Remote Work Survival Kit


What is this?

The Remote Work Survival Kit is a crowdsourced document, created in response to the COVID19 Coronavirus, to help those who are trying to:


  1. Implement remote working in their organisation.

  2. Set themselves up to work from home.

  3. Protect their business, their staff and teams from effects of this and future pandemics.


Remote working

Remote working (working away from an office location – whether that’s in a hotel, coffee shop or at home) has been going on for years – but the COVID19 Coronavirus has led to enforced social distancing, which has massively increased the number of people working from home.


It’s important to understand that working from home in a time of crisis is different from working from home in normal times. Trying to work from home at the same time as looking after children and vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives is not “normal” working from home. Normal remote working makes provision to separate these elements, whilst working from home in a time of crisis means they all happen together. This guide attempts to strike a balance between the normal and the extreme situation we find ourselves in today.


Creating a space to work

The following items should help when establishing a space to work at home – think of them as a “working from home checklist”

Setting up a workspace

Can you set aside a place for “work”?  Is it possible in your home? Not everyone has a home office, but a dining table can work just as well as long as you don’t allow distractions. Folding furniture can give a real advantage here!


Employers have a duty of care. Not everyone has an appropriate space to work in their home, so support staff with guidance and information as to how they can use the space around them.


Be prepared that your brain can rebel if you’re not used to working from home. Try to make your working environment different from your usual hang-out places to emphasise the differences. Somewhere new, even if just a different chair, will make it easier to promote new habits and not just want to keep putting the TV on. Home is usually your sanctuary from work so you may well find it harder to motivate than expected.


You’ll want a comfortable chair, but not too comfortable. If you try a dining chair you’ll find a new-found respect for even the cheapest office chair.


And consider ergonomics! Check that your chair and desk are at a good height, and that you aren’t reaching too far or flexing your wrists at a bad angle on your keyboard. If you can, use an external monitor or raise up your laptop and use an external keyboard. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a real thing, and if you’re a bit more stressed than usual you’re likely to be tensing up and placing more strain on your back, neck and arms.


There’s more advice on the NHS website about preventing RSI and on good sitting positions for working


Some people like to use a standing desk as another option, or a kneeling chair (probably not together!).

Managing your availability

Keeping set work hours (and sticking to them) as well as adding these to your email signature can help you to differentiate between work time and home time.


Depending on the culture of your organisation, you may find that people’s expectations of a response vary (there’s a whole section on the Cultural implications of remote working later in this document).


Shared calendars are often a huge benefit to remote teams to see others’ availability. Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook are commonly used but even a spreadsheet can work at a pinch. Some organisations may use tools like Zapier to update employee’s Slack status based on Google Calendar entries and then report in Hubstaff. Other platforms may have close integration built in (Microsoft Teams automatically integrates with Exchange calendars, for example).


Manage expectations regarding your availability to “just pick the kids up” etc. when working from home. Focus is a valuable thing but then so is the flexibility of being at home.


Remember to get up, move, walk around and not be chained to the desk for the entire duration of the working day. It’s very easy to get sucked in to being more sedentary than usual as your working life and connections are all online. Consider using your (former) commuting time as exercise time, preferably in the fresh air. Working at home, you will take far fewer steps than you would travelling to work, in the office, or dashing out for a sandwich at lunchtime. A walk/bike ride/run or whatever exercise you enjoy also “bookends” the working day effectively, helping to provide a mental separation between home life and work life.


It could be helpful to set your workflow to suit your productivity. This could be through prioritising your best tasks for when you are most productive. This article is quite helpful: It may also be good to pencil in activities you cannot miss such as collaborative work or meetings, or even a scheduled walk to get you up and going in the mornings, and as a way to give some structure to your day.

Running online meetings

Think about when you will use video on calls.  Have you got a suitable camera and will you wear different clothes when talking to customers as opposed to colleagues? And what’s in the background – will it be an unnecessary distraction for whoever you’re talking to? (Some tools offer the capability to blur the background on video calls).


Whilst video can help with non-verbal communication in conversations, remember that not everyone has a suitable connection (see the section on Connectivity) and it may be necessary to switch it off to save bandwidth, especially with the increased load on broadband infrastructure.


Even if you don’t use video, how will you manage audio? Video is not always necessary but a good headset often is, particularly if your workspace has lots of hard surfaces which cause echo.


When taking part in online meetings, how will you take notes? If you have a single (or low-resolution) screen you might not be able to use your computer to type up notes while you’re in that meeting.  Ask if you can record the meeting – most online meeting tools have this capability but sometimes only the organiser can do this. Some meeting tools have the ability to provide a digital whiteboard, or even a dedicated area for meeting notes.

