Seven ways to stay motivated at work during challenging times

Forced work from home. A young woman is bored working from home, she laid her head in her hands. Its hard to self-discipline when working remotely

With most of the country in lockdown and no prospect of returning to the office any time soon, 2021 is playing out like much of last year so far, and people all over the country are understandably frustrated and tired. With uncertainty around the future and remote working continuing for most, staying motivated at work is crucial for us to maintain positive momentum and mindset this year.

For 2021, a recent study by YouGov shows changing careers is still within the top 5 resolutions for Britons, particularly within the 18-24 age group, and more employees are looking to climb the career ladder this year. As we’ve settled into new work, flexible schedules and working remotely, managing work-life balance may be slightly more straightforward, but staying motivated may be challenging, especially in January

Here are seven ways to help boost your motivation at work all year round, according to Workspace Specialists Instant Offices:

1. Prioritise Mental Health

Now more than ever, mental health needs to come first. Uncertainty from the pandemic and additional stresses make it even more difficult for us to focus. On the one hand, you might be throwing yourself into work to avoid having to address other issues, leading to burnout, or you’re completely detached from work because of stress from COVID, lockdown and other elements. Now is the time to put yourself first to flourish this year.

2. Practice Gratitude

With all the uncertainty and stress from the pandemic, it’s very easy to become despondent, making it even more challenging to be motivated for work. Being thankful for what you have can lift your spirits. Dr Robert Emmons, an expert on the science of gratitude, has found that those who practice gratitude at work have better relationships with themselves and others, allowing them to work better.

3. Find Career Support

More content is available online than ever before due to most people offering services, classes and expertise online during lockdown. Take charge of your career track this year by finding a mentor willing to share their insights and experience. In addition to guiding you on career growth and decision making, their constructive feedback can help you expand your skillset. Fortune 500 companies understand the value of mentorship – 71% offer formal mentoring programs to their employees.

4. Stay Busy

Around 40% of UK employees admit to being bored at work, and more than half think their existing skills are being wasted. Boredom at work is a significant source of stress and can lead to depression and disinterest. Ensure you take regular breaks during long tasks, even when working from home, but if you’re in a quiet period, keep yourself busy by learning a new skill that can bolster your career.

5. Upskill Yourself

Increase your value at work by learning a new skill. If you’re working from home and have more time on your hands, taking an online course or reading up on something you’re interested in can only benefit you and your career. During lockdown in the UK, 24% tried to learn a new language, while 19% brushed up on IT and digital skills.

6. Use Holiday Time

Having small breaks throughout the year instead of saving all of your holidays for the end of the year can really benefit your mental health in the long run. Even if you’re working from home, taking some time away from your devices, emails and workstation can be very refreshing. You don’t need to venture far from home for a holiday either. If restrictions allow it, go for a walk or simply get outside to restimulate your mental space.

7. Ask for an Increase

As of August 2020, 37% of Britons think they deserve to be paid more for their jobs, according to YouGov. A poll of 5,000 people showed 68% hadn’t received a pay rise or promotion in the last year, leading to unhappiness at work. If you’re committed to your job but need more to keep you motivated, it’s definitely time to stop stalling and ask for a raise.

Nobody knows what 2021 will bring but taking charge of our happiness one step at a time will help contribute to a better work-life ahead for the new year. 

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