Stay connected when working remotely

Overview

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Connect with your remote team, manage your schedule, and follow best practices to stay connected when working remotely or telecommuting.

1. Connect with your team " " 2. Manage your home & work schedule " " 3. Follow best practices to stay connected " "

1.1 Create an email list

1.2 Create a Chat room

1.3 Create a shared team folder

1.4 Hold video meetings

1.5 Share your screen during video meetings

 

2.1 Set your working hours

2.2 Communicate your availability

2.3 Share status updates and set goals

 

3.1 Video conference tips for meetings at home

3.2 Add time zones to your calendar

3.3 Set up interactive Q&A sessions during presentations

3.4 Share and collaborate on content with your team

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1  Connect with your team

1.1 Create an email list

If you don’t already have one, create a Google Groups email list for you and your team. Use the group’s email address to send status updates and share resources—such as team calendars and Drive documents—with everyone at once.

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. In the upper left corner, click Create group.
  3. Enter information and choose settings for the group.
  4. In the Group members field, enter the members’ email addresses.
  5. Click Create group.
Create a group
1.2 Create a Chat room

With Google Chat, you can converse with your coworkers, share files and other online resources, and work together on team projects.

On the web

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Next to “Rooms,” click Create or Find a room "" and then Create room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. (Optional) In the top left, click Choose an emoji "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used.
  5. Enter names or email addresses of people and groups you want to add. You can also select from suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
  6. (Optional) To allow threaded replies, select Use threaded replies
    1. Important: You can’t change this setting later.
  7. (Optional) To allow external people to join the room, select Allow people outside your organization to join. If your administrator doesn’t allow this feature, you may not have this option.
    1. Important: You can’t change this setting later.
  8. (Optional) To notify invitees, select the box next to “Notify people via email.”
  9. Click Create.
  10. (Optional) To add more people and bots to the room, click Add people & bots. Enter names or emails. Click Send.
Select the create room option on the left

On mobile

Get Chat

  1. Go to get.google.com/chat.
  2. Install the Android or iOS Chat app.

Note: If you can’t access Chat, contact your administrator.

On Android:

Create a chat room from Chat

  1. Open the Chat app "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Rooms "" and then New room "" and then Create a room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. (Optional) To add a room avatar: above the room name, tap Add "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used.
  5. (Optional) To allow threaded replies, turn on Use threaded replies.
    1. Important: You can’t change this setting later.
  6. (Optional) To allow external people to join the room, turn on Allow people outside your organization to join.
    1. Important: You can't change this setting later.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Enter names of people, email addresses, and bots you want to add. You can also select from suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
  9. Tap Done

 

Create a chat room from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Rooms "" and then New room and then Create a room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. (Optional) To add a room avatar, above the room name, tap Add "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used. 
  5. (Optional) To allow threaded replies, turn on Use threaded replies.
    1. Important: You can’t change this setting later.
  6. (Optional) To allow external people to join the room, turn on Allow people outside your organization to join.
    1. Important: You can't change this setting later.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Enter names of people, email addresses, and bots you want to add. You can also select from suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
  9. Tap Done

On iOS/iPhone:

Create a chat room from Chat

  1. Open the Chat app "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Rooms "" and then New room "" and then Create a room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. (Optional) To add a room avatar: above the room name, tap Add "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used.
  5. (Optional) To allow threaded replies, turn on Use threaded replies.
    1. Important: You can’t change this setting later.
  6. (Optional) To allow external people to join the room, turn on Allow people outside your organization to join.
    1. Important: You can't change this setting later.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Enter names of people, email addresses, and bots you want to add. You can also select from suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
  9. Tap Done

 

Create a chat room from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail "".
  2. At the bottom, tap Rooms "" and then New room and then Create a room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. (Optional) To add a room avatar, above the room name, tap Add "". If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used. 
  5. (Optional) To allow threaded replies, turn on Use threaded replies.
    1. Important: You can’t change this setting later.
  6. (Optional) To allow external people to join the room, turn on Allow people outside your organization to join.
    1. Important: You can't change this setting later.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Enter names of people, email addresses, and bots you want to add. You can also select from suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
  9. Tap Done
1.3 Create a shared team folder

Shared drives are shared spaces where teams can store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device.

