Work from home: Here’s how to use Google tools for getting it done – The South African - Freelance Rack

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Work from home: Here’s how to use Google tools for getting it done – The South African

South Africa has been in level 5 and level 4 lockdown for about 70 days now and most of us have settled in a work-from-home routine. It wasn’t easy but just look at us.

Most employees adjusted to working with having kids, pets and partners around; we’ve overcome erratic Wi-Fi connections, power outages and a thousand other challenges.

While many initially planned for a short term work-from-home routine, it’s now becoming clear that we may have to continue like this for some time to come.

It’s about time we take our work-from-home skills to the next level, let’s call it WFH 2.0. Google suggests following these suggestions to master this WFH business.

WFH 2.0: Getting things done

work from home google
Image via Adobe Stock

Use Google Groups to stay in touch

An email list that includes all your team members lets you quickly share information, and a chat room can be used for faster-moving discussions. It’s super easy to create an email list.

Use Google Groups to create an online group for your team, which will enable you to email each other, host group discussions, collaborate on projects, organise meetings find people with similar hobbies.

Google Drive: Sharing permissions

Update sharing permissions on important documents to ensure that collaborators can easily edit and comment as needed. A document can be shared for collaboration with up to 100 people.

Take this one step further by creating a shared drive where your team can store, search, and access files from any device. From Google Drive, simply click on the ‘New’ button. You can also change member access levels, or remove certain members.

Practising good workplace etiquette

Just because your team isn’t at the office doesn’t mean they’re not busy. It’s always a good idea to check calendars before scheduling meetings. You can read more about accessing someone’s calendar here.

You can also set up working hours in Calendar to inform your co-workers of your own availability. Simply go to Settings, then General and select Working Hours. From there, select Enable Working Hours and select the days and time.

Google calendar
Image via Google

Schedule meetings now

Set up calendar invites, create an agenda ahead of time. Simply go to your Google Calendar to create events, or sync invites straight from the email or third-party application.

You can also attach relevant docs to the invite from withing the Calendar before sharing it with all relevant parents. If anyone isn’t familiar with video conferencing, simply point them to Google’s how-to guide.

This is a useful feature because if a team member tries to schedule a meeting with you outside of your working hours, they’ll receive a warning notification.

Find the right set-up for you

You might need to try a few different configurations before you discover how to stay focused and not distract others. I’ve personally come to rely integrations with Google Calendar (such as Monday, Trello and ToDoist) to stay on top of things.

If, like me, you’re not all that fond of video calls and conferencing, Google’s blog post with six useful tips might just be the thing you need to take you from video-call-hesitant to video-call-pro.

If you need some help settling in with WFH 1.0, follow this link to learn about sticking to a work schedule, finding the right spot for your home office and how not to be the “just quickly” person.

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