5 tips to stay motivated while working from home

17 Jun 2021 5 min read

Written by

XWiki Team

Last year we shared our tips for transitioning to working from home, as we had the advantage of testing it before. One year later, we've sat down with our team to share some valuable tips on the best way to remain motivated while working from home. 

  1. Set up your home office for success
  2. Create a morning routine
  3. Make a schedule and stick to it
  4. Practice good self-care and reward yourself
  5. Take regular breaks

Set up your home office for success

Whether it's investing in good quality furniture - chair, desk - or in tech that will make you enjoy the day more - noise cancelation headphones, keyboard, mouse, - make sure your working space is not causing you stress. Separating the space dedicated to work and keeping it in order will help you stay focused and calm. Another important factor to consider is syncing with your workspace partner(s), if you share the office, as our colleagues share:

Ilie Andriuță, QA Specialist

I would say that what keeps me going strong is keeping things organized and maintaining the focus on task prioritization. This can usually be achieved through keeping my working space clean, having nice background music, and the company of my daughter doing her homework nearby. What also contributes to my good mood is the nice cool breeze coming from the open window and the sound of the birds singing outside in the trees.

Andreea Chirica, Communication and Support Specialist

Three words: home office dog.

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Create a morning routine

Having a morning routine is a great way to get motivated for the day. It sets a positive tone and helps you stay motivated at work. It’s an organized, repeatable process that will get you in the habit of starting each day strong and ready to tackle the world. You can start developing your own routine to have a great morning and do what best fits your lifestyle. What’s most important is that your routine should energize and prepare you for the workday. Pro-tip: studies have shown that people who get up earlier are actually more proactive than those who get up later.

Vincent Massol, CTO

My recommendation: go out every morning before work in the forest and walk, run or bike! Yes, you need a forest, that's the tricky part ;) The sport will give you endorphins for the day, and the forest will emit chemical compounds that relieve the stress and make you feel good and soothing. Side effect: you'll have plenty of time for thinking and decide what you'll achieve during the rest of the day. Creativity and ideas often come to me at that time.

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Nicoleta Bincă, Communication & Marketing Specialist

I've found that what works for me best is having a routine in the morning and trying to stick to the same working hours every day. This has made it easier to disconnect at the end of the program and make sure I don't burn myself out. My weekly agenda and to-do list help keep my productivity in check and I've also discovered that having any kind of background noise (be it music, a podcast, or anything else) usually boosts my mood and helps me better concentrate on getting tasks done.

Clément Aubin, Account Manager

I use two things to keep me in focus: 1. Sport in the morning (going out, or just doing a bit of exercise at home) in order to get started and wake up; 2. When I need to focus during the day, I’ll take a quick break and do cuddles to the Cat. Note that the Cat can also prevent focusing, especially during eating timeframes.

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Make a schedule and stick to it

Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can create a daily schedule:

  1. Each morning, document what you must get done that day. You can also create the schedule the evening before the next day;
  2. Create the list of tasks chronologically (from the first task in the morning to the last task at the end of the day);
  3. Break larger tasks down into smaller steps;
  4. Put a star or other identifying mark next to tasks that have the highest priority.
Silvia Macovei, Head of Cloud Business

A daily routine, an organized calendar, and my daily to-do list are some of the things that keep me productive and focused while minimizing decision fatigue. But these are not exactly the places you visit for fresh insights. Fortunately, we have books for that. So a couple of times per day, I'll be browsing Goodreads or my library over coffee, looking for my next read. If the weather is good, I might otherwise recharge in the garden, hopefully harvesting some new ideas along with my vegetables.

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Practice good self-care and reward yourself

You’ll never be at your best if you’re exhausted and running on caffeine and sugar only. You need a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and good self-care strategies to perform at your peak. Rewards are some of the best motivators. Knowing that we have something to look forward to boosts our mental and physical energy levels. 

Any Anea, Sales and Office Admin

For more than 10 months, I have had a morning ritual of diffusing essential oils like copaiba-rosemary-bergamot along with background music in order to get in the “flow”. For the afternoon I have another blend to diffuse, wild orange and peppermint, to increase the focus. It works perfectly for me.

Alexandra Siriciuc, Support Specialist

This time of year for me it's pretty simple: a good coffee, green view, and the smell of linden flowers to relax my eyes, clear my mind for a couple of moments.

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Cristina DeLisle, Office and Legal Administrator, DPO

I would recommend concentration music for productivity in the background, finding some guided meditation techniques that work for you if you need to take a break, or starting/ending your day with it. I also enjoy having walks in the forest after work. Coffee is essential in the morning, as well as making sure your regular breaks are taken every day as it was when you were at the office. Make sure you eat lunch separately from your office: try your best to separate personal life from work, in general. Remote working could enable you to cook your own lunch instead of ordering out/taking it from a store already prepared. This opens the door to a lot of creativity, more healthy meals and why not share with someone dear from your family. Pro tip I am considering exploring in the future: use an essential oil diffuser with flavors associated with productivity & focus: lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary.

Camelia Andrei, Technical Support Engineer

In order to maintain a good productivity level at home, I disconnect from the working environment from time to time. Clearing my mind, my thoughts, through moments of silence and numbness helps me disconnect. I imagine myself somewhere with lush vegetation, hidden from all the quotidian stress. My happy place is my little indoor garden. Taking reading breaks in my garden helps me recharge my batteries. Depending on the mood energizing or calming music also helps.

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Take regular breaks

Taking regular breaks boosts our energy and vitality, increases our motivation, improves our focus, and makes us more productive. Get in the habit of taking a 5 to 7-minute break every hour.

Get up and do something that allows you to mentally and physically disconnect from your work. Take a quick walk, stretch, go to the kitchen, and make a healthy snack or drink, or spend some time with your pet. Watch a short video, listen to a podcast, call a friend, meditate, or plan out some fun activities. Make sure you take those breaks consistently each workday.

Jean-Sébastien Dennebouy, Account Manager

What helps me being productive is an adaptation of the things I liked when we worked in our small open space: to put music to refocus for a specific task, I recommend SomaFM for example, or to browse web radios. As I especially miss having lunch with colleagues, sometimes I take longer breaks to lunch outside, have a session at the local skatepark, or ride my bike.

Alina Luchian, Communication & Marketing Manager

For me, it has to be the brakes to admire the view outside my windows. I find observing nature's evolution calming and it encourages me to log off at the end of the day so I can enjoy it IRL.

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There are plenty of online tips about how to work well from home. But everyone is different. And what works for one person might not work well for another. So it’s important to experiment with different strategies to discover what works well for you. As recent studies revealed, 67% of businesses that implemented or expanded work from home policies because of COVID-19 believe these policies will stay in place permanently or for a long time. Whether it's your organization's case or not, once you master these tips on how to stay motivated at work, you’ll find that working from home can be fun, fulfilling, and highly productive. It can also be an opportunity for you to do your best work in the comfort of your own home.

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