working from home tips

Wherever you happen to be, you’re now potentially working from home. It’s a strange and interesting new experience for many of you out there who have never done so before, we’re sure.

The coronavirus may have forced you to shift from the office to your house, but that means you’ll have to deal with a completely different set of problems trying to remain productive and happy when working from home. For some people reading, it’s understandable that just opening a laptop isn’t enough to get into proper “work mode.”

Luckily, Google has some neat productivity, Assistant and Assistant-powered hardware that you might already have access to but simply haven’t tapped into. With that in mind, we’re going to show you a few simple tips, tricks, and tools beyond just “finding a quiet place to work from,” that you can take advantage of to make working from home that little bit more manageable.

Here are five of our favorite Google tips and tools when working from home.

Google Assistant Routines

A really good way to put you in that “work” mind-set when at home is to have a solid routine. The Google Assistant in conjunction with some of your smart home hardware can help automate a ton of monotonous little tasks you might encounter first thing in the morning, or at any time during the day.

Google Assistant Routines - working from home

It could be as simple as getting a daily news bulletin when you wake up. It can even be as intricate as having your toaster, kettle, or coffee machine power on to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” The possibilities are only limited by what you can think up. Google has some pre-made options already available that will launch into some basic actions with keywords such as “Hey Google, good morning,” or “Hey Google, let’s go to work.”

If you want to program your own Routines, you will need to head into the Google Home app > tap Settings > More Settings > Assistant > Routines. From here you can create all kinds of routines with unique keywords that only you know to do things like power on lights, start your RoboVac, or play your favorite podcast. You’re only limited by what you can think up.

Google Home reminders

Google Home Reminders - working from home

Find yourself getting sidetracked or forgetful when you’re trying to concentrate while working from home? Setting reminders is as easy as asking your Google Home devices to set one — “Hey Google, set a reminder.”

The best thing is that you’ll be prompted to set a time for when you’ll be reminded later on, which is great if you forgot that you left laundry in your machine, or maybe left something on the stove. On top of any audio cues, reminders will also pop up on your phone too if you have the Google Assistant app signed in on Android or downloaded on iOS.

Google Docs for work

If you’re not already using Google Docs for normal everyday office tasks, then why not? It’s one of the best office suites because of how well it integrates with every other Google or G Suite service. Another bonus is not needing to worry if you’ve saved or transferred files via email or to a USB drive when working from remotely or from home.

You don’t need a license, plus you get collaborative tools that allow you to share a document with colleagues without needing to be in the same room. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. With Google Docs being arguably the best word processor, you’ve even got Sheets and Slides if you need spreadsheets and presentation software — all in your desktop, laptop, and mobile.

Use Hangouts Meet for video calls

Google Hangouts Meet

Hangouts video calls are still one of the best ways to keep in touch with multiple colleagues and when you can’t speak face-to-face — especially when working from home. If you happen to have a premium G Suite account, you can even place calls with up to 100,000 participants — yes, 100,000 — making Hangouts Meet ideal for all kinds of business meetings or endeavors.

As with most of the Google tools we recommend for remote workers, it is almost ubiquitous across devices. You can join a Hangouts Meet conference call from your mobile, tablet, PC, laptop, and even smart display. Hangouts Meet doesn’t even need external clients to use the software, you can just send them a web link where they can join automatically. On top of that, you can also use neat tools like real-time transcription, call recording, plus tons more on top.

For personal calls, we’d recommend using Google Duo. Hangouts Meet is focused on professional meetings and video conferencing. Google has some handy support tools if you want to get started using the platform for work purposes, too. Alternatively, you can always try Google Duo. The “other” video calling platform from Google now supports up to 12 participants, making it ideal for smaller conference calls.

Learn with YouTube for Education

YouTube is a great place for entertainment, but it’s also one of the best free online resources for e-learning content. There are some superb creators that make a ton of great tutorials, but YouTube has a dedicated playlist for Learning, which has playlists dedicated to tons of the highest quality e-learning and tutorial videos on the platform.

You’ll be able to take free-form classes from the likes of Khan Academy and more, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re working from home and want to improve some of your skills beyond your day job, now is the time to invest in yourself.

What are your best tips for working from home?

Do you have any tips or Google tools that you use to help you when working from home? Let us know down in the comments section below.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email:

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