We’ve discussed how remote work can cause employees to feel disengaged if there a lack of communication within teams. As they are physically distanced, there are no chance encounters in the corridor and as the popular adage goes “out of sight, out of mind”. Disengagement will then lead to workers feeling demotivated, especially if feedback is lacking at least via email or messaging. What can you do to keep yourself motivated in the face of this?
Step 1: Learn to self-motivate
Employees must keep in mind that effective self-motivation is one of the things that distinguishes high-achieving professionals from everyone else. This means that in order to address this situation you may need to look inwards first and remind yourself what usually motivates you and remember the goals behind the tasks at hand. Goals motivate, whilst chores don’t, after all! Dividing your tasks into quarters is also a tactic that will trick your mind into avoiding those slumps in between projects. It has been proven that people tend to work harder in the beginning and the end of a project.
Step 2: Challenge your negative thinking
It is often too easy to fall into the trap of negativity and start picturing terrible outcomes and situations as to why feedback is scarce. Anxiety can very easily take over if it is not challenged and you may fall into a pattern of undermining yourself, losing your confidence and security. This will lead to a vicious cycle of less productivity and focus in your work which could actually materialise your fears. Remind yourself that your thoughts are just that: thoughts and assumptions. They may very well be baseless and untrue. Having bad thoughts about what might happen will not serve you at all, they will only cause more questions and self-doubt. You are more than the feedback you receive, cite self-affirmations and remind yourself of previous tasks you have accomplished successfully. Think of where these doubts may be originating from (such as lack of communication or feedback) and decide whether you want to address the situation or let it go.
Step 3: Giving advice, might get you advice back
Set up a feedback session with your colleagues, share feedback and the chances are: you will receive it. When you’re at the office it’s easy to share something you’re working on and get your colleagues’ advice. If you’re working remotely, the dynamics might change so remind yourself to ask for feedback as it is the most definite way you will receive it. Moreover, giving advice tends to generate your own drive and personal achievement.
Step 4: Surround yourself with people who motivate you.
Find those people who share similar goals to you, or even have your best interests at heart (such as your spouse or a close friend). You may find through them the motivation you need. Remind yourself that you are the sum of people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will feel worse.
What else should you keep in mind?
Don’t make it about yourself. Remember that just like you, many leaders have had to adapt to a new reality and whilst many may be working on improving their feedback skills, it takes time. First work on improving and developing your own reserves of confidence and motivation. Good luck!
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