Aligning expectations with others in the household

A “busy lamp” or notice for when taking part in meetings may prevent you from being disturbed by others in the household. Even a “do not disturb sign” for the door can really improve the quality of meetings; however, in these times of enforced social distancing with schools closed and limited opportunity for exercise, some disruption from children, pets, etc. should be expected.


Working from home could increase some of your household bills due to increased use of heating and lighting, so being mindful of the additional cost could be important. Sometimes it helps to have a comfy jumper or blanket near-by before reaching for the thermostat boost button. That said, it is important to be warm and comfortable (think about your circumstances – could the cost be offset by reduced travel costs?).

Be community-spirited

It could be helpful to check in with colleagues or neighbours about helping each other with practical errands in the event that you need to self-isolate.


Connectivity (Wi-Fi, 4G, etc.) and how to manage it

Many people will be thinking about the speed of their home Wi-Fi but far more significant is the speed of access to the Internet.


Broadband connectivity may be subject to contention: where several homes are competing for the same bandwidth to reach the telephone exchange and beyond. This will vary according to other people in your street using high speed broadband. Contention rates are often lower with business broadband packages.


In addition, many broadband technologies (at least in the UK) are designed for faster download than upload. That’s fine when streaming video from YourTube, Netflix, etc. but not so good when taking part in two-way conversations.


The actual bandwidth can be measured with various websites/apps (such as or and it may be necessary to consider what others in the household are using the Internet for when you’re trying to deliver an important presentation…


Bandwidth is not the only factor: audio and video conferencing is particularly sensitive to latency and jitter. These are less of a concern for web browsing.


Businesses should pay attention to the following:


  • There is going to be an assumption that everyone has broadband but what if they don’t? Who will pay for the installation of a broadband service for staff to work from home?

  • Consider whether you can supply a mobile wireless router that uses 4G (separate from their mobile phone and often called a MiFi device) for workers with limited or no connectivity.

  • Check your mobile contract – if employees use their mobile for tethering will you end up with unexpected and expensive bills for data outside your plan?


There’s more information in these links:



There are many tools available that can assist with remote working – not just the traditional “collaboration” tools but also things around the periphery – document signing, scheduling, etc.

Identifying essential tools/software/data

An organisation of around 100 employees may use between 100-200 applications. It’s important to understand which of these are essential to your employees’ workflow and business continuity:


  • Rate them in terms of essential, desirable, not needed.

  • Then test each of these from a remote location to ensure you’re able to correctly use them.

  • Consider where the data is stored within these applications – even though the application runs, can your data be reached?


By identifying applications that are essential to your business you can prioritise your focus on these to ensure they operate correctly, at speed and reliably.

Take care over where data is stored

Ensure your staff understand the difference between saving data on their remote device and on your network server or cloud service.


Data that is mistakenly saved on the device may be lost, cannot be collaborated on or fall out of continuity if others edit the same file and overwrite changes. It may also constitute a security risk, particularly where staff use their own devices.


Be aware of security considerations but Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc. are great when working remotely and files are too big to exchange easily by email or instant messaging.

Consider how users will access data/reach your network

If you control access to your network through a single VPN/RAS point this is likely to be a bottleneck.  Managing the use of this (audio rather than video for example) may become essential depending on your capacity. If Internet-based services are used, consider using “split tunnelling” so that traffic is routed using a local Internet connection instead of “hairpinning” through the corporate network.

Providers with free tiers/services

(In alphabetical order)


Note that some may be viewed as exploiting the COVID19 Coronavirus situation to gain new users, so be wary of signing up to any trials that require payment details and remember to set reminders to cancel anything you do not wish to auto renew.







Video Conferencing (“Meetings”, “Events” and “Rooms”)

Free trials:

CA Flowdock

Group chat

Free for teams of up to 5.


Find remote workers to have lunch or coffee with (from home)

Cisco Webex

Free plan:


Time Tracking

CloudFlare for Teams

Nothing to do with Microsoft Teams (security, enterprise grade free until 1 Sep 2020 for now)

Free offer for small businesses during the Coronavirus emergency:


Digital Signing

Useful for completing legal agreements remotely. You can access the free 6 months at


Usually used by gamers but free. It has voice and chat “rooms” and now it has the ability to stream. It is helpful for classes.

Remote stand-ups and check-ins

Asynchronous standup meetings inside Slack.


Productivity Suite

Statement on Helping Schools and Businesses stay connected in response to Coronavirus:

G Suite free trial:

Join meetings:

Hub Spot



Time Tracking


Connected Meeting Notes

Idea Flip

Remote Brainstorming

Very powerful when teams can’t be together.

