COVID-19 has unexpectedly spread all over the world. Since March 2020, most countries were put in lockdown to try and control the virus from spreading. This event eventually led businesses to temporarily closing down, people staying inside their homes, and companies trying to stay afloat by requiring their employees to work from home.
Motivation can easily dwindle for people who are not used to working from home. A lot of these employees are used to going to their respective offices every day, and staying at home to work can be a bit of a huge change that is difficult to adjust to.
In a work environment, employees have certain motivation factors such as to perform performance management promotion, training, recognition, and communication among workmates These motivations are absent in a home environment, which can make employees lose their focus and motivation.
Why Do We Feel Demotivated During a Lockdown?
There are many reasons as to why we can feel demotivated during a lockdown. Below are some of the reasons.
You’re Missing the “Team Spirit”
Just as we have mentioned earlier, employees can easily communicate in an office setting. There are ways to communicate with your officemates when working from home, but it’s mostly done virtually – such as through Zoom or Skype.
Having people around you will encourage you to do your best, especially since you are being watched as well. Your spirits can easily be lifted by the people around you, which is what you lack in a home environment, thus, making you lose concentration and motivation.
Rewards Can be Lackluster
When you are working in an office environment, you know that you will be rewarded if you do your job well. Your superiors are unable to see your hard work when you are working from home unless you update them constantly about it.
Fewer rewards can make you feel demotivated. You can ask your bosses if you can implement some type of reward system even if you are working from home. For example, you can measure KPIs and if you were able to reach your goals, then you can be rewarded or promoted.
Issues With Micromanagement
Some employers cannot resist the urge to micromanage, especially if their employees are working from home. This can make the employees feel demotivated, as most of them might feel like their employers do not trust them enough to leave them with their tasks.
It’s okay for your superiors to message you a couple of times in a day to check on you, but doing it once every ten minutes can be overwhelming for a lot of people. Of course, you’d also need some type of encouragement from them, so messaging them yourself and asking for advice is okay, too. However, if you feel like you are being watched too closely, then you can try talking to them about it.
Dealing With Anxiety and Identity Crisis
With COVID-19 lurking around the corner, most of us cannot help but worry about our health, as well as our loved ones’ wellbeing. Dealing with anxiety can be extra difficult if you are working from home, as this can hinder you from finishing your tasks.
When you are alone at home, you tend to think about what it means to get up every single day and work. This can easily lead to you being distracted, which can then hinder you from being productive. We need to find meaning in what we do every day, and heading to the office might be one of your main motivators.
However, now that you are working from home, this motivation is gone allowing anxiety to get in the way of you finishing your tasks.
Fear of the Unknown
More and more businesses are closing down, which might lead to you worrying about your job which can then lead you to feel demotivated.
The global economic situation is also at its worst, and companies are having a hard time managing their businesses. This can lead to anxiety and overthinking as well, preventing you from finishing your tasks.
Distractions Are Everywhere
There are distractions in every office, but they are mostly minimal. However, when it comes to your own home, distractions are unlimited. You might be distracted by your phone, the television, Netflix, music, the people that you are staying with; the list is long.
Being surrounded by these things can easily distract you from finishing your tasks, which can then make you feel a lot more demotivated. We are also constantly looking for ways to make us feel better, so chatting with your partner or watching a movie instead of working can make us feel momentarily better, but in the end, it only contributes to a vicious circle of being distracted, falling behind on your work, and then feeling guilty later.
Ways to Stay Motivated at Work During the COVID-19 Lockdown
Now that we have discussed what can make us feel demotivated when working from home, it is time to talk about how to be more productive.
Set a Specific Routine
Having no specific routine can make you feel demotivated, which is why it is important to set a schedule and follow it, even if you are just working from home. You can try sticking to your normal office routine, as this is what you are used to.
For example, if you normally wake up at 7 AM, then make sure to set your alarm for that time. Take a shower and eat your breakfast just like how you would before going to work. If you start your work at 9 AM, then make sure to have your laptop or computer open even before your time starts.
Don’t overwork yourself – as this can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. End your workday just like you would at the office.
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
If you cannot get into what you need to do, then you do not have to force yourself. If this is your first time working from home, then understandably, you’d need some time to adjust to it. Take it one day at a time and you will surely get there in no time.
Be kind to yourself and let yourself get used to your new routine. You can do this while finishing your tasks – just make sure to take breaks if you need to.
Minimize the News and Focus on What Directly Affects You and Is Based on Solid Data
Constantly watching the news can make you feel stressed out. The COVID-19 updates can sometimes be too much to take in, which is why it is important to take a break from watching the news every once in a while.
Yes, you must stay informed about what’s happening around you, but make sure to limit your news consumption to about 1 hour per day.
Take a Break From Work
Remind yourself that it is okay to take breaks from work every once in a while. You’d usually take breaks when you are at the office, so what is stopping you from doing the same at home?
Schedule your breaks just like you would at the office, and make sure to take them. Do what you have to do during those breaks – eat your favorite types of food, scroll through social media, watch your favorite videos, etc.
Figure Out What Motivates You
Determine what motivates you and drives you to do better at work. See what piques your interest and what makes you curious. Get into a hobby and do that every time you are not working.
This way, you will feel refreshed and motivated and when you resume your work, you are once again energized and motivated to finish what you started.
Set Specific Deadlines, But Make It Realistic
It’s okay to set deadlines for yourself, but you have to make sure that it is completely realistic. Track your projects and prioritize the ones that have to be finished first. Separate the bigger projects and the smaller ones and see which ones you have to complete first.
Don’t stress yourself out by setting unrealistic deadlines, as this can often lead to burnout and demotivation.
Stay Connected With Your Loved Ones
It can be extra difficult if you are living alone during these tough times. Make sure to continue talking to your friends and family even if it’s just done virtually.
There are also multiple ways you can talk to your friends such as Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, etc. Talking to your loved ones and connecting with them can make you feel less isolated and stressed out.
Take the Time to Know Yourself Better
If you love dressing up for work, then you can still go ahead and do it even in the comfort of your own home! Take the time to know yourself better and what makes you feel good – and do it even if you are the only one that can see it.
The important thing here is that you are happy and motivated – because that’s what you need to make this setup work for you.
Working from home when you are used to an office setting can be a huge adjustment to a lot of people. However, there are lots of ways to work around it, so you should go ahead and try the tips that we have given above to make sure that you will thrive even if you are working from the comfort of your own home.