How to Stay Motivated When Working Virtually

Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 by The Workplace AdvisorNo comments

As a PA recruitment agency, we are regularly in touch with PAs, EAs and office support staff, both temporary and permanent, who are working from home due to coronavirus. We’ve also got a lot of virtual staff temping in London through our Virtual PA and Office Support Service. By nature, PAs and office support staff have to be highly productive, but many aren’t used to remote working. Often extroverts and social souls, they enjoy the buzz of the office environment. If this is you, how do you stay motivated when working virtually?

  1. Set your work area

    Make sure you have a set area that you work from each day, with the right technology and tools to hand. Where possible, try to ensure this isn’t your sofa or kitchen table. Your mind associates these places with other activities, making it a sure-fire way of reducing your ability to focus on work.

    By forming work-based associations with your new home-working space, you’ll be getting yourself off to a good start. It can also be helpful if there are people in your household likely to disturb you. By seeing you in a more professional setting, they’re less likely to think you’re able to easily stop what you’re doing.

  2. Keep a routine

    Keeping a workday routine is important. Not only will it keep your boss happy, it’ll also help you to feel motivated. Unfortunately, that does mean waking up at a decent time, getting dressed, and being ready to start work when you would in the office! Whilst working, try sticking to a set pattern. This may involve spending the morning replying to emails, making phone calls, and organising things; the afternoon may be spent on other projects. As long as you work out the right routine for you, you’ll find motivation comes more easily.

  3. Use the right tools for the job

    There’s nothing quite as demotivating as connectivity issues, or a task taking you three times as long as normal simply because you’re not in the office. Make sure that your desk and technology are up to the job. Ensure you have the same productivity apps you normally use — you may want to investigate some new ones too. If you normally wear a headset with a microphone in the office, ensure you’ve got one to use at home.

  4. Breaks really matter

    With home-working, there are a few reasons why breaks are really important. Firstly, you don’t have the natural breaks in your day that arise in an office, whether that’s walking to the printer or to see a colleague on a different floor. It’s very easy to get stuck to your desk whilst the day goes by. Plan your breaks and stick to them.

    You won’t be moving as much during the course of your day as you would in an office job, which can leave you feeling sluggish and struggling to concentrate. Research shows that several brief breaks will help. Stand up, stretch, and go for a walk around the house to reinvigorate yourself.

  5. Communicate

Make sure you maintain excellent communication with your executive, and also with other team members you’d usually speak to in the office. Create shared accountability, whilst also enjoying the social element of your job, even if it has to be done remotely. 

Staying motivated when working virtually can be difficult. The key is to create the right environment to help you to focus and be productive whilst working from home.


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