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. On the left, click Shared drives.
  3. At the top, click New"".
  4. Enter a name and click Create.
Create a shared drive

After you create the shared drive, learn how to Create folders, Add and edit files, and Share files.

1.4 Hold video meetings

You can start or join video meetings straight from Gmail on a web browser. Or, you can start an instant meeting from a mobile device or in a web browser on a computer using Google Meet. If someone sends you a meeting link, simply click it to join the call. 

Note: You can add people from inside or outside your organization to a Meet video meeting. Anyone on the Calendar event or invited during the video meeting (including outside guests) can join the call automatically. Otherwise, someone from your organization needs to grant access to outside guests that try to join. Learn how to add people to a video meeting.

Start and join video meetings from Gmail

Start a video meeting

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the sidebar, click Start a meeting.

    Note: If you don’t see this option, it might not be enabled for your organization, or it might be hidden. To unhide Meet, see Show or hide Google Meet in Gmail.

  3. In the Meet window, choose an option to join the meeting:
    • To join using your computer’s camera for video and your computer's microphone for audio, click Join now.
    • To join using your phone for audio, click Join and use a phone for audio and then follow the on-screen prompts. If you join by phone, you can still use your computer for video. For details, see Use a phone for audio in a video meeting.
  4. Once you are in the meeting, choose an option to add other people:
    • To share the meeting code with someone, click Copy joining info, then paste the info into a messaging app. 
    • To invite someone by sending them an email, click Add people, enter names or email addresses, then click Send invite.
    • To invite someone to join the meeting by phone, click Add people, then click Call and enter a phone number. 

Join a video meeting

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the sidebar, click Join a meeting.

    Tip: If you don’t see this option, contact your Google Workspace administrator.

  3. Enter a meeting code or nickname.
    • Google Workspace users can share a nickname with people in their organization as a fast way to join a meeting.
  4. Click Join.

Use Meet on the web

  1. In a web browser, enter https://meet.google.com.
  2. Click Join or start a meeting.
  3. (Optional) To create a nickname for your meeting so that people in your organization can quickly join the meeting, enter a nickname. Make it unique to avoid conflicts and keep uninvited people from accidentally joining.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Click Join now.
  6. To add someone to a meeting, choose an option:
    • Click Copy joining info  and paste the meeting details into an email or another app.
    • Click Add people Add people and choose an option:
      • Under the Invite section, select a name or enter an email address and click Send invite.
      • Under the Call section, enter a phone number and press Call Call.

Note: You can send a meeting link to people outside of your organization, but someone from within your organization might need to give them access to the video meeting.

Use Meet on a mobile device

Get the Google Meet app

  1. Go to the Play Store.
  2. Download and install the Google Meet app Meet app.
  3. On your device, tap the Google Meet app Meet app to open it.

If you have multiple devices, you can start the video call on one device and continue on another. Calls are automatically synchronized across all devices.

Start a meeting using the Google Meet app

  1. Open the Meet app Meet.
  2. Tap Add New meeting to start a meeting, or tap Input Meeting code and enter a meeting code or nickname, then tap Join meeting.
Start videoconferencing on mobile
1.5 Share your screen during video meetings

You can present your entire screen or a specific window in a meeting to share documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more. Attach a presentation or other resources to your Calendar event—this will make it available to people in the Meet call.

  1. Join a video meeting.
  2. In the bottom-right corner, select Present now.
  3. Select Your entire screen, A window, or Chrome tab.
    • If you present a Chrome tab, it shares that tab's audio by default.
    • To present a different tab, select the tab you want to present, click Share this tab instead.
  4. Select Share.

If your camera is turned on, participants continue to see your video while you're presenting.

Present your entire screen or a window

During the meeting you can also use the built-in chat feature to share notes and links to reference materials. See Send a chat message during a video meeting.

