remote work 101 | what your employer is concerned about & how you can reassure them

A recent post on shares some stats on employers’ thoughts about the work environment post-pandemic.

26% of business leaders believe employees will be working from home, and 25% define their biggest challenge is productivity and motivation.

So, let’s address that one-time, not from a prove-them-wrong point of view; more from an awareness of your employer’s concern when it comes to working for them from now on. Honestly, how motivated are you now you’ve been working from home in this season? On a scale of 1-10, what ranking would you give yourself when it comes to completing work tasks for your career? That’s a helpful self-evaluation exercise to do whether you’re an employee or entrepreneur, by the way.

You know those water-stations along marathon routes? Well, that’s kinda like how motivation from man and woman works. It’s a revivifying boost but it can only go for so long. We always need to make room for refreshment on any kind of assignment, to avoid burnout and to serve well. Let’s be real – some days, we’re just not ‘feeling it’ and other times, we might be faced with a pressing challenge while managing the various details of our lives and business. But for the most part, how are you when it comes to being motivated to complete work for someone else, and how productive are the days when you’re working at home?

Related post: The Work From Home Lifestyle

Doing this assessment helps us get a clear picture about:

  • how we portion out and ration (gifted) time
  • how thankful we are (or not) for having a job or a business
  • how driven we are without external human instructions and supervision
  • our priorities and habits
  • what we can do to improve our performance when it comes to work assignments

The thing about external motivation is that the message eventually expires like a soft drink loses its fizz.

People can pep-talk us all the way to Mozambique and it wouldn’t change the way we think or how we use our time. While hearing encouraging words, and tuning into motivational messages is uplifting and can nudge us towards action, our mindset has to line up to take action.

list your to-dos, set a timeline, and trace the steps to get work done

You’ve got to encourage yourself too. How much work do you need to do today, to complete this or that project by such-and-such a time?

It’s easy sometimes to get dependent on someone else motivating us to do this or that, or listening to loads of podcasts sharing productivity tips and think that by osmosis, the message we hear translates into deeds we’ll do but that’s not always so.

And so, how do we get and stay motivated and productive when it comes to remote work?

You have to build habits into what you do on a daily basis, for the most part. Look at your schedule. We all know kids do better on a schedule. We, as adults do better on a schedule too, for the most part. If you get up at 8 when you’re going to work, then get up at 8 and walk across the hall to your office.” ~ Scott Carson

podcast interview on joywithin podcast

Take a few moments to think about what activities you commit to and follow-through on well regularly? It helps if it’s a tedious task you still make a point to tend to. It could be washing the dishes, editing footage, doing the laundry and folding non-stop, posting and scrolling on IG, entering keywords into every post on your blog, or organizing all the drawers in the house.

What inspires and motivates you to get it done? How do you feel when it’s completed? What are the benefits to having taken care of those tasks, no matter how tedious or un-fun?

Do you tend to those tasks on a certain day at a set time, or do you operate on autopilot for the most part and just know it’s time to take care of them? Analyze it for a moment.

You do commit. You can follow-through.

So, now it’s time to apply that attitude (you already have) to your remote work. When you were a teen, did you have to be reminded to clean your room? Same here. Not now, and not for awhile. One of the first things to tend to after I get up is making the bed. So, what are those things you tend well to already – naturally? How grateful are we for the work that comes our way ? Think about it for a sec – people we may not know very well personally, trust us with the details of their business. That counts for something. Yes, you’re probably going to have moments when you roll your eyes at an assignment. Take a deep breath and tend to it in steps. People have been losing their jobs left right and center at this time. A few moments ago, I was at the shop around the corner getting coffee and the radio announcer mentioned employees being laid off from a popular supermarket chain here in Barbados. If you are still employed in this season (and that job is legit and doesn’t compromise your character and values), see it as something to be thankful for.

Because home has been the place you probably returned to for rest at the end of each day before this, there are likely to be awkward moments getting oriented about what a week day looks like. You might be tempted to oversleep and overwork. Oversleep, because the couch and bed are just a few steps away at any given moment, and overwork because when you enjoy what you do, it’s tough to press pause when you can do it all day. Ask a writer, painter, architect, researcher or engineer, and the list goes on…

Follow-through on the eager promise you made to your employer to work well on behalf of the company. Remember how excited and relieved you were when you got the call – that letter in the mail – the job – the promotion? We’re talking about remote work in this post, but productivity and motivation are healthy things to have beyond business. Productivity gets paired with career conversations a lot, but we can be productive in the kitchen, garden, sewing room or in the driveway with a pile of cement.

Another little reminder that none of us – at least not me, is walking around with both of these on full-tank every day all day. Pep-talks are like what credit top-ups are to a pre-paid phone. They give you enough to make a few calls, but if you’re in Barbados, and somebody calls your mobile from a landline – credit dun-in-one! Chances are, how you greet the day is how you’re likely to walk through the remaining hours of it. Of course, there are some sunny mornings that end up with storm clouds traipsing through by noon, but whatever happens later in the day can’t override or replace what happens with the start of each precious morning.

Mindset matters

Don’t see the work on your desk or in your inbox as some looming thing over you. You are not a slave or a robot and a work assignment is not a monster; hopefully your employer/customers/clients got that memo. Pace yourself well and pray for strength and diligence ’cause they don’t spring from us naturally. But as long as you have an employer or clients for your home-based business, you made a promise to take care of tasks they would like done and ideally you enjoy doing. In exchange, they would like to contribute to your household, bank account, utility bills and savings, by sending you cash every 4 or 5 weeks or per project, if that’s ok with you. What point of view are you looking at remote work from? How can you design your day to tend to the tasks at hand?

You can still collaborate with work colleagues and management online through calls and video conferences for some face-to-face momentum and assessment meetings. Don’t be intimidated – get proactive. When you need a break for a refresher – take one. Our lives have different contents and scheduling requirements, so I’m not even going to begin saying do this at that time to get this done; it isn’t my place. But my hope is you can find a way of letting your employer or clients know and be assured, that you can and will complete the tasks they trust you with in and beyond this season. That’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Related posts: “The Work From Home Lifestyle” , Career Motivation & Podcast Preparation and “Time Management Tips For Today’s Creative Entrepreneur.”

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