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6 Practical Tips To Stay Motivated When Working Remotely

Updated: Jul 27

Tips to stay motivated when working remotely

Remote work is a two-edged sword. On one side, it offers flexibility and freedom from the usual 9-5 grind, rush-hour commutes, and noisy co-workers.

On the other, it brings with it its own set of challenges – isolation, distractions, blurred boundaries between work and personal life, and yes, staying motivated.

Motivation is the driving force that keeps us going. It's the internal push that gets us up in the morning, keeps us working towards our goals, and helps us overcome hurdles along the way.

In the traditional workplace, motivation is often fueled by direct supervision, a structured environment, and social interaction with colleagues.

When you're working remotely, these external motivators are limited, or at times, non-existent.

This means that you must find the motivation within yourself, which can be a not-very-easy task.

The challenge with remote work is that you're not just fighting off occasional bouts of laziness or lack of inspiration.

It's more about grappling with maintaining a consistent level of motivation in an environment that's full of potential distractions and devoid of the usual workplace structures and social interactions.

This article lists six practical tips to help you stay motivated when working remotely.

Let’s get started.

The main problems with remote work motivation

Isolation and loneliness:

At first glance, working in solitude, away from the noisy chatter and constant interruptions of an office environment, may seem like a dream come true.

But over time, the lack of human interaction and camaraderie can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

This isolation can be emotionally challenging, and it's not uncommon if you find yourself yearning for the water-cooler chats, group lunches, and the simple pleasure of bouncing ideas off a colleague in real time.

Loneliness can be a substantial demotivating factor, impacting not only our productivity but also our overall well-being.

Distractions at home

The home environment, while comfortable, is filled with distractions: family members, pets, household chores, and the lure of personal hobbies.

Think about it: Your home is your office. Your home is also where the WiFi is best. Your home is also where the best food’s available. It’s also where you keep your guitar. And it’s where all your friends come to hang out

You may start your day with the best intentions, but before you know it, you've spent an hour scrolling through social media, or you're knee-deep in sorting laundry.

Work-Life Balance Issues

While distractions are a problem, the situation can turn completely the other way around, too. You’re working on a very important project. So, you skip dinner one day. You go to bed late the next day.

Fast forward a week, and suddenly you’re pretty much not speaking to anyone. You’re working far more than you would ever in your office.

It’s the blurring of lines between personal and professional life that a lot of remote workers complain about.

When your home is also your office, it can be hard to 'switch off' from work mode. Over time, this can lead to burnout, stress, and a decrease in motivation.

Lack of Direct Supervision

In a traditional office setup, the presence of a supervisor or manager often serves as a motivation factor.

Their direct oversight, regular feedback, and the simple fact that someone is there to monitor your work can push you to stay focused and productive. In a remote work setting, this kind of immediate supervision is missing, making it all the more critical for you to be self-motivated.

However, the lack of direct supervision can also lead to feelings of being overlooked or undervalued, which can negatively impact motivation.

Suggested: Simple, practical mental health tips for remote workers

How to stay motivated when working remotely?

Create a dedicated workspace:

Having a designated workspace is not just about physical space; it's about mentally conditioning yourself to associate a particular area with work.

It sets the tone for seriousness, focus, and a professional mindset, even when you're in the comfort of your home.

Also, a dedicated workspace helps create a clear boundary between your professional and personal life. It's where you 'go to work,' making it easier for you to switch on your work mode and equally important, switch it off when your workday ends.

This way, you avoid the trap of overworking, one of the common pitfalls of remote work.

So, how can you create an effective workspace at home?

It doesn't necessarily mean you need a separate home office. A small table in the corner of a quiet room or even a cleared-out space on your kitchen table can be enough, as long as you can associate it with your work.

The appeal of lounging while working is undeniable but it does hamper motivation. It’s only a matter of time before work turns into a small break, and before you know it, you’re sleeping.

So, tip one: Have a dedicated workspace.

Here are a few tips to create a great workspace:

Choose the right spot:

Start by selecting a location that is quiet and free from frequent interruptions. You'll need enough space to comfortably accommodate your work equipment without feeling cramped.

Ideally, this spot should have good natural lighting and ventilation to keep you alert and energetic.

Invest in Quality Furniture

Good office furniture is criminally underrated. Buy the best possible office desk and chair that you can. Use desk organizers, filing cabinets, or shelves to store documents and supplies. Clutter can be distracting and demotivating, so make it a habit to clean your desk regularly.

Equip Your Office

Equip your home office with all necessary hardware and software tools. This might include a reliable laptop or desktop, high-speed internet, a quality headset for meetings, and any job-specific tools or software.

Personalize Your Space:

You are at home. It’s your home. Make sure your workplace reflects that. Having a few photos or plants can genuinely help you make it a more calming place. Choose gentle colors for decor, and try to keep the space visually appealing and motivating.