""2  Manage your home & work schedule

2.1 Set your working hours

When telecommuting, you’ll want to balance your work and home life. Organize your calendar so everyone knows when you’re available to meet. You can adjust your Google Calendar settings so organizers know to reschedule an event to a better time.

Note: Google Chat shows the out of office status people set up in Calendar. If someone is away from the office, Chat shows their out of office status when you open a chat with them. Learn more about out of office status.

  1. In Calendar, click Settings Settingsand thenSettings.
  2. Scroll to Working Hours.
  3. Check the Enable working hours box.
  4. Select the days of the week you work.
  5. Enter your working hours.

If someone invites you to an event outside of these hours, they’ll see a notification informing them that it’s outside of your working hours.

2.2 Communicate your availability

Let your team know if you’re stepping out for a bit. Send a message to a Chat room that's dedicated to your team's whereabouts, or send a quick email. If you're going to be unavailable for a few hours or days, set an "Out of Office" autoresponder in Gmail. You can also set up a shared calendar to show when everyone in the team is out of the office.

Create a shared calendar

  1. Open Calendar, and on the left next to Other calendars, click Add other calendars ""and thenCreate new calendar.
  2. Name the calendar and add a description.
  3. Click Time zone and select your time zone.
  4. Click Create calendar. Your new calendar appears under My calendars.
  5. (Optional) To update any calendar preferences, point to it and click More Moreand thenSettings.

Share a calendar

  1. Open Calendar and under My calendars, point to the calendar you want to share, and click More Moreand then Settings and sharing.

  2. Choose an option:
    • To share with individuals—Under Share with specific people, click Add people and add the person or the email address of the person you want to share with. Click Send.
    • To change wider sharing settings—Under Access permissions, select Make available to public or Make available for organization name.
Create a calendar

Set an alarm

Remember to sign off for the night and shut down your devices. You can use the Clock app on any Android device.

  1. Open your phone's Clock app .
  2. Tap Alarm.
  3. Pick an alarm:
    • To add an alarm, tap Add Add.
    • To reset an alarm, tap its current time.
  4. Set an alarm time.
  5. Tap Doneand thenSave.
2.3 Share status updates and set goals

When you’re working remotely, communication is even more important. Share daily status updates and set weekly goals in a shared team project plan.

Share daily virtual standups—Provide updates to your coworkers using Meet, email, or Chat.

Set weekly goals—Use a team project plan to set goals and prioritize work. Learn more about creating dynamic project plans in Google Sheets.

""3  Follow best practices to stay connected

3.1 Video conference tips for meetings at home

Set up and test your internet at home

  • Connect to the internet using an Ethernet cable if available. If not, use 5 GHz Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz is often more heavily used and video connections might not be as strong).
  • If you’re on Wi-Fi, create a test meeting to make sure you have a strong signal from the location you’ll be working at. Having a direct line of sight to your router often gives you the strongest signal. 
  • If your connection seems slow, run a speed test to make sure you have at least 3.2 Mbps upload and download speed.
  • When you’re on a video conference, limit other internet activity in your house to make sure you have enough bandwidth.

Headphones, mic, and camera

  • Consider wearing headphones or earbuds to create optimal audio and to reduce any potential echo on the call.
  • If you’re going to be typing while talking, consider getting an external mic, such as a headset mic or a podcasting USB mic.
  • Wired headsets and mics often produce better sound quality than wireless ones.
  • Upgrade your headset, mic, and camera to the latest firmware provided by the manufacturer.
  • Make sure Meet is using the correct cameras, microphone and speakers. For example, even if you are wearing a headset, Meet could actually be using the built-in microphone:

Choose the right environment

  • Sit in a well-lit area, ideally with light shining on your face and not behind, to avoid creating a silhouette. Do a test call with a colleague to get camera position and lighting correct.
  • Simple backgrounds and neat, tidy rooms tend to look most professional on business calls.
  • Places with minimal background noise work best, but if you’re in a noisy location, mute your mic when not talking, and you can use Meet’s live caption feature to display captions in real time.