Jitsi Meet

Video Conferencing

LogMeIn GoTo Meeting

Free trial:

Also branded:

Microsoft Teams

Chat Based Messaging, Telephony and Collaboration

Free tier (see

Free end user training materials:

Also see:

Microsoft Office 365

Productivity Suite

Microsoft is also offering a free trial of Office 365 E1, which includes Teams and various other collaboration/productivity tools. For details of the free Office 365 E1 trial, see

Microsoft Crisis Communication App

Enhance organizational communication, news sharing, etc.


Overview video (3 minutes):

The solution combines capabilities of Power Apps, Power Automate, Teams, and SharePoint. It can be used on the web, mobile or in Teams. The app can be self-deployed.

Installation guide:

Deployment video (25 minutes):

Mindiply Decido

Remote group

decision making/dot voting

Totally free.


All In One Workspace

Prezi Video


Can be used in apps like Webex, GoToMeeting, and Zoom.

Choose the basic plan for a free version.

Join a live training session:

Rocket Chat

Workstream collaboration and omnichannel customer engagement

Free open source solution.


A quick intro for those using it for the first time:


Video Meetings


Digital Office Space



There’s a 40 minute limit on basic plans but K-12 schools in selected countries (see for the latest)  can apply to have this restriction lifted:

NordVPN Teams

Business security, VPN



In addition to the above:


  • Google Hangouts and Apple FaceTime are great and both work on mobile and desktop, as does WhatsApp.

  • The Open for Business Hub lists technology companies that are helping small businesses by enabling remote work through the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Agile organisations may find this list of Retrospective tools useful:


Tip: Remember some free tools might not have robust privacy policies, etc. If you are sharing confidential information it is always best to do so with a trusted provider and a well-formed set of terms and conditions. In particular, do not share passwords and similar information on these tools.


Links for businesses setting up a remote working capability

The following headings group some of the links that have been contributed. Over time, these may be moved to other areas of the document.

Distributed/Remote Working

Online Meeting/Gathering Resources

How to work from home

Tools and guides for event alternatives

Other links


General advice for business and organisation event contingency planning in response to COVID-19/Coronavirus

Contingency planning for a pandemic such as COVID-19 is likely to focus across 2 areas:


  1. Measures to protect health and respond to the virus.

  2. Financial planning and organisational decisions.


And the 3 phases of an event/project:


  1. Planning

  2. Delivery

  3. Post-event


Relevant to all 3 phases is:


    • Plan for your event/project to go ahead despite COVID-19.

    • Decision making. In collaboration with authorities, agree “trigger points” in advance. At what point would:

  • Risk mitigation measures need to be reviewed and/or enhanced?

  • The event need to be modified?

  • The event need to be postponed?

  • The event need to be cancelled?

There would seem to be legal and liability differences between deciding to call an event off based on an internal decision, and following orders/advice from authorities. Always follow the advice of authorities re. postponement or cancellation.

    • Reduce event-related risk of transmission of the virus. Create a basic set of principles for this as an organisation including:

  • Staying away from work/the event if unwell and supporting staff to be able to do so.

  • Hygiene (e.g. hand washing).

  • Isolation.

  • Precautions around travel.

  • Crowding/close contact.

Measures to protect health and respond to COVID-19

During the planning phase, key things to consider include:



    • Liaise with local and national public health authorities:

  • Ensure there is a nominated person to liaise and that contact is maintained throughout the planning period.

  • Agree channels of communication (between organisers, authorities, and the public) in advance.

Planning and documentation

  • The WHO advice above gives advice on what the Action Plan should cover.

  • Several parties are likely to be responsible for different actions (public health authority, local health service provider, event organisers).

  • Include decision trigger points.

    • What measures will be taken to prevent and respond to COVID-19 (i.e. detect and monitor the virus, reduce the spread, manage and treat anyone who is unwell, communicate messages specific to the virus)?

  • Agree with the local authorities how attendees and the local population will be kept informed about the health situation, key developments, any relevant advice and recommended actions.

  • Also agree how to do the same for staff, volunteers, artists, partners and programme participants?

Capacity and resource assessment


  • Does the local authority need to provide any specific resource and/or capacity to the event for risk mitigation, ie. testing, isolation and treatment facilities?

  • Are there sufficient resources in the team to deliver all the actions identified in the COVID-19 Action Plan?

  • Are you delivering what you are responsible for, and are the local authorities doing the same? Ensure there are no gaps/crossover.

  • How to ensure both the event and the Action Plan can be delivered if any staff become unwell? Can gaps be covered and the event still be safely delivered? How can staff who become unwell, or are at risk of becoming unwell, be supported?


