It seems that many people are losing motivation as some of us are entering into weeks 6 and 7 of remote working.
The novelty may have started to wear off and our excitement at the prospect of cutting the commute short has long since dwindled.
The question that floats about, is why are we losing motivation?
- A lack of team spirit - this seems to be a common theme as many employees simply miss the office and their colleagues. Often having people around you can make things seem more fun, even if they are not. So, that task that you might not enjoy so much but your colleague across the room just loves? That could be contagious and make you enjoy it more;
- Micromanagement - some employers and managers are still struggling with the lack of "faces in the office" and are questioning whether it means that the work is actually being done. This may lead some managers to micromanage their employees. That, in turn, leaves those employees feeling very demotivated and underappreciated;
- Anxiety during the global pandemic - many people are now finding themselves in this new reality that may not align with the identity that they have cultivated for themselves during their working careers and that is a tough pill to swallow which means that it may preoccupy some people and interrupt their working day with a foggy brain due to the fear and anxiety;
- Lack of job security - some employees may be concerned for their jobs and so the instability is likely to, ironically, cause them to be less motivated and pushed to undertake work;
- Distractions at home - we cannot deny that being at home can be more distracting in the long term from things such as looking after young children, chores, evening cooking or undertaking some DIY. Whilst we know that we are supposed to work at home, we also subconsciously feel a need to focus on our homes and understandably our children.
What can we do about it?
Be kind to yourself - if working remotely is new for you, a new setting could take time to establish and get used to so give yourself the time you need to get used to it;
Establish a routine for yourself - away from the usual structure of the commute and usual office environment, you may need to find yourself some new cues to help you stay focused on the tasks and the day ahead;
Give yourself breaks - as part of the routine, it is important that you take a break from work to re-focus your mind. It may be tempting to be available around the clock, but there is no expectation for you to do that so you do not need to put that pressure on yourself;
Figure our your personal motivation - work out what pushes you to complete the tasks, what is your motivator in doing things? Find it, and try and hone in on it to get you working through some of those tasks; and
Stay in touch - do not feel like you are going through this alone. We are all going through some sort of dip in motivation and talking about it is so important, it will also help you figure out how others might be handling it and could give you some tips. Find your support system for during the day and speak to them - from that colleague that knows all about the office politics to that amazing friend who is a great listener.
How can an employer support their staff?
- Appreciate that people are struggling, it may well be the case that you are too and that is okay. Remember that businesses are made up of people and people can be complicated
- Check in with your teams - whether it is weekly team calls or just checking in with individual calls. This will go a long way in supporting the team and showing that you care for them. It may help those individuals that are struggling to understand that you are there for them and perhaps open up to you.
Equally, you must remember that you inevitably have a duty to your business and so whilst giving some leeway to your staff, you should ensure that your customers are looked after. If problems persist despite your support, you may have to proceed down a more formal route and could have to consider performance management process if appropriate. We can certainly support employers and employees when handling and navigating these unchartered waters and make recommendations depending on the needs of the business and the individuals.
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