Lighting Matters:

Ensure your workspace has adequate lighting. Natural light is best, but if that's not possible, make sure you have enough artificial lighting. Consider using LED lights, desk lamps, or daylight bulbs to reduce strain on your eyes.

Suggested: 10 Underrated Remote Work Skills

Create a routine — and stick to it

A lot of people don’t have a routine when they’re working remotely. After all, it’s one of the great advantages of remote work. You don’t have to have a routine.

Well, you don’t have to stick to 9-5, yes. But having a routine is crucial.

It brings a sense of predictability and control to your day.

It’s a little roadmap that guides your activities, reduces the cognitive load of constantly making decisions about what to do next, and frees up mental space for creative thinking and problem-solving.

Additionally, a routine helps to create clear boundaries between work and personal life. With a set start and end time to your workday, you can better manage your work-life balance, which is critical to preventing burnout.

Here’s how you can create a simple yet effective routine:

  • Start and End Times: Establish a regular start and end time for your workday. This not only sets expectations for your colleagues and clients but also helps you mentally transition in and out of work mode.

  • Prioritize Your Tasks: Start your day by identifying your top priorities. Tackle your most challenging tasks during your peak productivity hours.

  • Schedule Breaks: Don’t forget to include regular breaks in your routine. Short breaks can rejuvenate you and boost productivity. Try the Pomodoro Technique: work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break.

  • Time for Communication: Allocate specific time slots for checking emails and attending meetings. This prevents constant interruptions and helps maintain focus.

  • End-of-Day Wrap-Up: End your day by reviewing what you’ve accomplished and planning for the next day. This provides a sense of closure and makes it easier to switch off from work mode.

  • Personal Time: Don't let work seep into your personal time. Dedicate time for relaxation, hobbies, exercise, and social activities. This balance is vital to maintaining motivation and preventing burnout.

The idea isn’t to create a rigid schedule. It’s to bring about structure. So, don’t worry if you fail to come up with the perfect routine right away. A bit of trial and error is an indication that you’re on the right path.

Talk to your colleagues

If you’re used to a buzzing office environment, you’ll quickly realize that working remotely is a hugely isolating experience. No water cooler talks, office gossip, or just bouncing ideas off casually. It simply doesn’t happen.

This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t happen. Yes, you cannot possibly match the level of social interaction that an office brings. But that doesn’t mean you can do nothing. Isolation is a serious mental health problem. It can also be a huge demotivating factor. So, make sure you don’t silo yourself.

Here’s how:

  • Collaborate whenever you can: Collaboration forces interaction and communication. If you’re an introvert and aren’t very comfortable talking casually to people who might live thousands of miles away, choose collaborative tasks. That way, even when you’re talking, you’re talking shop

  • Check-in on colleagues: The first thing to know is that your colleagues might be feeling a bit down, too. So, they will appreciate the fact that you reached out. You don’t have to be overbearing, by any means, but checking in on your colleagues is a great way to foster friendships.

  • Try after-work activities: After-work activities are possibly one of the most annoying things that the office culture brought. However, when you’re working remotely, it can be an amazing way to get to know people from all around the world. It helps you put a face and a personality to the message-bubble photos that you see on your screen.

Prioritize Self-Care

Without the physical distinction between office and home, it becomes all too easy to overwork and neglect our physical and mental well-being.

Remember, your health is paramount to not only your personal life but also your work performance and motivation. Regular exercise can reduce stress, boost mood, and increase productivity.

Mental wellness practices like meditation, mindfulness, or just taking time out to relax and do things you enjoy are equally important.

All this may sound like new-age medicine that so many people lived without for hundreds of years. But then again, we didn’t think that we’d all be at home to work. So, while these may sound a bit left-field, they’re genuinely useful.

Here are a few tips to help prioritize self-care:

  • Create Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between your work time and personal time. Use your routine to mark the start and end of your workday, and avoid the temptation to check work emails or tasks during your downtime.

  • Take Breaks: Incorporate regular breaks into your routine. Step away from your workspace, take a short walk, stretch, or do a quick workout.

  • Physical Activity: Engage in regular physical exercise. It doesn't have to be a rigorous workout; even a daily walk or yoga can do wonders for your physical and mental health.

  • Mindfulness Practices: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your routine, like meditation or deep-breathing exercises, to help manage stress.

  • Pursue Hobbies: Make time for hobbies or activities you enjoy. They can provide a pleasant distraction, reduce stress, and boost your mood.

  • Socialize: Stay connected with friends and family. Social interactions, even virtual ones, can help combat feelings of isolation and boost your mood.


So, there you have it — simple, practical tips to keep yourself motivated when working remotely. These are not practices that show a significant change on day one. However, follow it for a week and you’ll start seeing results.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for remote jobs, check out Simple Job Listings. We only list verified, fully-remote jobs. Most of the jobs that we post pay amazingly well. What’s more, a significant number of jobs that we post aren’t listed anywhere else.

Visit Simple Job Listings and find amazing remote jobs. Good luck!

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