The campusSIMS Team’s Tips for Working from Home

The pandemic has caused a lot of change in our lives – everything from how we venture to the grocery store to how we learn and take classes to how we see our friends. For most people, one of the biggest changes has been in how they work. For the campusSIMS team, we’ve been working from home since before the pandemic, and to help those who are newly graduated, or starting a summer job or internship, our team wanted to share how we stay productive and focused while working remotely.

Colin, Co-Founder

For me, it’s all about the actual work space: Get a comfortable chair, and an extra monitor. Limit distractions in that work space. Treat your home office like you would a physical office space. I like to keep structured hours, and the same morning routine. I recommend always working from your desk.

Chris, Sales Manager

It is worth setting up a home office if you have the space. Being able to close the door and feel like I have just arrived at work helps to put me in the right mindset.

Alec, Account Manager

I find it important to have one place that is just for work that also has a second monitor, if possible. I try not to stay inside all day though and make sure I go outside every day. I’ve even made drinking my coffee outside in the morning part of my routine. And you might be surprised, but being active at least once a day can really boost your productivity, so I incorporate that into my routine as well.

Victoria, Lead Customer Advocate

Comfy clothes is a must! I also love having my favorite drink (iced vanilla chai tea) and take frequent breaks with some happy music playing the background (current song obsession, Roses Remix by Imanbek) with an impromptu dance or two to keep energy levels up!

Angela, Channel Marketing Manager

Taking breaks during the day is so important and I often use my calendar to ensure that I step away from my laptop for a little while, whether for lunch, a workout, or a walk.

When in work mode, I sometimes need a little help in starting a task, so I’ll utilize the Pomodoro Method, which is when you work in 25 minute intervals with five minute breaks in between. It’s much less intimidating to commit to 25 focused minutes than to think about focusing for an entire work day. Sometimes, I get into a groove and work beyond the 25 minutes, but other times, I really need that break.

Scott, VP Channel Development

Moving around to a new location (deck, kitchen, etc.) provides a nice change of pace sometimes.

The most important thing to remember about working from home: find a way to stay productive that works for you! Each of our team members takes a different approach, but we’ve all established routines and methods to working from home that help us stay motivated and productive.

10 Games to Play on Your Next Video Call

By now, we’ve all had to grow accustomed to spending time with our friends and family members virtually. Even as stay-at-home orders change and restrictions loosen, coming together online for a video call has become part of our new normal. Though our weekends might look a little different than they used to, there are still ways you can make your next video call feel more fun and engaging with a little help from technology. We’ve rounded-up 10 games you can play on your next video call:

House Party games

Have you heard of the Houseparty app? Well, now you have. The House[arty app is a video calling app that helps you connect with up to eight friends and play games. Let friends know you’re “in the house” and invite them to join you for one of House Party’s four games that work directly within the app: Chips and Guac, Head’s Up, Trivia, or Quick Draw.

Chips and Guac operates similarly to card games “Apples to Apples” or “Cards against Humanity” where you select a descriptive card to pair with a statement card. Head’s Up was popularized by Ellen DeGenerous and requires you and your teammates to describe a noun to one person, who cannot see the word. The trivia game allows everyone to answer the same questions and keeps score of who gets the most correct. And finally, Quick Draw is a version of Pictionary, where each person in the chat takes turns drawing and everyone must guess what it is.

Remote Insensitivity

Speaking of “Cards Against Humanity,” if you’d like to play this card game with your friends, there’s a virtual version called Remote Insensitivity (for copyright reasons). The creators of this game make it incredibly easy for you to share a link with your fellow game players and drag and drop card selections. Be prepared for some wildly inappropriate but laugh-inducing card combinations. You might even forget for a second that you’re playing across countries or time zones.

Card Games

Those very same creators of Remote Insensitivity also allow you to play any sort of card game virtually through their platform,, including non-card games like Checkers and Backgammon. You can play traditional card games like Crazy Eights, Cribbage, and Go Fish, among many others. Plus, you have the option to create a custom game. Who knows – maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own game!


Okay, so you might have already devised a way to play Pictionary through the use of good old-fashioned pen and paper, but let technology do some of the work for you. is an online platform that facilitates this drawing and guessing game, allowing you to play with up to 12 players and create your own custom words.


Everyone’s favorite game (or is it just mine?) is now available virtually. Again, this is certainly something you can recreate with pen and paper, but the online platforms make it considerably easier to time the game and come up with categories. If you’re unfamiliar with Scattergories, it works like this: you get a list of categories and a letter. You’re then tasked with coming up with a word or term that starts with that letter for each of the categories listed in the time allotted. For more information on the rules, or to play on your next virtual call, try one of these sites: Scattegories Online or Scattergories List Generator.

Jackbox games

Jackbox has a whole collection of games that are essentially designed to be played virtually. For many of its games, all you need is for one person to own the game, share their screen, and then share their room code. You then go to to enter the room code and your name, and you get access to the game you’ve chosen to play. Some personal Jackbox game favorites include: Fibbage, Quiplash, and Drawful.

Fibbage is a version of trivia where you have to fool your friends with your answer to the trivia, while still guessing the correct one. Quiplash asks participants to answer a prompt, and those participants then get to vote on the best answer. Drawful is very similar to Pictionary but with a twist: people have to submit their guesses for what the drawing is, and other players have to figure out which guess is correct. Jackbox has so many other games too, so take a look on their site for your next game.


