Here are six Simple Steps to
Finding Joy again in Remote Work

By TRACEY DUBE

Did you know that more than half of South Africans say they prefer a job that allows them to work remotely, at least occasionally? About 44 percent say they would want to work remotely full time.

This is according to a recent study by the BCG, The Network, and CareerJunction. Do you feel this way too? The perks of having freedom, flexibility, and autonomy are attractive.

However, are you one of the many that find this new way of working lonely and unpleasant? Do you miss the casual chats with co-workers by the coffee station, the walks between meeting rooms, and the hustle and bustle of the office?

The feelings of isolation are real. They can lead to despair and disengagement and potentially being unproductive. So, finding joy and pleasure in your work again is essential. It will help you feel more connected and productive.

Here are six simple steps to consider in boosting your motivation:

  1. Rediscover your purpose
    The first step to finding joy in your work is to rediscover your purpose. There was once a time when you considered your work meaningful. Focus on the positive impact of your work and how it truly matters to you and those you serve. This will help you feel motivated and encouraged.

  2. Embrace the situation
    Embracing the situation is the next step to finding enjoyment in your work. Remote work is likely here to stay in some form even post-covid, at least for many organisations. Research shows the benefits for companies are massive, from reducing office space to increased employee productivity.  By letting go of what you can’t control rather than resisting, you’ll be able to work through your feelings. This is an important step to focusing on what you can control and how to meet your needs for connection.

  3. Be creative with your home office
    Our physical environments play a huge role in how we feel. To enhance your happiness in your work, be creative with your home office. There are different ways to improve your work environment. You may start by setting up your workspace in an area with good natural lighting. Research shows that people exposed to daylight are less stressed, more alert, and much more productive than those who work in dull environments. If you don’t have access to natural lighting, use lamps or ring lights. Alternatively, spend some time outside during breaks. You can also spruce up your home office by adding plants, flowers, and lively and colourful décor. Studies have proven that the greenery and nature of plants help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity, making us feel more relaxed and calm. If you love upbeat music, play it in the background to celebrate small and big wins. A study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listen to upbeat music improve their moods and happiness in just two weeks.
  1. Schedule virtual meet-ups regularly
    Video meetings are a great way to stay connected with your colleagues, friends, and family. A  study from Microsoft discovered that 89 percent of remote workers said video sessions help them feel more connected to their colleagues. Use these sessions to connect and have meaningful conversations with your teammates on subjects other than work. Taking the time to check in with one another will decrease feelings of isolation. You can be creative with your video meetings by having chats over coffee or drinks on a Friday afternoon to socialise. Other activities can include celebrating milestones such as birthdays and work anniversaries. People can dress up to encourage a sense of camaraderie. When it’s safe to have in-person contact, take up the opportunity to meet with your team as often as you can.

  2. Prioritize self-care
    Prioritize your wellbeing by taking care of your mind, body, and soul, and you’ll feel more joyful. Self-care helps relieve stress and increase positive energy. Self-care activities include getting enough sleep, fueling your body with nutrition, exercising, and taking breaks to recharge and do things you enjoy. The great thing about working from home is you can schedule self-care activities whenever you want to or use your commute time in the mornings and afternoon to practice self-care.
  1. Practice gratitude
    Take a few minutes each day to focus on what you’re grateful for and why. Research shows that people who practice gratitude have a positive attitude and lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone).Writing down your list of things and people you’re grateful for will also help you shift your mindset to focus on the advantages of working remotely. For instance, structuring your day as you wish, having the flexibility to incorporate hobbies in the week, and spending more time with family.