Tips for how to survive (and thrive!) while working from home

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Katie Williams, Recruiting Coordinator Manager

Katie Williams, Recruiting Coordinator Manager

Over the last few weeks, the world has experienced unprecedented events. The current situation with COVID-19 is developing rapidly, and it’s requiring people around the world think outside the box to creatively solve problems – from home.

Remote working may be a change for some, and it can be hard to find your groove. That’s why our own Katie Williams, Recruiting Coordinator Manager, stepped up to (virtually) share her best tips for how to thrive when your home and workplace are one and the same.

Check out a few of her best tips for successful remote work.

Maintain a routine

Katie’s first suggestion is to establish a daily routine, even if it’s simple.

“My rule is that I have to brush my teeth before I sit down at the computer, and change into something I didn’t sleep in,” she says.

When working from home, it’s easy to let the hours run together. To create some structure, take a lunch break every day to give your brain a rest, and do it away from your computer. Try to take at least two short breaks during the day – use that time to text a friend or take a walk, since you don’t have those moments of interaction throughout the day with coworkers. “This helps with productivity too,” says Katie.

And don’t forget the importance of good old-fashioned fresh air! Get outside at least once a day, even if it’s just five minutes enjoying a cup of coffee by your door.

Make the most of virtual meetings

When you’re participating in a virtual meeting, act like you’re there in person. Use video whenever you can, make the meeting full screen, and turn on your “do not disturb” setting to discourage multi-tasking. If your cell phone is a distraction, put it in another room.

And don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings – use the chat feature if you’re struggling to get a word in, or un-mute yourself to contribute to the conversation.

Create your work space

If you have the space, create your own nook, space or room that’s just for work. Katie adds, “I have a water bottle, notepad, pens and my computer on my desk. Everything else is away.” She also suggests keeping your work space free from household to-dos that may distract you. “Right now, my office is in our second bedroom. I had to move that pesky box of photos I’ve been wanting to organize and the laundry hamper to another room.”

Check out how some of our employees are doing #WFH2020 for some work space inspiration!

Set boundaries

When you’re working at an office, there’s a physical separation between work and home. But when your home and your office are one and the same, you have to create that space yourself. Katie has a few tips for separating your workday from your personal time:

  • Go to work in the morning, whatever that means for you. Whether that’s walking upstairs or putting on your “work slippers,” get your mind in the “I’m at work” space.
  • At the end of your workday, shut down your computer and keep it out of sight.
  • If you’re working from home with others, define boundaries. “My husband and I work in different areas, but we can meet up for lunch,” she says. “We also came up with a system for communication – I put a sticky on my office door saying, ‘on a call’ or ‘on video.’ And we don’t comment on the other’s working style,” she adds.

Thanks, Katie, for sharing your tips, tricks and solutions. If you’re a remote-working pro, share your best tips in the comments below! And if you’re new to this whole working from home thing, what’s helped you make the transition?

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Curious about what we’re doing to help combat COVID-19? Hear from our Executive Vice President, COO and CTO Oliver Schabenberger on how we’re caring for customers, employees and our community.

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Alyssa Grube

Associate Communications Specialist

Alyssa Grube is an Associate Communications Specialist focused on employee programs, culture, and employer branding. She’s passionate about the intersection of people + brand, and loves sharing the SAS story with the world. Seriously, ask her about why she loves SAS – just grab a coffee first.

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