14 Ways to Stay Positive While Working Remotely

Happy remote worker
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

In the best of times, working from home is associated with all sorts of positive emotions for remote workers — freedom, autonomy, trust and happiness, to name just a few. Indeed, remote work is often considered the “holy grail” of flexible work options, with benefits galore that far outweigh any potential downsides.

Working from home during the pandemic has been a different experience for some, though. More people are working from home than ever, but without the usual deliberation and preparation that goes into choosing to work remotely. Remote workers are having to juggle personal and professional priorities without access to many of their normal outlets.

With all that is happening, remote work may not feel like the perk that it can be. Here’s how to stay positive and rediscover all the wonderful things about remote work.

Embrace where you’re at

dotshock / Shutterstock.com

When times are tough, it’s natural to feel down. Everyone has negative emotions, and accepting — rather than resisting — them is one of the best ways to move through the feelings.

Telling yourself that it’s OK and normal to feel stressed while trying to balance remote work with the rest of your life takes the pressure off and enables you to see the brighter side of things as they come. In the same vein, let go of what you can’t change or control and focus on the little wins.

Practice gratitude

Woman listening to music
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com

Research overwhelmingly shows that cultivating gratitude in your daily life is one of the quickest paths to a positive, happy outlook. In one study, participants who wrote a few sentences a week for 10 weeks about things they were grateful for were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than those who wrote about what irritated them.

Take time every day to end your workday by writing down what you’re thankful for. Maybe it’s a supportive boss or a flexible schedule — whatever it is, focusing on what you’re grateful for will have a positive impact.

Shift your mindset

A happy young man smiles and gestures thumbs-up while doing his taxes on a laptop computer
Rostislav_Sedlacek / Shutterstock.com

How you frame something in your mind determines how you experience it. So, if you approach things with a “glass half-empty” attitude, you’ll tend to experience them as lacking. Fortunately, you are in complete control of your mindset.

Make a home office your own

remote job
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

If you’re new to remote work, you may not have had time to set up your home office before transitioning to working from home. Although it might not have been a priority at the time, having a workspace that you can call your own — and that is set up just how you want — can do wonders for your mental attitude.

Working from home on the couch while the rest of your household goes about their days around you can make anyone feel the strain. So, do what you can to find your own unique home office space that sets the tone for a positive, productive workday. While you’re at it, decorate your workspace with things that make you happy — plants, pictures of your family and artwork can be uplifting.

Establish a routine

g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Working remotely, especially with a flexible schedule, allows for more control over your work life. That can lead to a happier you. Although this can mean working when and where you want, it’s important to try to stick to some semblance of a routine. Not only will this help keep you on track and on task for improved productivity, but it will also communicate to your boss and co-workers when you will be available.

Set boundaries

Ivanko80 / Shutterstock.com

As a remote worker, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and home. While this ability to blend the two can be a major benefit of flexible work, you may feel like all of it is a struggle if there are no boundaries at all.

Sure, there might be times when your schedule is wacky, or you have to work a few more hours than expected. However, on typical days, it’s important to shut work off and walk away at the end of the day. Keeping your work and personal life separate will help you stay positive while working remotely, and keep you from getting burned out.

Stay connected

Friends drinking alcohol at a party
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Work is work, but to have meaningful relationships with your teammates, you need to connect with them on subjects other than work. Sure, you’ll have meetings and other means of working through projects with your team. But if you don’t make an effort to proactively connect with your colleagues when you’re working remotely, you could find yourself feeling lonely and isolated.

Bonding with others and feeling like you’re part of a community is key for staying upbeat, so work on developing your work relationships remotely. Virtual meet-ups, instant messages, group chats and other forms of remote communication can all help.

Work during your most productive hours

Young businesswoman working on laptop at cafe
Friends Stock / Shutterstock.com

Depending on when you feel most productive, you might be tempted to use those hours to catch up on laundry, yard work or grocery shopping. While occasionally this may be a nice break, those productive hours should be focused on getting your best work completed. Your most productive hours are also usually when you’re feeling the most energetic and optimistic. So, scheduling your work for when you’re “in the zone” can help you stay positive while working from home.

Take stock of when you feel energized and able to focus, then plan your workday around that time. The success and accomplishment you’ll feel from being productive can’t help but make you feel more positive. It may help to block off time on your calendar for these hours, too.

Play often

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

One of the benefits of working from home is that you often have the flexibility to take work breaks and structure your day around other playful priorities.

Instead of scrolling through your phone while you eat lunch, take the time to “play” at something you really love! Spending 30 minutes between meetings doing something you enjoy can temper any stress or negative feelings you’ve been having.

Prioritize self-care

Massage
rido / Shutterstock.com

You know the adage: “You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.” Nothing could be more true in times of stress. In order to stay positive in any aspect of your life, including your work, you have to make yourself a priority. With increased caregiving responsibilities, shifting job expectations and uncertainty amid the pandemic, it’s easy to let self-care slip by the wayside.

Sleeping well at night, fueling your body with healthy foods, limiting sugar and alcohol, and exercising are all ways to use self-care to combat stress. And research shows that meditating and practicing mindfulness (even while at work!) can help you cope with stressors in life.

Light it up

Young woman thinking about upgrading her iPhone
Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com

Whether you set up your home office space in an area with access to good lighting and daylight from windows or you commit to spending time outside every day, studies show that the light in your environment has a major impact on how you feel. In a study of people working from or staying home during the pandemic, those with “somewhat bright” to “very bright” lighting (including windows) had significantly improved mood and sleep quality compared to respondents with “somewhat dim” to “very dim” indoor lighting.

And, people who spent one to two hours outdoors every day reported better sleep and feeling significantly less anxiety, stress and depression than those who spent less than 30 minutes outdoors each day.

Get out of the house

puhhha / Shutterstock.com

When you work from the place you live, it’s easy to transition between your two roles without ever having to leave. But it’s important to vary your scenery to avoid feeling stuck, burned out and generally dissatisfied with your lack of overall change from day-to-day.

Getting out of the house doesn’t have to mean a big road trip — or any road trip! Simply walking around the block or visiting a local park can give your mental environment a much-needed refresh.

Meet up with others

women in a car
Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

If you can meet up with other team members once it’s safe to have in-person contact, take the opportunity to do so on occasion. If your colleagues are spread all over the globe and can’t meet face-to-face, set time aside with friends, neighbors and family to (safely) grow relationships.

Accentuate the positive

Iurii Stepanov / Shutterstock.com

Few things have upended the world of work like COVID-19. And although it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of trying to work from home with responsibilities tugging you every which way, focusing on the positive while working remotely can truly make all the difference.

For more tips on how to navigate remote work, sign up for the FlexJobs newsletter. You’ll get the best advice and resources, featured jobs, and more sent right to your inbox.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Products That Will Help You Save Money
10 Products That Will Help You Save Money

Sometimes, spending a little cash right now can save you a lot of money down the road.

9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home
9 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home

These creative products on Amazon will hide unsightly clutter while saving space.

Retirees Can Dodge Taxes on These 9 Types of Income
Retirees Can Dodge Taxes on These 9 Types of Income

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper
8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper

Here’s how a veteran thrift shopper scores the best deals — and turns a profit from them.

5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021
4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

15 Things You Can Get for Free in December
15 Things You Can Get for Free in December

December is here, which means it’s your last chance to take advantage of fabulous freebies in 2020.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement
7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement

It often makes financial sense to not pay off your mortgage before retiring.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.