For delivery, key things to do are:


    • Reducing the risk of event-related transmission of the virus. What will be done and how will the measures be communicated? Consider:

  • Hygiene.

  • Event supplies.

  • Identifying symptoms .

  • Isolation space.

  • Access to treatment.

  • Communicating these measures.

  • How to continue to assess risk and respond throughout the event.

    • Risk communication:

  • Keep in touch with local authorities and national announcements.

  • How will key messages be delivered to participants and the local population in a reliable and consistent way?

  • How will communication to participants and the local population occur quickly if an unusual event occurs?

  • What advice will be communicated, and how (ie. see above measures)?

  • Decide on whether specific information and advice is required for participants who would be considered higher risk to the virus?


After the event:


  • Review and communicate any learnings to necessary authorities.

  • Agree steps to take if feel unwell at/as a result of the event.

Financial planning and organisational decisions

The following should all be considered:



  • Plan for staff absences

  • How can staff be supported, practically and financially, if they need to be absent due to illness or isolation, or if the event is postponed or cancelled.

  • Plan ways to limit in-person contact and encourage remote working

  • Have prepared alert levels e.g. amber, red, etc detailing what would be needed at each stage. That way, staff can know exactly where the organisation is, and anticipate what may be coming next.

  • Try as much as possible to give timely information so people are not left wondering what to do and afraid of consequences, and also try to avoid conflicting information which could cause panic and further confusion.


  • Forecast for different scenarios, based on modifying, postponing and cancelling the event.

  • What are the priority payments?

  • Can any areas of the event be reduced to create a large contingency budget?


  • Can flexible refund policies be created and offered for participants?


  • Are any contract amendments required to create clarity around the potential scenarios? How can we do this in an ethical way?


  • Cancellation cover is unlikely but is cover available for the other potential scenarios, i.e. modifying and/or postponing?


  • What is the funders’/sponsors’ response to COVID-19? Can they be encouraged to consider the realities of the current scenario?


  • What communications support the organisation’s reputation, in addition to communicating in response to COVID-19?

  • For companies it may be worth proactively announcing to customers, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders how they are organising to maintain continuity of service and protect staff.

  • Internal communications are also important when economical changes will concern staff.

Additional considerations

  • How can the wellbeing of staff, participants, attendees and partners be supported in a challenging time?

  • Consider communicating flexibility in work expectations considering that staff will have responsibilities and concerns beyond work.

  • Consider flexible non-work related check-in sessions.

  • Reputationally, how are you seen to be responding to this?

  • How are event venues responding to COVID-19? Do their plans correspond with yours? Plan for the closure of some venues, even if not all.

  • What equipment will be needed on site re. COVID-19? Has this been budgeted for?

  • Some international staff may have to return home or incur additional housing, travel related costs – consider how to accommodate pressing financial needs.


Cultural implications of remote working

Setting expectations

It’s really important to set clear expectations around  what people should be expected to do when working at home. Here’s a list of pointers that may help:


  • Set the tone at a leadership level to avoid teams falling into their own practices – some of which will be good, and some bad.

  • Establish a culture of trust… kill the air quotes around “working from home” and believe that folk will be productive.

  • Create new working hours and patterns – if employees don’t have to commute, let them start at 07:00/08:00 and finish at 15:00/16:00. It may be necessary to establish core hours when people are expected to be available though.

  • Death to the “9 to 5” (whilst still meeting departmental/company service levels/opening hours for response to enquiries or phone calls.) Clearly, staff can’t all choose to finish at 15:00 when the opening hours are until 17:00!

  • Think about how the organisation will survive where flexitime is dependent on tapping in and out on a box by the door.

  • Consider how to extend this as a practice beyond times of crisis. Don’t revert to Dark Satanic Mills once a period of isolation has passed.

Working with others

A tip for working in a shared document is to become comfortable with sharing early, as a  contributor you are “working out loud’  and as a reader you will see the document evolve in real time.


One contributor to this document wrote:


“We as a 5-person team have embraced Microsoft Teams (the client and our consultancy’s mutually preferred collaboration tool) and, collectively, built emails, PowerPoints, and goodness knows other stuff through a highly interactive and collaborative setup. Key = psychological safety. As this team’s servant, I contribute by guiding all of us that each of us is given a voice in discussion and establishing that we are all 5 peers. Chatham House Rules: we work as a team and we respond as a team.”


One way to manage this is to create a Team Charter, share it and reference it often. Here is a simple example:


“We communicate over a WhatsApp Group. Jira must reflect the actual state of play, with a 2 hour tolerance. There is to be “no dark work” – i.e. make the work transparent; so at any point in time we should be able to point to an item (Jira = sub-task) that contributes towards a piece of value delivery (i.e. a Work Item/Product Backlog Item). We have a new WhatsApp Group that includes the client so communications are readily available across all team-members. In future we will use Microsoft Teams more for collaboration; however, our anchor, the behaviour established is we’re all sensitive to our WhatsApp Group.”