Address slow device or sluggish performance

  • Update your computer to the latest version of your OS.
  • Consider presenting from a second laptop, if you have one, or a smartphone (using the iOS or Android Meet app), to spread CPU usage.
  • Software or hardware that inspects or alters Meet traffic (such as local firewalls and virus protection software) may decrease video quality. Be careful that these tools don't interfere with your video calls. 
  • Use one monitor. Two or more monitors can cause heavy CPU and GPU load.

    If you continue to have problems with Meet call quality, see Troubleshoot issues with Google Meet, or you can report a problem.

3.2 Add time zones to your calendar

If you’re working with a remote team, you can see the time in other countries by adding world clocks to your calendar. Add time zones to your calendar so you know when to organize events with team members across the globe.

Note: When time zones prevent everyone from joining a meeting, you can record it and share it at a later time. Learn how to record a meeting.

Add world clocks to Calendar

  1. In Google Calendar, go to Settings Settingsand thenSettings.
  2. Scroll to World Clock and check the Show world clock box.
  3. Click Add Time Zone to show your current time zone.
  4. Click Add Time Zone again to add more time zones.

Add a time zone to your Calendar

  1. At the top, click Settings Settingsand thenSettings.
  2. On the left, click Time zone and check the Display secondary time zone box. (The primary time zone is where you live.)
  3. Click the Secondary time zone field and select another time zone.
  4. (Optional) To identify the time zone, add a label, such as Europe.

Change your time zone

  1. Go to Settings Settingsand thenSettings.
  2. On the left, click Time zone
  3. Click Primary time zone and choose your time zone.
  4. (Optional) To automatically update your time zone when you travel, check the Ask to update my primary time zone to current location box.

Note: If you’re organizing a meeting and you need to find a time that suits everybody, use suggested meeting times.

3.3 Set up interactive Q&A sessions during presentations

If you’re presenting on a Meet video call, you can set up interactive Q&A using Slides. Participants type their questions in a separate window, so there’s no interrupting or speaking over people.

  1. Open Meet and join a video meeting.
  2. Go to Slides and open a presentation.
  3. At the top, next to Present, click the Down arrow ""and thenPresenter view.
  4. Go back to your Meet video meeting and click Present now.
  5. Choose what to share:
    • Your entire screen
    • A window
  6. Select Share.
  7. In Slides, click Audience Tools.
  8. Choose an option.
    • To start a new Q&A session, click Start new.
    • To resume a recent Q&A session, click Continue recent.
    • To stop accepting questions, click On in the Q&A window.
Tip: If you use G Suite through your work, school, or other organizations, you can choose who can submit questions. In the Presenter view window, click Audience Tools. Then, next to Accepting questions from, click the Down arrow "" and select an audience.
3.4 Share and collaborate on content with your team

Document and share more in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides than you usually would. For example, use comments to provide feedback to team members. This is easier when you’re working in a team where time zones don’t overlap as much.

Add comments to files and assign tasks

  1. In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select the text you'd like to comment on.
  2. Click Add comment "".
  3. Enter your comment in the box.
  4. (Optional) To direct your task or comment to a specific person, enter a plus sign (+) followed by their email address. You can add as many people as you want. Each person will get an email with your comment and a link to the file.
  5. (Optional) To assign the comment to a specific person, check the Assign to box.
  6. Click Comment or Assign.
Open the Comment box and enter text, with the option to assign a task to someone

Consolidate resources in an internal site

With Google Sites, you can set up an internal site to consolidate resources into a central hub for you and your team, or share the latest information with your coworkers.

Create your site

Choose an option:

  • From the Sites homepage, at the top, click Create Plus, or to choose a template, click Template gallery and select a template.
  • From Google Drive, click Plus New and thenMoreand thenGoogle Sites.

Note: All Sites are stored in Drive. For more information on using Drive to organize your files, see Get started with Drive.

Create a site from Sites or Drive



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