Box Legal Logo
Home > After The Event Insurance Blog > Top tips for staying motivated when working from home

ATE Blog

Top tips for staying motivated when working from home

Since COVID and lockdowns a lot of us never went back to our offices and stayed working from home. Our makeshift dining table offices suddenly became permanent and overnight we had to get used to a completely new work environment. Almost 4 years later more of us now are working from home than pre-covid times so in no particular order here are my top tips on staying motivated whilst working from home. 

Having a dedicated work space/office

At first I think we all were making do, I was working on a borrowed foldout poker table and folding chair in my living room. But now I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a space dedicated to work from with a proper computer chair and desk so you are comfortable and not working from a laptop on your knee!

It also needs to be a space you want to spend time in. I am lucky enough to have a spare room that I can dedicate as my office. I repainted this room, bought a nice new desk and hung pictures in it to make the room a space that is comfortable and somewhere I actually like to be.

Make to-do lists

Before I started working from home I wasn’t a list person but I realised that working from home you’re almost in a bubble and you just focus on your own work. I decided to buy myself a weekly calendar so I can make a weekly to do list, I add all my meetings to this and I prioritise my daily tasks. This helps keep you focused and it’s quite satisfying when you get to tick everything off.

Keep in contact with colleagues

Talking about being in your own bubble, working from home can become isolating if you don’t make a conscious effort to keep in contact with your colleagues. Of course you email back and forth about work, but when you’re in an office with other people you’re chatting throughout the day about your lives, what you’re having for tea or what you’re watching at the moment. These chats also lead to, “Oh what do you think about this email?” “Can you remember what we decided about X?” When I first started working from home I stopped asking my colleagues these questions because I felt if I called them up I would be distracting them from work, a call seems more intrusive then looking over your desk and asking for someone’s opinion! I quickly realised how silly this was and got into the habit of picking up the phone more.

It’s easy to underestimate how important these chats can be for our mental health. If you live alone or your family are out of the house in the day you could sit in your office all day and not speak to another person. So remember, your colleagues are there at the end of the phone, you should keep in touch with them.

In Person meetings

This tip is linked to the last tip, keeping in contact with your colleagues. Of course we can video call, phone call or email, but if covid lockdowns taught us anything it’s that nothing truly compares to seeing people in person, laughing, joking, sharing ideas and collaborating. At Box Legal we book a meeting room once a month and make the effort to get together in person to go through work, raise problems and also just to see each other.

Take breaks

In an office you have regular little breaks, you go get a coffee or you have a chat by the printer.

When working from home you can easily to sit down at 9am and not get back up until the end of the day.  This can quickly lead to burning yourself out. We all need breaks from the computer, breaks from trying to solve a problem or from looking at figures. So take 5 minutes to get yourself a drink, step out in the garden to get some fresh air and cuddle your dog. I actually add my little breaks to my to-do list to remind myself to stretch my legs. You will come back to your desk with a clearer head.

Starting your day before 9am.

When working from home you can fall into a routine where you wake up at 8am get washed and dressed and start work. I find that this leads to your whole day being just work, you don’t have the commute and you don’t have to leave your house for lunch if you don’t want to. My days are 100% better when I wake up earlier and take the dogs for a walk, read or have a coffee and watch some TV. This is my ME time before work and it stops me feeling like I’ve been staring at the computer all day.

Change up your surroundings

If you begin to feel cooped up at home and you have the option to work from a laptop a good motivator is switching up your surroundings. Grab your laptop and phone and head out to a coffee shop, the buzz of people around you can be a great motivator on slower work days.

Also since more people are working from home these days more co-working spaces have popped up, these spaces are great, you can book a desk or a room and work from there for the day. You’re surrounded by other workers and they often have a kitchen stocked with snacks and drinks.

Keep active

This may seem like an unrelated tip but stay with me. When I worked in offices in the past I was much more active than when I started to work from home. At one place I would walk to and from work, at Box legal I would walk around the town on my lunch hour and often I would go out after work. Once I started to work from home I became lazy, I would walk my dogs and that was about it.

Over the last year I realised I need to get more active, I started to go the gym after work and go on runs on the weekend. Being more active and fit has helped me be more motivated in life in general and more comfortable when sitting at my desk.

Liking where you work

My last tip is the most important, you have to like where you work and who you work with! If you don’t you will never feel motivated to work.

We are so lucky at Box Legal to have a lovely team of people who support each other and work well together and for me that is the most motivating thing.

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Click here to read more.