Work from home | 7 tips to become remote work ready

As cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 multiply across the world, many offices, school, restaurant and store shutdown and stress-test our ability to live and work without leaving home.

Below you will find 7 simple and free services to help you to become remote work ready.

List of topics in this article

  1. Remote whiteboard | Drawing and drafting via web
  2. Collaborative presentation preparation
  3. Video conferencing (with 3 Bis. Virtual Coffee Time or Apéro-Vidéo)
  4. Collaborative notes taking and sharing during virtual meetings
  5. Sharing tabular data via web link
  6. Managing projects with new agile tools
  7. Check your internet connection and improve it (link to a specific article on this topic)

1. Remote whiteboard | Drawing and drafting via web

If you work consist on constantly sharing drawings with your coworkers on paper, whiteboard or post-it, you can use fee web services to replace the physical support by virtual paper. These services enable you to share your drawings in real time between many people as well as enable other people to contribute to your drawing. There are many options and below you will find two examples

#1 Jamboard by Google 

Below a video with short tutorial

Link to the service https://jamboard.google.com/

#2 AWWapp

Go to https://awwapp.com/ (you don’t need to pay to use it nor install any software)

On the landing page, if you get a notification screen, you need to click on Start drawing button

After that you can start drawing with your mouse, touch pad, fingers or stylus (depending on whether you are on your PC, mobile or tablet). 

To share your drawing to other people you can send them a link by clicking on Add people button on the top, Coping the link and sending it to your coworkers.

People who receive your link can see your drawing efforts in real time on their PC, tablets or mobile phones. They can also contribut to the drawing. Below you will find an example using a mobile phone.


You can export the drawing by clicking on Export board button but you can also simply take a print screen.

2. Collaborative presentation preparation (Google Slides, PowerPoint, …)

If you need to prepare a presentation together with your coworkers but you can not have a physical meeting, you can use free services such as Google Slides. This service enables simultaneous and collaborative creation of a presentation between many users. The presentation is accessible remotely during and after the virtual meeting. Basically, everybody can connect to the same presentation and work on it in parallel. Moreover, everybody can track changes in real time. Finally, you can add comments and notifications to a specific person or a group o people.

To use it, go to https://docs.google.com/presentation/u/0/ (free service and no need to install any PC software)

If you have Google Account (enter you login and password), otherwise create your Google Account for free via https://accounts.google.com/SignUp.

Once you are logged in, click on start a new presentation on the Google Slides service landing page (the button with the big plus).

click on Start a new presenation

To invite your coworkers to collaborate with you remotely and simultaneously on the presentation, click on Share yellow button in the right top corner.

Yellow button to share the presentation

At this point you might be asked to give a name to your presentation in the new window.

In the Sharing with others options, click on the right top Get shareable link button. Then change the settings to Anyone with the link can edit. After that, copy the link and sent it to the people you want to invite.

The people that you’ve invited, need to have Google Account to log in (link to create a Google account for free https://accounts.google.com/SignUp).

If you want to work with the PowerPoint file you can also use Google Slides. You need to go to https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive. Copy your PowerPoint file into the Google Drive and right click it and open with Google Slides.


And yes, there are alternative services to Google Slides. For instance Microsoft Office 365 PowerPoint (however this service is not free of charge).

3. Video conferencing

There are many video conferencing tools available out there. Skype is one of them and perhaps one of the most commonly known.

One of the possible alternatives can be Google Hangout (no need to install any software and free service)

To use it go to https://hangouts.google.com. If you have Google Account (enter you login and password), otherwise create your Google Account for free via https://accounts.google.com/SignUp

To start a video conference, click on Video Call button


Then you will be asked to invite people. Click on Copy link to share.

After copying the link, you can send it to a person that you want to have your video conference with (your guest need to have Google account). Via the link your guest can log in into your conference.

If you use Google Chrome and you want to have a grid view you can install Google Meet Grid View (link to the plugin)

Image from Google Meet Grid View

In case you guest is using a mobile phone, he/she needs to install Hangout application.

3 Bis. Virtual Coffee Time or Apéro-Vidéo

Informal communication and socializing is a big part of any company or any other type of human organization. Therefore, it is very important to be able to socialize remotely using digital tools when physical its not possible. Please, find below two concepts that work very good.

