Working from home became a necessity during the pandemic. As we emerge from the changes of the last three years, some of the workplace shifts caused by Coronavirus have remained. Working from home, once something reserved for a modest number of flexible workers, is now an expectation and reality of many – but what is the impact of this on our motivation to work?

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On the days when I must find my inner drive, working in my socks from my home office doesn’t create the mindset that I need.

I need to create drive through conscious changes to my environment; shoes, not socks, a clear desk, some focus time to prepare myself and perhaps a quick check-in with a colleague to ensure I’m thinking about it in the right way.

Realising this made me think about not just these challenging moments, but also the everyday reality of working from home. What keeps me motivated to work, rather than enjoying a day of organising the house and day-time TV?

Cloud-based specialist Workday’s research found that employees in the UK have been most impacted by the change in home-based working, with greater numbers than our European counterparts feeling less motivated and less satisfied. The survey also revealed that a high percentage of UK employees feel trapped in their current role, without the prospect of progression. What this tells us is that we can’t keep doing what we’ve always done when we’ve had the majority of our workforce in the office.

The solution? 

The easy answer seems to be to bring everyone back into the office and go back to our old ways of working, but the world has moved on; employees enjoy and want the flexibility of working from home – at least for part of the week – and doing so would create a different issue.

Instead, we must evolve, and aim to understand our people and how they feel about work, the business and their future within our new context. We need to learn more about what drives our team members.

We’re all motivated differently with different desires and at different stages in our lives; our managers and leaders need to begin to uncover our individuality and strengths to best motivate us and maximise our potential.

If you would like to find out more about motivation, get in contact with MAD-HR; our team of experienced consultants can help you to design and implement performance management systems to maximise the potential of your teams.