There’s some more advice in


Generally, immediate responses should not be expected to an email but instant messages may be… instant. Presence indicators in collaboration tools (busy, away, available, offline) help a lot here.


If you work across continents (or even large countries) you will have to manage time zones. That might be tricky. Double and triple check time zones all the time (and it’s not that easy with the various abbreviations out there). Some people may find it easier to use city names for reference instead of CET and EST. Calendar tools such as Outlook and Google Calendar (with “time zone” and “world clock” options) can help to manage. Websites like can be incredibly useful.

General tips


    • 2 minutes on a video call can save many more minutes and significantly more brain space than a long back-and-forth on Slack/Teams taking place in the background. Body language is transmitted to an extent (phone calls are not as good as video, but they are better than endless messages!)

    • Use your webcam as much as possible on calls – it helps you know when people have finished speaking/want to speak.

    • Use Trello/Jira/whatever to guide stand-ups and check-ins. Centring the updates around the cards keeps it really focussed but also means the detail is there for later too.

    • Have a shared Google Doc/OneNote/whatever for meetings so people can follow along with the conversation and keep track of what’s been agreed/asked – don’t assume that somebody else is writing in their pad/on Post-Its if you can’t see them doing it.

    • it’s really hard to judge what the general mood in the camp is, so introduce a low-key way of sharing general feelings – e.g. if people are happy to, share a number out of 10 for your general vibe in your stand-ups so people know who to give support to and who to go to for a bit of a pick-me-up.

    • Make a bit of time for inconsequential, non-work chat – you are not machines, nobody wants to be on back-to-back calls.

    • Don’t pretend you can do life admin throughout your working day – it disrupts concentration and just makes for a weird vibe when you jump from putting a wash on to talking to somebody about something super serious.

    • You’re allowed to make tea/coffee/stretch your legs – it’s essential to stretch the legs, circulation will be hindered if you walk less than in the office, and it’s surprising how many thousands of steps you can find yourself behind in the house than the office. It can have an impact on health, which isn’t good considering the circumstances.

    • You’re allowed to close Slack/Teams/whatever for a bit if you need a bit of focus time – just give people a heads up, but nobody will assume you’re skiving off. You can also put it in the do not disturb mode.

    • if you feel a bit lonely, a bit confused by some work, or feel like you’re making no headway – ping somebody to share a feeling or frustration. When nobody can pick up on your furrowed brow or sighs of annoyance, it can feel like you have to fix it all yourself, but we work in teams for a reason.

    • Slack/email isn’t the best medium for sharing a difficult message. In person is best but may not be possible during periods of self-isolation/social distancing/enforced quarantine. Pick up the phone.

    • Remember not everyone is set up with a home office – people will be working with children, dogs, cats and partners in the background and not everyone has an office to go to. Be understanding and respectful of this situation. When using audio/video calls, expect delays around mute/unmute and a loss of concentration.  Recommend using messaging to write questions/ask specific people for answers and responses.

    • Keep an eye on your work/life balance and general efficiency with (if you’re on a corporate Office 365 account)

    • Set up a virtual water cooler channel in Teams/Slack/whatever for people to share tips, playlists, etc. The idea is to develop some cohesion whilst people adjust to the new reality.

  • Aligned to the virtual water channel, hold virtual social events (e.g. Matt Ballantine’s Global Canteen) as a drop-in for people to chat, when otherwise they might feel isolated.

  • Building on the (external) virtual social events, hold these internally so that presenters can share up to 5 mins on what they have been working on. Align with more focus at a team level – round tables, guest speakers, etc. to focus on things other than the day-to-day activities. This can help with team collaboration, morale and positive mindset.

Easy to action productivity tips

The following tips may help you stay productive whilst working from home, and all are very simple:


  • Get dressed – do not be tempted to wear your PJs to work. It will put you in the wrong mindset for work. There’s no need to go the whole hog and wear a suit, but find a comfortable medium that makes you feel comfortable at your new working spot, but also makes you feel professional and motivated.

  • Be strict with yourself (and family/friends) about your working hours.

  • Prep lunch for yourself ahead of time if possible and eat something healthy – no more Pret sandwiches!

  • Use video and/or speaker phone wherever possible to discuss team actions and help you feel connected to your office-base.

  • Set a strict time for non-work activities (e.g take a walk by 5pm) so you have an incentive to be productive, so you can get to them.

