May 1, 2024

The Remote Worker's Guide to Self-Leadership and Motivation

Blog post about The Remote Worker-s Guide to Self-Leadership and Motivation

“Working 9-5, what a way to make a living. Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'”. Well, not if you ask the remote workforce around the globe, who happily log onto their computers every morning to collaborate online. However, working from home can be tricky, especially if you struggle with motivation. The answer is self-leadership—but how do you cultivate it? Let’s find out how you can be more productive and feel at ease when working remotely.

Remote work: a journey of self-discovery

With the rise of hybrid and remote work, where employees are not limited to working in just one space, new opportunities have emerged. This work model has increased work-life balance for many, as the more flexible schedule allows them to work at their own pace and adjust their work hours.

However, life as a remote worker can be challenging since they lack in-person interactions with colleagues and don’t have anyone to vent to by the coffee machine. You might face difficulties alone and run the risk of having to wait for a helpful reply in the group chat.

Collaboration increases creativity and innovation, which can be difficult to emulate in an online video call. As a remote worker, you need a strong character and mindset to be productive. Most importantly, it requires the art of self-leadership.

Self-leadership is the ability to shape and guide one's own thoughts and behaviors toward accomplishing goals and cultivating fulfillment in life. While seeking advice from others is valuable, you ultimately make your own decisions and reward yourself when you succeed.

This type of mindset does not evolve overnight, and we are about to explore some of its cornerstones and limitations.

How does working remotely affect motivation?

Working remotely can boost productivity, and being able to work independently on only one task truly increases problem-solving skills. However, left to your own devices, it can be challenging to muster up the motivation to finish a task on time. Sometimes, it feels like you don’t really belong to the team and can't connect the dots.

According to the Harvard Business Journal, it is not uncommon to miss out on the joy of problem-solving together with skilled colleagues and making decisions collectively. There is no one around to be inspired by, and the remote employee might also have to postpone some decisions until the whole team is briefed.

When you work remotely, you might not be visible to all managers and senior colleagues, which can impact your influence over the decision-making process. This means that you could lose your sense of purpose and feel that you don’t contribute enough.

A third disadvantage is having less access to skilled and experienced colleagues, and therefore not being able to grow your skill set. People in junior roles usually need the attention of their senior colleagues to climb the ladder. It is, of course, possible to achieve if you work remotely, but it might be harder to get in front of the right person.

Self-Leadership and motivation for remote workers

Fret not, we are about to suggest some constructive solutions for the remote worker who wants to be ahead of the game. They focus both on work dynamics and inner self-discovery.

Be open

When you step out of your comfort zone, you learn more and feel more connected to the work you do. If you have some extra time on your hands or are willing to acquire new skills, why not volunteer to do extra work? You might deepen your connection with another employee at the company, which can be useful when you are looking to switch roles or get support for a cause.

Besides trying different new work tasks, there are usually other groups to join in your company. It is not uncommon for people to exercise together, preferably at lunchtime. Others might get together to cook different foods or have a book circle.

Meeting each other in a different context can be useful for the whole team.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, since many great thinkers and professionals before you have written books about productivity and self-motivation. Atomic Habits by James Clear or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey on your list?

Be humble

No one expects everyone to know everything. If you are in a senior role or have some kind of leadership over others, there is no need to use your veto at all costs. Always strive to be open to other people’s ideas and to trying different methods. It is a sign of strength to admit that you are not always the smartest person in the room.

The end game is to achieve the results you strive for and to make the whole team succeed.

Be accountable

Putting a goal or a vision on paper is one thing, but taking action is harder. Make sure not to throw around fancy words and make promises without actually following through. Your co-workers love it when you actually deliver and meet their expectations.

Cultivate self awareness

On the path to self-leadership, it is important to practice self-awareness. Understanding what motivates you and identifying different stressors is helpful.

One tool is meditation, which encourages you to find answers within and grounds you before you start your busy day. Different types of breathwork and stretching exercises are also helpful throughout the day to feel less stressed and be able to focus.

When you are self-aware, it is also easier to deal with different colleagues and be mindful of your words.

The power of gratitude

Have you heard about the gratitude journal? It involves starting the day by writing down a few notes about what you are thankful for. It can be anything from the lovely morning coffee to being able to close a deal at work.

The gratitude journal is meant to highlight all the positive aspects of your life to ensure that you appreciate what you have. The feeling of contentment is perfect to build on when you want to be more productive and can also underline progress that has been made. You are here for a reason!

Set up an ideal remote work environment

Your physical environment affects your mood and productivity, so why not create your own cozy nook at home where everything you need is right beside you?

For starters, a comfortable and ergonomic chair is a must, properly aligned with the table and screen. Some prefer to work with two screens, while others prefer a single wide screen.

Also, set up a different seating area where you can spend some time catching up on work-related reading or reflecting on a difficult topic.

Besides work equipment and stationery, why not add some lush plants and inspiring artwork to spark your creativity?

Plan ahead

Sticking to a routine is important, even for the most vibrant and creative employees around. When you know what is expected of you and can arrange the workday accordingly, stress levels will go down.

If you wish to join the in-office colleagues for a day, being able to reserve a desk in advance is helpful. Desk booking in Flowscape’s app is the go-to solution for all remote and hybrid workers who want to find and book a desk easily. They can also locate busy spaces and find a seat next to their favorite coworker. Another option is to book a meeting room for a brainstorming or training session.

Make room for relaxation

Self-care practices have increased in popularity and are a great way to decompress after work. It's not just about face masks and foot baths, but rather finding out what makes you feel better after a stressful day. It’s about taking time for yourself, even if only for an hour.

For some, self-care means playing tennis with a friend. These activities are meant to make you feel grounded and at ease, ready to take on the next day.

Eliminate distractions

The key to being effective at work is blocking out noises and disturbances. Time blocking is useful; it involves scheduling time for a certain task before moving on to the next one. During these hours, we advise you to turn off notifications and put your phone on silent mode.

If you have a challenging task, it is best to complete it early. Identify elements that deplete your energy. If you get tired and bored from a certain type of meeting, it is best to schedule it later in the day or on a preferred weekday.

Do your own thing - but don’t forget the bigger picture

There are plenty of options for employees who wish to boost self-leadership and motivation. They can get support from other coworkers or practice simple habits such as journaling and reading literature on the topic.

When you take responsibility for your inner landscape as well as navigate mindfully in the outside world, you will most certainly excel at work.

Want guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?

Feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts to learn more about our solutions and how technology can help you streamline your office processes without interfering with employees' day-to-day work.

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