motivated

In this short blog, Emily highlights some of the common issues people have with working from home and suggests some ways to overcome these challenges.

- Emily

I graduated with my undergraduate degree a few years ago. I was in the midst of my second year when the world went into lockdown and, to begin with, I was placed on furlough and shipped back home to a condensed family life again. In the third year, we returned to the yo-yo of regulations that, had it not been for being a key worker, would have had me isolated back to my student accommodation for weeks on end, as we cycled through lateral flows and trekked for PCRs in the park. During my Masters, I worked full-time in my nursery, meaning I was out and about from 8-6 every day of the week - and I loved it! After our ordeal with COVID, I was grateful to be out of the house.  

I surprised myself, a few years later, by taking up a new role - a dream job… fully remote and working from home. Having always worked in an environment where I’ve physically been involved in the day, socially working with others, solitary working was a huge change for me. How would I cope with nobody to guide my routine? Would I get lonely? How would I keep motivated?   

I’ve not been at it for long, but here are some of my top tips for transitioning to a remote working environment.   

  • Make your own routine It can be difficult to get into a prepared routine when your office is a few steps away from your bed! Make a conscious plan to get up as you might if you were working elsewhere. In the sunnier weather, why not have a coffee outside, or take a quick walk before getting ready for your day?   

  • Find new spaces Working from home doesn’t have to always mean ‘home’! Look for other spaces you can utilise for your working day. This might be a library, a park or a cafe. Make sure to check with your employer regarding their remote-working guidelines to ensure this is possible.   

  • Keep a diary It’s important to keep track of your to-dos and to-bes but we’ve all been caught out! Working from home makes it much less likely that a colleague will remind you about that morning staff meeting… keep a clear diary that allows you to plan out your day in terms of meetings with others, tasks to do, and things to monitor.   

  • Set up a separate space It can be tricky to switch off from work when you’re working where you relax, too! Try and create a separate space for your working day that can either be packed away or shut a door on when you finish to ensure a healthy work-life balance.    

  • Keep to your times When you aren’t working to a timed routine with others, such as how a school day is structured with breaks, new classes, and lunchtimes, it can be easy for the day to roll into one. By the time you realise, it’s 4pm and you’ve not eaten since breakfast! Ensure that you take regular breaks that are really breaks: this means getting up from your space and doing something completely different. This could be something as simple as sorting the laundry, or as extravagant as a picnic in the park for lunch. Whatever you do, make every effort to govern your time and set your own scene.   

Working remotely comes with amazing benefits and can give you a great sense of independence and flexibility in your working day. But, it can be a challenge to transition to and it’s important to take the steps you need to make it work for you. 

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I'm Emily, part of the Student Minds Editorial team. I'm an Early Years Teacher and, when I'm not writing with the SM team, I'm content writing all about Early Years.

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