Hey, it’s OK if you are WFH and…


  • If your children start yelling in the background while you’re on a call (or they casually walk into your home office/bedroom to ask you for something).

  • If you accidentally forget to hit the mute button and we hear you scream across the house for those same kids to be quiet.

  • If you didn’t have time to shower because you had a call with a team in another time zone at 07:00 and you don’t turn on the video.

  • If you’re new to working remotely and we can see everything in your closet behind you (some tools have a background blur capability)

  • If your Wi-Fi goes down and the call drops, twice.

  • If the courier delivers a parcel that needs to be signed for and no-one else can answer the door.

  • If the lawnmower outside or builder next door is a bit too loud for comfort.

  • If your dog starts barking in the middle of your sentence and suddenly you go on mute.

  • If your cat jumps on your lap or keyboard in the middle of a video call and you lose your train of thought.

  • Finally: Organisations will have to be relaxed about this whilst people acclimatise to remote working – whether they like it or not…

Remote work advice

If you’ve been commuting, keep a percentage of your commute cost for “nice things” at work – whether that’s a great lamp for your desk, an image you love in a frame, some plants or a set of 20 Sharpies in different colours. Put the rest of the money into your savings if you don’t need to use it for other essential costs.


The presenters on Radio 5 Live (or your station of choice) are a big part of your life but they are not actually your real friends. Talk to some real people each day as well as the radio/the cat/the dog.



Family and working from home

Family life

Keeping children occupied while you are all at home, and not letting their education slip, can be hard work.  There are lots of free educational resources and some that have been opened up specifically to help with the coronavirus issue in this list.


These have been loosely broken down into two sections: the first organised according to subject specific resources (Art,  History etc.); and the second arround levels of study (Primary, GCSE, A-Level).

Subject-specific resources


General Education

BBC Learning

  • This site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.

National Geographic Kids

  • Activities and quizzes for younger kids.

Crash Course

  • YouTube videos on many subjects.

Crash Course Kids

  • As above but targeted to a younger audience.

UK Parliament learning

  • The UK parliament learning resource section.

Kids Learning Tube


Khan Academy

  • Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the US grade system but it’s a mostly common material.

Prodigy Maths

  • Is in US grades, but good for UK Primary age.

Beast Academy (Math)

Maths Genie

  • GCSE-specific maths help.


  • GCSE-based maths revision.

Corbett Maths:

  • GCSE-based maths revision.

English Language and Literature

Project Gutenberg

  • Collection of free books out of copyright.

Free childrens classics PDFs and Audiobooks

Read great Literature


  • Free literature including study guides

  • Lots of ebooks 100% free

Open Library

  • Lots of free books

Mr Bruff English Videos:



  • Visual programming language, similar to scratch


  • Creative computer programming


  • Coding for Kids

Hour of code

  • Learn the basics of coding


  • Fun coding based game (flash Based)

Code Combat

  • Learn Coding through gaming – for secondary school learners

Cyber School

  • Online Cyber Security lessons aimed at primary and secondary school



  • Learn languages for free. Web or app.


  • Courses for languages

BBC Languages

Science and Technology

Mystery Science

The Kids Should See This

  • Wide range of cool educational videos

Crest Awards

  • Science awards you can complete from home.

iDEA Awards

  • Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.


  • All kinds of design and making.

Anyone studying A-Level Chemistry will find this website really helpful for learning online:

Crash Course Kids

  • Science videos

Science Channel

  • Science Videos

SciShow Kids

  • Science Videos for children

The BrainScoop

  • Chicago Museum video channel


  • Science Videos for secondary learner

Geek Gurl Diaries

  • Technology, coding videos

Mike Likes Science

  • Science inspired music videos

Science Max

  • Science Experiments


  • Human experience


Big History Project

  • Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.

The historical society (twentieth century History)

Virtual Tours:


Geography Games

  • Geography gaming!

Nat Geo Kids and

  • Geography fun for kids.

National Geographic

Top Websites and resources for geography

Project Noah

  • A mix of geography and wildlife.


  • Opening up free resources during Covid 19

Resistance in the rainforest film festival:

  • Watch the movies from the festival online

The National Trust

Geography Focus:


The Artful Parent

  • Good, free art activities

Red Ted Art

  • Easy arts and crafts for little ones

The Imagination Tree

  • Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.

10 free online art courses

View classical paintings online[email protected]/

The Walters art museum

Rob Biddulph

  • Draw along videos

Google arts & Culture


Duet yourself

  • An online virtual community choir

Jambase couch tour alert

  • A list of announcements of virtual concerts

Billboard live streaming concerts (updating)

  • A list of bigger concerts live streaming


Nature Detectives

  • A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!

Blue Peter Badges

  • If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.

