Tips for Self-Motivation as a Remote Worker
6 Ways To Reward Yourself When Working From Home
Life changed for everyone during the pandemic, and now more than two years later, the daily routines of millions have been permanently altered. This includes the workforce, as remote employment is now here to stay for many.
However, despite much of the freedom that working from home (WFH) provides, it’s easy to miss out on social interaction and team camaraderie that used to be championed by the majority of companies. Studies have also shown that remote work hurts effective problem solving performed as a group. Even worse, many leading bosses have gone on record claiming remote zworkers don’t have hustle.
Whether you’re self-employed or a company leader trying to motivate your employees to be more profitable and productive, here are 6 ways you can reward both yourself and others when working from home.
Find Rewards that Motivate You
Strong work is the product of determination, best performed when an employee concentrates all of their focus on the tasks before them. And let’s be entirely honest – the best motivator there is comes in the form of rewards, whether financial or as a gesture that shows you genuinely care about the individual or yourself.
For example, going out to dinner at the end of the week can be a great motivator for a foodie. Think back to those times you powered through a boring Zoom call on a Friday afternoon, knowing you were just a few hours away from unwinding in a cozy booth at some place like BB Lemon, ready to order up the blue crab beignets while a perfect cheeseburger sizzles on the chef’s grill.
Of course, not everyone is a foodie. After a long day of staring at a screen in solitude, maybe some people only go out for social interaction. When employees are craving time to kick back and talk, you might want to book a mid-week happy hour for the team. This way, everybody who lives in town can meet up for a couple cocktails or beers and blow off some steam.
Here are some more ways to ward off isolation and get through a work week strong:
Make a reservation for lunch or dinner so you have something to look forward to and won’t opt out when the time comes.
Go for a walk or a quick trip to the gym, promising yourself that after you send that dreaded email, you’ll get some sunshine or exercise.
Take a yoga or meditation break. The best part is you don’t even need to leave the house.
Turn on a show: One perk of working from home is your TV is only seconds away and can be used during short breaks or lunch hours.
Not seeing what gets you most excited? Think about quick activities that make you happy, and treat yourself periodically throughout every workday.
Vary Your Work Routine
One positive to come out of the pandemic is the spotlight on mental health and the role it plays in work performance. Varying your work routine is an absolutely essential way to avoid burnout and keep your brain operating at peak levels. You don’t need a ton of ideas either to do it effectively.
Here are some good work routine variations
Schedule a pajama workday once a week when you aren't expecting any virtual meetings on camera. Not having to hassle with getting ready will be a load off and actually allow you to focus even more on work without any added pressure.
Create a Monday-motivation playlist with several of your favorite songs. Try to only listen to them when you’re working so you associate work with good tunes.
Try new foods for your lunch break once a week. Okay, we already mentioned BB Lemon, but what other American comfort food menu is going to offer you everything from a Wagyu hotdog or a lobster roll to pork schnitzel or a watermelon salad?
Get Out of the House
It’s the year 2022. Working remotely doesn’t mean you have to work locked up inside your home. Take advantage of the freedom a laptop provides by heading to a local coffee shop or bakery for the afternoon (if you’re in Houston, NoPo Cafe is designed for people in this camp).
Also, be sure to have some hobbies that don’t take place within the comfort of your own home. Try joining a group or league that takes place in off-hours so you can see new sights during your downtime.
Set Aside Specific You-Time
Time management is a skill severely lacking in most people, largely because it isn’t taught as a skill. The truth is, self-care relies on time management skills so you can reserve quality hours for yourself and your own personal interests that promote physical and emotional well-being.
Here are some WFH tips for creating a healthy work-life balance:
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Set realistic goals for yourself every day.
Treat pre-planned breaks as seriously as if they were work meetings.
Don’t feel guilty talking to coworkers here and there with chit-chat, just be mindful of company time and limit interaction.
Take boundaries seriously. Set your work notifications to snooze after 5 p.m. so you don’t have your favorite activity interrupted by stressful thoughts.
Create a Monthly Budget for Rewards
Overspending on something that’s supposed to be a treat can have the opposite of the intended effect and feel more like a problem and a reward.
Use these tips for creating a successful budget:
Set your exact budget of disposable income so you never feel mental duress for spending money on non-essentials, like a relaxing dinner out or a bar tab paired with an Uber ride home.
Decide on a weekly lunch allowance that allows you to plan accordingly for how many times you meet co-workers, including the price range of what restaurants you choose.
Be easy on yourself. Remember that you work hard in order to enjoy life, so splurging once in a while isn’t the end of the world, so long as your bills are paid on time without accruing unneeded debt.
Celebrate Milestones with Friends or Other Coworkers
One of the biggest mistakes an employee can make as a remote worker is not maintaining social connections. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to maintain a vibrant work culture, even without sharing a common brick-and-mortar office space.
Remember growing up, when parents looked for any excuse to throw a party? Think in similar terms as a way to keep morale high. Did one employee recently hit an annual milestone in their employment at the company? Book a happy hour! Did another employee just announce a pregnancy? Schedule a luncheon to shower them with small gifts!
Here's one great tip: send out a mass email requesting the day and month of your co-workers’ birthdays, so long as they don’t have religious reasons to not celebrate them. Then update your Outlook calendar to remind you a week before these dates so you can celebrate them properly. This gives everyone reason to regularly convene and build up strength as a close-knit organization.
Hopefully you utilize these tips and tricks to enhance the merging of personal and professional lives for greater personal happiness among yourself and staff. If there’s one thing Berg Hospitality has learned over the years while taking care of thousands upon thousands of groups, it’s that nothing brings people together quite like sharing excellent food and delicious drinks.