Virtual Coffee Time

You need to create a virtual coffee corner to make possible for all people in the organization to connect remotely and exchange with others using video conference when they take a short break (ex. coffee). It’s just like at the coffee machine, but using video conferencing tool. And if you’re having tea, you’re also welcome!

And the best place to show it to your colleagues is their agenda/calendar. They look at it quite often so putting a permanent invitation there will maximize the chance that they will connect from time to time.

To build this place I’ve used the calendar service used in my company (Google Calendar) and add permanent video conferencing functionality (https://hangouts.google.com). Below you will find a demo how did I do it.

This way all people that received this invitation, will see a permanent invitation in their calendar and can connect to hangout video conference room when they want to have a break.

Apéro-Vidéo

In France, they call it Apéro-Vidéo. It’s a very simple concept. It’s like grabbing a drink after work with your work friends but you do it remotely. Basically, using your company calendar, you schedule a meeting after company working hours (lets say 19h00) and invite your colleagues. In the invitation you add video conference link so that people can connect. You prepare your drink (ex. a beer), you connect remotely to the video conference and you wait for other participants to join.

4. Collaborative notes taking and sharing during virtual meetings

Since we need to organize a remote meeting with remote notes, we want to have one document accessible remotely for all meeting members via laptop/tablet and any other connected device. The idea is that everybody can see in real time all the notes being taken by all the meeting members (or even modify currently taken notes). 

Since the document is prepared by many users and open for modifications during but also after the meeting it’s important to track changes after the meeting. If somebody decides to change wording or add something you want to see when and who changed it.

To use this service, go to https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/ (service is free of charge and no additional PC software is needed). If you have Google Account (enter you login and password), otherwise create your Google Account for free via https://accounts.google.com/SignUp.

On the landing page, select Start a new document (the button with a plus)

To invite other users to work with you remotely and simultaneously on your notes, click on Share yellow button in the right top corner.

Probably you will be asked to give a name to your document in the new window.

In the Sharing with others options, click on the right top Get shareable link button. Then change the settings to Anyone with the link can edit. After that, copy the link and sent it to the people you want to invite.

The people that you’ve invited, need to have Google Account to log in to your document (c.f. in case they don’t have it, please find a link to do it https://accounts.google.com/SignUp).

Full article about Collaborative notes taking you can find under this link http://digitalsmarttools.io/index.php/2020/02/09/run-effective-meetings-how-to-gain-time-with-collaborative-notes-taking-during-a-meeting/

5. Sharing tabular data via web link

How to show tabular data to many people when you are at home. Yes, you can send an excel file by an email. But since you are going to do it quite often now and to many people, you want to share the data via web dashboard to avoid sending new file version every time there is a modification. There are many possible use cases, for example for teachers to quickly communicate some figures or classes hours to your school students.

Example for Classes hours

To use this service you can go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/.

On the landing page, select Start a new spreadsheet (the button with a plus)

Once you are in your spreadsheet, invite other users to see it remotely and see in real time your modifications. Click on Share (green button) in the right top corner.

Probably you will be asked to give a name to your document in the new window.

In the Sharing with others options, click on the right top Get shareable link button. Then click on Anyone with the link. After that, click on More…


In the Link Sharing window, click on On – Public on the web and on Can view in the Access: Anyone (no sign-in required). After that click on Save

Finally, you can copy the link and send it to the people you would like to invite.

Here you will find the link to the Classes hours example : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ft1jN-I1tpILBJIvhSx-CtncQUKlc9psMZtO9UhJPgs/edit#gid=0

6. Managing projects with new agile tools

In this new remote context, you want to be able to easily organize and monitor your projects with your coworkers without the need to have physical meetings.

Therefore, you can start to use services such as Trello which gives you the ability to :

  • Define, organize and share project tasks in remote and visual way
  • Update and monitor status on tasks via your phone or PC
  • Label task by department, team or topic (ex. marketing vs. finance)
  • Add comments or images to the ongoing or finished tasks
PC version
Mobile version

To start your project in Trello go to : https://trello.com/ (this service is free and no PC software installation is needed).

Insert your email address

Enter your email, name and create a password

Add your project name

Confirm that you want to start with Things To Do, Doing, Done spli

Just to start, add one task (any task)

When you see the main screen, click on invite and add your coworkers using their email address.

For any task, you can attribute a coworker from the list of invited people

For all task you can write comments and add @name so that the person is informed about the comment

One Reply to “Work from home | 7 tips to become remote work ready”

  1. Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph i
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