Activities to do with kids while parents work remotely:

Google expeditions –

  • VR expeditions in VR & AR

Level-specific resources


Younger Learners

General education & Games

Paw Print Badges

  • Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.

CBeebies Radio

  • Listening activities for the younger ones.

Oxford Owl for

  • Lots of free resources for Primary age

Toy Theater

  • Educational online games


  • American kindergarten educational site

Fun Brain

  • Fun Games

PBS Kids

  • Games for young ones

Highlights Kids

  • Educational activities for younger learners


Splash Learn

  • Basic maths games


  • Maths games for kids

Math Game Time

  • Maths games for kids


Science Kids

  • Fun Science and technology for kids.

Switch Zoo

  • Animals and nature



  • Reading fun with Dr Seuss

Turtle Diary

  • Word games – Literacy

Unite For Literacy

  • Basic literature/reading for young kids


  • Basic literature/reading for young kids

Story Time Online

  • Collections of stories online

Key stages

Scholastic Classroom

  • Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities.

DK Find Out

  • Activities and quizzes


  • This is more for printouts, and usually at a fee, but they are offering a month of free access to parents in the event of school closures.

BBC Bitesize:

  • Subjects specific help across all Key Stages



  • For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.

British Council

  • Resources for English language learning

BBC Bitesize:

  • GCSE Help


  • Online research search engine for children



  • For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.

Free online Sociology courses



  • Online coding tutorials

Adult education and continuous personal development


  • Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).


  • Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.

Ted Ed

  • Educational Ted Videos





A tomato-shaped kitchen timer is a great productivity tool. This can also link to physical health. Working from home can be way more sedentary, so use the 5 minute breaks to get up and have a walk. If you monitor step count, then try to keep this at the same level as when in the office. This will benefit mental and physical health too:


A useful tool for blocking distractions during working hours. If you’re sitting where you would normally be looking extensively at Social media during your down time, the temptation may be strong when you should be working. This will stop you from looking at sites you know will hamper your productivity.




Mental Health

Top tips for managing Coronavirus anxiety:

  • Wash your hands and reduce time spent in public

  • Moderate your news intake, limit exposure to mass hysteria online

  • When working from home or in self-isolation, arrange your space so that it’s calming

  • Practice deep breathing exercises or other methods of meditation

  • Reach out for help: your mental health is important

  • If you are struggling, you can use the Crisis text helpline on: 741741 (UK only)




General Links

  • Developed by Public Health England, this is a great short quiz that helps to identify how you are ding and gives some simple suggestions to staying positive.

  • Specific help aimed at men, with lots of info on the site plus a online chat and a phone line 0800 585858 Both open 5pm – midnight 365 days a year.

  • Apps updated, free for everyone, and without annoying ads that interrupt the experience.


The following resources have been suggested but no links have been provided. They will be removed in a future edition of the Remote Work Survival Kit, unless links are sourced:

    • Big White Wall

  • Free  Big White Wall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low. The service has an active forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or one-to-one therapy with therapists. This app has been updated and is currently under reassessment.

    • Catch It

  • Learn how to manage feelings like anxiety and depression with Catch It. The app will teach you how to look at problems in a different way, turn negative thoughts into positive ones and improve your mental wellbeing. This app is currently under reassessment for Data Protection following changes introduced by GDPR.

    • Sleepio

  • Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme for people living in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. It has been clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night, and give you more energy during the day if you follow the programme correctly.  The programme is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi). You can use it to learn cognitive techniques to help tackle the racing mind and behavioural strategies to help reset sleeping patterns naturally, without relying on sleeping pills.

    • Student Health App

  • The Student Health App provides easy access to more than 900 pages of reliable health information all in one place. The content has been created for university students by NHS doctors and is regularly updated. Use the app to reduce your worries, feel more confident and get the support you need at what can be a challenging time for any student.

Leadership and remote teams

Managing teams remotely when you are not used to it

Something to mitigate this:

(all boils down to trust, or how to accept the need to implicitly trust, even if it might not have developed yet). On a side note – why do we not trust our teams already?!


5 ways to improve communication in remote teams


These tips are taken from a research publication from MIT Sloan, however, for reasons of copyright, the text previously copied here has been removed.


Tip 1 – Match the technology to the task

Tip 2 – Make intentions clear

Tip 3 – Stay in sync

Tip 4 – Be responsive and supportive

Tip 5 – Be open and inclusive


The entire article is available at:


This link contains the following two documents

  1. 5  Ways to improve communication in virtual teams

  2. Leading Remotely


  • Trust factor (CK)

  • Neglect vs Overbearing

  • How to check in versus diarising formal stuff (CK)

  • Regular touchpoints – daily ceremonies to say hello (CK +1)

  • Setting expectations – do your teams know when they are expected to be available to each other?