For anyone looking for something that involves an element of mystery, might we recommend Codenames? Though this can be played as a physical board game, it’s another one that’s been converted into an online platform at To play, you must guess which words in a set are related to a hint-word given by another player. There is a bit more to it than just that, so we recommend reading the rules first, and then inviting your friends to play.


Yet another classic has made its way online and ready to be played among you and your friends, no matter where you are. Catan, or Settlers of Catan as it’s also known, is a multiplayer game where players take on the roles of settlers, to try to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. You can play this game online with friends through a variety of platforms, which you can find on the Catan website. Put your strategizing hat on and escape into this world for a while.

Fishbowl game

Fishbowl is a great party game that’s easy to play over video chat. It’s like a combination of Charades, or Taboo (if you’ve ever played), where people have to give clues to a teammate or teammates to help them guess a word or term. With Fishbowl, everyone writes down a few phrases or terms that will be guessed, and then the group is split into two teams. From there, there’s three rounds. The first round, players must use words to describe the word or phrase on the card. In the second round, players must act out or use gestures to describe the word or phrase. In round three, players can only use one word to describe the word or phrase. Head to the Fishbowl website and you can get started with your friends and family.

Actor/movie game

The “actor/movie” game requires no virtual game board — nor does it even really require video. For this game, all you need is some familiarity with actors and movies. The premise is simple: one person starts by naming a movie or an actor. If that person names a movie, the next person must name an actor from that movie; if the round starts with an actor, the next person must name a movie. Traditionally, you go around in a circle, but you’ll have to decide the order if you’re on a video chat. You continue making those connections “around the circle” without repeating an actor or movie until someone breaks the chain. There are some more rules to determine how to “challenge” someones answer, but this game can be especially fun, as with all of this time spent at home, you might be more on top of your entertainment knowledge.

Safety, Studying, and Self-Care While Social Distancing

During these uncertain times, one thing is incredibly certain: your health and safety must be top priority. Communities are listening to health authorities and making the best decisions they can to protect the health of those who inhabit their community to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — and that includes your university. It’s important that you, as students and community members yourselves, also listen to the advice and recommendations of authorities to keep yourself safe. While we certainly are no such authority regarding COVID-19, we do want to provide support to our own campusSIMS community during this stressful time. By now, you’re likely practicing social distancing and have transitioned to online classes, so we’re offering a few suggestions on what you can do while you’re staying at home:

Know the facts and protect yourself

The United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can provide the most up-to-date and accurate guidance for protecting yourself and preventing the contraction of COVID-19. The most important things to know seem to be: wash your hands (often), and stay home and avoid close contact with others, especially if you are sick. Even if you are not sick, you could still contract the virus and pass it along to others, so we all need to do our part in keeping our community safe.

Resist the temptation to overdo it on eating and drinking

We know that being at home and in close proximity to snacks and drinks may invite the urge to indulge, but everyone should still try to maintain healthy habits as best as they can. Having a balanced diet is a great way to maintain a healthy immune system and stave off illnesses. However, it’s okay to have those less-than-healthy items in moderation, especially if a little indulgence provides some cheer.

Get some sleep

Another important healthy habit to preserve during this time is sleep. Even though you might be operating on an adjusted schedule with online classes (or even cancelled classes), you shouldn’t necessarily spend that time staying up late. Restful sleep allows your body to recover, and again, is a great way to boost your immune system. Avoid too many late nights, and try to limit screen time to ensure you’re getting all the rest you need.

Delineate between study space and hangout space

You might be living in limited space as you engage in social distancing, but it’s still a good idea to try to designate space for studying and doing work that’s separate from where you hangout. A great example of this is to avoid using your bed for doing work. Resist the temptation to stay in bed in your PJs and do homework. If you can, set up at a desk, or find a way to convert shared space (couches, chairs) into a more productive area. This allows you to better focus on your work and not fall behind in your course load.

Maintain structure to your day

Without the traditional commute to and from your dorm room to class, you might feel like all of the hours are blending together. We recommend creating some more structure to your day outside of class time, especially if you’re stuck in a dorm room or in limited space. Consider blocking off chunks of time for different things: an hour for lunch, an hour for studying or class prep, a half hour for self-care, etc. In doing this, you’ll break up the monotony of living and operating within a small space, and still maintain some productivity.

Subscribe to news alerts

Staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the news is important during this time period. Make sure you’re subscribed to a trustworthy news source both locally and nationally, and that you are receiving all important university emails and announcements. They will be able to relay the information you need to know to stay safe. However, you should remember that it’s okay if you need a little “break” from the news and updates sometimes. With so much information – and so much of it scary – you might want to designate a specific time to check on updates so that it doesn’t constantly feel like impending doom all the time. Preserving an optimistic outlook is not only good for self-care — it’s actually good for your health.

Practice self-care

Like we said, things are a little scary right now. As much as you need to focus on your physical health, and protect the physical health of others, you should not neglect your mental health. Uncertainty can breed anxiety, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and nervous. Try to practice some self-care habits. There is plenty you can do while at home that allows you to focus on yourself. Meditation is a really great way to do this, whether guided through apps or by simply setting aside time to focus on your breathing. Other things you can do include: reading a book, having a cup of tea, doing yoga or a workout at-home, watching your favorite movie or TV show, calling or FaceTiming with a friend or family member. Do what you can to focus on yourself mentally and physically right now.