How to get a motivation boost when working from home? IKEA expert shares his tips for taking the best of social distancing

IKEA is best known for its home furnishing solutions and meatballs, but also as an inspiring company with a stimulating and enjoyable work environment. In recent weeks many employees have had to set up offices in their very own homes, so Talent Sourcing and EVP Leader, from IKEA HR team Josip Sedlar, has offered some inspirational and useful tips and tricks for working from home these days:

1. Make the best of the circumstances

How many times have you wished if days could last a little bit longer? Just a few extra hours that you can have for yourself? We were all complaining that there was never enough time. Well, the good news is that now, in this new reality we are experiencing, we have plenty time for ourselves. Don’t waste it, make the best of it.

2. Now is the perfect time for a change

The concept of change can be unsettling, but change is an integral part of your personal development journey and for the most part should be embraced. However, to make a change, you should have a clear plan. Use SMART goals when creating one, because setting goals this way provides a clear finish line and makes it that much easier to track progress and identify missed targets. Maybe it’s time to fully commit to your personal development?

It’s that much easier since there are so many online courses that you can take for free – you could watch YouTube videos, documentaries, read books, upgrade your knowledge… you name it. At IKEA we encourage our co-workers to use this time to work on their skill development, so recently we’ve enabled Coursera for all employees, one of the most famous online learning platforms.

3. The secret benefit of routines

Although it can be fun working in your pajamas knowing that there is no need to iron your shirt in the morning and be fully dressed, in one moment you also start to miss all your routines, but mostly the people you were surrounded with, your colleagues and friends.

Even though you can’t go outside for a coffee and have fun with friends, you can still do it in a different way. Josip’s advice is – switch to digital. Now is the right time to use all available technologies that you have at your disposal! Use Teams, Skype, or WhatsApp video calls to drink virtual coffee with your friends.

Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. So, every morning at 8:00 Josip drinks coffee with his colleagues the same way as he would do it in the company. This small ritual keeps him sane and motivated to start with his working hours.

4. Keep your spirits up

Josip believes that the most important thing is to try to maintain a positive and cheerful atmosphere. For example, some of his co-workers initiated themed video calls, so each co-worker is challenged to match a certain dress code – it could be a favorite T-shirt with a funny quote or a yellow detail. You can even invite children of your co-workers to dress up and join for the first couple of minutes – children always love to go to their parents’ work, even if it is digital office.

He also says that he tries to encourage his team to motivate each other – so IKEA’s internal channels and online platforms are full with engaging and fun challenges generated by the co-workers that connect them in different levels.

5. Be flexible with schedules & sensitive to your co-workers’ needs

Try to understand what is lifelike for your co-workers these days. Maybe 9-17h schedule is not optimal for those with small children. Be flexible and agree if possible, on longer breaks so your team members can help children with school, do shopping, prepare meals. Allow space and time for people to express their feelings and concerns.

6. Make an office at home

Not everyone has a work desk and proper chair at home. But make yourself as comfortable as possible with extra cushion, and maybe some flowers on the table that will soften up the atmosphere.

In this period of many negative news we all need a happy pill. Ingredients for this happy pill is to stay positive, have clear goal, focus on the future and keep only physical distance, not social. You will be stronger and proud of yourself when all this is over.

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