Seven tips to stay motivated in a hybrid work environment.

One of the biggest paradigm shifts across Canada has been the adoption of hybrid work. Working partly from home and partly from office has become the sought after perk for office workers. According to Statistics Canada, the share of hybrid arrangements has more than tripled since the 3.6 per cent rate in January 2022, reaching 11.7 per cent in November 2023. In fact, when it comes to parents, especially mothers with younger children, Stats Can reported, increased penetration of hybrid work, “Three in 10 parents (30.1 per cent) with at least one child five-years-old or younger during November, including 33.2 per cent of mothers and 27.4 per cent of fathers.

The advantages of a hybrid work environment have been well-documented, including but not limited to improved work-life balance, more efficient use of time, less burnout or fatigue, higher productivity, and the ability to work autonomously. However, as hybrid and remote work becomes more common, the challenge for employees to feel connected and motivated in their work can lag. It is easy to feel less connected to the work and less “seen” when compared to colleagues who are in the office full time. Overtime, this can impact your motivation and ability to get things done, and actually undermine those hybrid work advantages mentioned above.

Here are seven actionable ways you can stay motivated:

1) Set clear goals

One of the best ways to get things done is setting realistic goals for yourself. According to Mindtools, having clarity in your goal setting provides the motivation and focus you need to be successful. The SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) can help you with this.

Work with your manager to understand how your role and work ties in to, and contributes to, your team’s goals and the business’ goals. Understanding the big picture and your contribution helps you see value in your work. You can define daily, monthly, and weekly goals to make sure you are staying on point with your work and the time you devote to complete each goal. This not only helps you to get tasks done in a timely and efficient way but also helps you track progress. 

2) Establish a routine

Establishing a daily routine may sound simplistic but it has been proven to keep you on track and motivated throughout the day. It can be easy to slip when it comes to managing time, especially when you are working remotely. Block off time to have meal breaks, exercise etc. Make sure you start, and end each work day at the same time. Having a routine eliminates guesswork in your workday. Moreover, it also helps you manage your energy, time and resources efficiently making you feel motivated.

Create a routine that works for you and your team. Many teams also use dashboards such as ‘asana’ or ‘slack’ to create a task list for each day.

3) Learn something

According to Piedmont, learning a new skill be motivating. When working hybrid or remotely, most of us are physically isolated. This can take a toll on our mental health. Learning a new skill can reenergize you and give you a sense of purpose. Upskilling is a key theme around work across the world. And whether you want to progress professionally or personally, learning something new can give you a new perspective on your work assignments.

There are several online resources such as LinkedIn Learning, Simplilearn etc. which have useful courses for professional and personal growth. Consider spending some time each day to learn something new. You can block off some time every day or a few days a week and include “learning” in your goals.

4) Seek Feedback

Feedback is an important improvement tool. Seeking feedback from your supervisors, manager or colleagues can help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Learning from your mistakes and identifying key areas for learning in your job can provide a new direction for your future work.

Positive feedback can help you feel recognized, appreciated and supported in your work. Request feedback regularly and proactively. Be sure to be receptive and act on it. You can also provide feedback to your colleagues and share your appreciation and recognition.

5) Make connections

Working in a hybrid model means you have less opportunity to connect with your work peers. Fostering connections in workplace is an invaluable element as it helps sustain motivation. Engaging with your team members who share similar objectives and interests and face common challenges helps to build rapport.

Proximity bias is a real challenge in hybrid and remote work. Often workers who are in the office full time have more opportunity to network and be seen by senior managers. In some cases, in-office workers are more likely to be given plumb assignments and promotions based on familiarity rather than merit. So, make the most of your time in the office or, if you work remotely, ensure you are connecting with colleagues and management often through video and email.

In general, making connections helps you feel belonging within a team. These connections are vital to mitigate stress and burnout that can result from remote work. Even if you are partly working from home, touch base with your colleagues over calls and emails to share insights and ideas that are outside of work. These can count for meaningful conversations in future.

6) Reward yourself

Align your rewards with your goals and achievements. Make sure to celebrate your big and small achievements. Rewarding yourself helps on your overall well-being. Having a sense of achievement and a tangible reward can help you stay motivated.

When deciding a reward select a reward that you think is meaningful and enjoyable. You can also choose this opportunity to treat yourself to something you have been wanting for a long time, pursuing a hobby, or taking a break. Involve others such as friends, family, or work colleagues to share your reward.

7) Prioritize mental and physical health

Having a healthy mind and a healthy body is a prerequisite to feeling motivated not just at work but also in general. Physical and mental health are closely aligned. Make it a priority to get sufficient rest. Focus on eating nutritious food and water. Include some form of exercise in your daily schedule.

Pursue a hobby meditation or yoga to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and to keep a positive frame of mind.

There are several pros and cons to working hybrid. However, when considering full-time remote or full-time in office work, hybrid model often offers the best of both worlds – for you and your employer. Find professional and personal success by adopting one or more of the above strategies.

If you are currently working remotely or in-office and wish to move to a hybrid role, reach out to our team of recruiters across Canada. For more than 46 years, Agilus has served our candidate and employer networks, connecting job seekers with meaningful opportunities. We place nearly 10,000 job seekers in roles every year in Engineering, Technology, Professional/Office, and Light Industrial.

Check out our open roles on our job board, create a job alert or build a profile so our recruitment professionals can find you quickly when a suitable role becomes available. Please follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for job seeking tips and new roles.

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