How To Maintain A Sense Of Purpose In The Remote Workplace
Research says that people with a sense of purpose do more in life and find it easier to succeed than those without a sense of purpose.
So, it’s a bit worrying that some people say that working from home or remotely has a negative impact on their sense of purpose, so here’s what to do about it.
Remote Work And Its Impact On Finding Your Purpose
Initially, people tend to love working from home – no commute, no interruptions, what’s not to love?
Then, it gets harder. They find they miss the interactions of the office and for many, they find that their purpose was inextricably linked to those interactions.
They need the praise of colleagues, the respect of their boss to feel good about what they do, and it can make working remotely feel meaningless and purposeless without it.
The Steps You Can Take To Find Your Purpose Again
The good news is that you don’t have to feel like this and you can reforge your purpose in remote work so that it, once again, serves your needs and helps you feel motivated by your work.
What Do You Miss?
If you find you’ve lost your sense of purpose, it can help to work out what, exactly, it is that you miss that has led you to feel this way.
This can help you to either focus on that “missing component” or recreate it in a “virtual” context.
There are some common themes that other, successful, remote workers have identified that can help with this.
Find Space To Work In
Having your own space to work in is vital.
Not only does it provide somewhere you can fill with work and which helps others identify that you are working but it also means that you can physically leave work behind at the end of the day too.
This space doesn’t have to be large. It can be half the kitchen table or a nook in the corner of a cafe or library or coworking space.
Ideally, however, it should be somewhere you can dedicate to work and not something you need to tidy up every time you want to eat or watch TV.
Build A “At Work”, “Not At Work” Routine
The worst risk of remote work is that home and work become an endless nightmarish blend where you can never escape “work” at all.
Creating boundaries, such as say, a meal time following the end of the day, a walk at lunch time, turning off your computer and phone, etc. help you to demark the two and feel in control of your time.
Forge Connections With Others
If you miss having colleagues around, that’s OK. The trick to replacing them is to find other people around you that you can connect with and who can remind you, every now and again, why you love what you do.
It helps to know that you’re not alone.
Reconnect With What You Love About Your Work
Then it can help to remind yourself, what it was that you love about the actual work you do.
For example, I write for a living, it’s not the act of typing that excites me, it’s the idea that I am helping somebody, somewhere out there with my writing that motivates me.
Focusing on this helps me ignore the effort (and mundanity) of typing and see my work for the value it brings. This gives me purpose beyond “finish this article”.
Finally, don’t be afraid to talk to your manager and ask them to support you in your transition to home working.
It can be a daunting thing, when you go from office to home and there’s no shame in asking for training or other forms of support to make the transition easy and to help you retain your purpose.
Final Thoughts On Maintaining Purpose While Remote Working
If you’ve lost your sense of purpose while working remotely, don’t despair.
The steps above make it easy to rediscover and maintain your sense of purpose and please don’t forget – you can always seek office work or another role if you really don’t like what you do right now.
If you’re just getting used to a remote work routine, you may find these articles helpful too: can home workouts be effective, how to adapt to virtual working and how to avoid burnout when working from home.