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Working with remote and in-office colleagues? Learn how to thrive in hybrid work environments.

Stay connected when working remotely

​Google Workspace​ business tutorial

 What you'll learn

How to connect with your team, manage your schedule, and follow best practices when working remotely or telecommuting.

What you'll need

10 minutes

Account. Google Workspace accountDon't have one? Start your 14-day trial today.

In this tutorial

Connect with your team  Manage your home & work schedule Follow best practices to stay connected

1  Connect with your team


Expand all  |  Collapse all
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. At the top, click Create group.
  3. Enter information and choose settings for the group. Settings reference.
  4. Click Create group.

Wait a few minutes for your new group to become active before sending a message to it. Otherwise, you might get a notification that your message couldn't be delivered.

Create a group.
1.2 Create a Chat space

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

Important: For work or school accounts, if a space name is taken, choose a different name. You can't create or edit space names if they match an existing name in your organization.
  1. On your computer, open Google Chat or Gmail.
    • In Gmail: On the left, click Chat.
  2. Click New chat and then Create a space.
  3. Enter a space name.
    • To add a space avatar, click Choose an emoji and then select an emoji. If you don't select an emoji, a default letter avatar is used instead.
    • Enter an optional description for the space.
  4. You can also:
    • Enter the name or email of the people you want to add.
    • Enter apps or Google Groups you want to invite.
    • Pick from the list of suggested contacts.
  5. Choose an access level for your organization:
    • Restricted: Only directly added and invited users have access to the space. To make your space discoverable, select “All of your organization.”
    • All of your organization: All members in your organization have access to the space and can join if they have the space’s link. Learn more about creating a discoverable space.
      • Important: If you have a work or school account with Google, you may have additional target audience options created by your administrator. If you have questions about the audience options available, reach out to your administrator.
  6. To invite external people into the space, check Allow people outside your organization to join.
    • Important: If you select “All of your organization” in step 6, you won’t be able to allow people outside of your organization to join the space.
  7. Click Create.
 
 
 
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.

    Shared drives are available only if your organization supports them. For help, contact your administrator.

  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 meeting. 

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 meeting 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 a video meeting from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail and in the sidebar, click Meetand thenNew meeting.
    Note: If you don't see Meet in Gmail, check your Gmail settings.
  2. In the Share your new meeting window, click Join now.
  3. If you want to join using your computer’s camera for video and microphone for audio, click Join now.
  4. If you want to dial in by phone, click Join and use a phone for audio and follow the on-screen prompts.

    You can use this feature only if your organization supports it. For help, contact your administrator. 

    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.

Join a video meeting from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail and in the sidebar, click Meet.
  2. Choose an option:
    • Click Join a meeting and enter a meeting nickname or codeJoin.
    • To join a scheduled meeting, point to a meeting under My meetingsJoin now.

Use Meet on the web

  1. In a web browser, enter https://meet.google.com.
  2. Click New meetingand thenStart an instant meeting.
  3. To add someone to a meeting, in the pop-up window that appears, choose an option:
    • Click Add others and choose an option:
      • Under the Invite section, select a name or enter an email address and click Send email.
      • Under the Call section, enter a phone number and press Call Call.
    • Click Copy and paste the meeting details into an email or another app.

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, to open the app, tap the Google Meet app Meet app.

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

Start a meeting using the Google Meet app

  1. Open the Meet app Meet.
  2. To start a meeting, choose an option:
    • Tap New meetingand thenStart an instant meeting
    • Tap Join with a codeand thenenter a meeting code and then tap Join.
1.5 Share your screen during video meetings

Meeting organizers with Google Workspace for Education can prevent participants from sharing their screen. 

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 video meeting.

  1. Join a Meet video meeting.
  2. At the bottom, click Present now Share screen .
  3. Select Your entire screen, A window, or A 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.
    • If you present a Slides presentation through a tab, you can control it in Meet.
  4. Click Share.
  5. Optional: To unpin your presentation and view it as a tile, click Unpin . You can now see more participants while you present.

Tips:

  • If your camera is turned on, your video is active while you're presenting.
  • For better presentations and to prevent mirroring, share a new window or a specific tab instead of the meeting window.
  • To share your audio, you must select Share a Chrome tab or Share this tab.

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

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

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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.  On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. At the top right, click Settings and then Settings.
  3. On the left, under "General," click Working hours.
  4. In the "Working hours" section, click Enable working hours.
  5. Select the days you work and then the times you work.
  6. You can split the hours you work based on when you're available.
    • To add more than one time period to your workday, next to a day of the week, click Add add .
    • To remove a time period, click Remove Remove.

Tip: When you add work hours, the start time must be before the end time.

Calendar may suggest working hours based on your time zone, the work patterns in your country, and your schedule. You can accept, decline, or edit these suggestions. Learn more about Calendar in different time zones.

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 space 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

You can only create new calendars from a browser and not from the Google Calendar app. Once the calendar is created, you can find it on your browser and in the app.

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. On the left, next to "Other calendars," click Add other calendars Plus and then Create new calendar.
  3. Add a name and description for your calendar.
  4. Click Create calendar.
  5. If you want to share your calendar, click on it in the left bar, then select Share with specific people.

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.

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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 in the meeting.
  • 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 meeting with a colleague to get camera position and lighting correct.
  • Simple backgrounds and neat, tidy rooms tend to look most professional in business meetings.
  • 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 meetings. 
  • Use one monitor. Two or more monitors can cause heavy CPU and GPU load.

    If you continue to have problems with the quality of your Meet video meeting, see Troubleshoot video & audio quality in a meeting, 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. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  3. In "World clock" click Show world clock.
  4. Click Add time zone and then choose the time zones you want to see. 

Add a time zone to your Calendar

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  3. In the "Time Zone" section, click Display secondary time zone.
  4. Click Secondary time zone Down arrow and then choose your time zone.

Change your time zone

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  3. In "Time Zone," click Primary time zone Down arrow and then choose your time zone.

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

Meeting organizers with Google Workspace for Education can prevent participants from sharing their screen. 

If you’re presenting in a Meet video meeting, 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 a Google Slides presentation.
  2. At the top, next to Slideshow , click the Down arrow .
  3. Click Presenter View.
  4. In the new window, click Audience tools.
    • To start a new session, click Start new.
    • To resume a recent session, click Continue recent.
    • To end Q&A, click the on/off switch in the Q&A window.
      • Tip: Even if you don't turn off Q&A, the Q&A view closes shortly after you end your Google Slide presentation.
Tip: If you use Google Workspace 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.

Note: If a file reaches the maximum number of comments, you can make a copy of the file without copying over any comments.

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 Blank, or to choose a template, click Template gallery and select a template.
  • From Google Drive, click 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.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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