  • Presence – now we are connected all the time, presence indicators can be less useful, but setting a precedent about how this is used can help. Using this shift in way of working to mitigate the widespread ‘presenteeism’ that plagues many offices – let staff get work done in the most productive way for THEM.

  • Do you expect your teams to be “dressed for business” on internal calls?  What is the done thing when on video calls with customers? It might be best to relax formal dress codes during this time.


Importance of cultural change for remote working teams:


Agile and Scrum for working in remote teams

Adoption of Agile and Scrum techniques even on a small scale will help with communication, accountability, task management and focus.You don’t need to go full blown agile to achieve results.


For example, a daily stand up call with a team helps focus efforts, each person speaks in turn answering these three questions:

  1. What did I do yesterday?

  2. What am I doing today?

  3. What might stop me achieving what I want to do today?


Use a KanBan board if appropriate so there is clear sight of what’s to do, what’s in progress and what has been done – physical and virtual KanBan boards are options and in many cases using both achieves the best outcome.


Overview of some Agile techniques here:


A daily standup call may not work in a flexible working environment. One method which is effective in our experience as a remote working team is to have a communication channel in your chosen platform (ie Slack) which is purely for daily feedback. A #huddle channel where people post what they achieved today and what they’re planning to do the next working day helps to provide essential feedback to line managers and team members alike, whilst also ensuring focus on activities going forward.



‘Forming, norming, performing’ for remote teams:


Remote Work: Intro (Events, Economy, Experiences, Policies, Environment, Stats, Sources), Guide (Remote Scale, Challenges, Benefits, Principles, Tooling, Hiring and Staffing, Onboarding, Culture,, Accountability, Communication, Collaboration, Timezones)



Build a remote company culture:


Remote working book:


Free ebook on remote team management:


Tips for remote working with Google’s suite of tools:


Being a resilient leader in difficult times:


The Six Pillars of Resiliency:



This is all about ensuring you are clear about your purpose and goals. Then ensuring you are authentic.



You need to ensure you have enough energy by exercising, correct diet, enough sleep and using mindfulness.



Having the right support in place will ensure you boost your resiliency. This comes from other leaders, peers and your network.



We are always in control of how we feel! Building your self awareness and self control is a key element of resilience.



Your tenacity, optimism and bouncebackability all come into play here, supported by all the other elements.


Decision Making

How you solve problems, take action and move forward is key to your success. You need to build your toolkit.


Remote working framework for team leaders:

Excel spreadsheet to guide you through the first and additional weeks of remote working:


How to Design Powerful Rituals for Successful Distributed Companies

Because distributed business management doesn’t really differ from brick-and-mortar business management, let’s focus on how distributed team management differs from that of a co-located staff. Implementing these regular habits will ensure that communication, culture, and unity stay strong within your team, regardless of where you’re all located.

Daily Rituals

Team Standups. To ensure your team feels connected and supported, it’s important to quickly check in with each member at least once daily. Some teams like to have a casual standup conference call, while others prefer an agile scrum on Slack. How you do it isn’t important, but gauging accountability and tracking progress is. (Tip: Here at Yonder, we use an automated slackbot and love it!)

Catch up on email. Avoid future “Have you followed up on this, yet?” emails by encouraging all of your team members to zero out their inbox at the end of each workday. Trust us, your clients and vendors will notice and appreciate your team’s accessibility!

Plan your tomorrow. This tried and true productivity method is easy to integrate into your team’s daily routine with a slackbot.

Weekly Rituals

Casual Chats. Remote employees may need to be reminded that they work and interact with real human beings. Make sure to integrate efficient (but sincere) personal conversations into your work week by asking about kids, pets, trips, hobbies, or anything else that is exciting or unique about your coworkers. If you’re not “naturally blabby,” block a quick one-on-one chat with each of your team members into your calendar or randomly pair employees with each other (including yourself) to connect during a scheduled time.

Live Meetings. Every team, regardless of size, should come together at least once a week to report, plan, celebrate, and problem solve. How you connect (phone, video, in-person, or other) isn’t very important, but uniting over shared experiences or goals is.

A Celebration. Recognize another stretch of a job well done with a celebration of some kind. You can start simple with extra compliments on Slack, then eventually graduate into Friday afternoon parties or breaks. Fun goals, like this, often make it worth getting through a tough few days and recharges everyone for the next week.

Monthly Rituals

Progress Reports. Voluntarily providing updates communicates trust and confidence, so make sure to offer some kind of reporting to your followers, including progress summaries, important news, and forecasting for the next month. It’s up to you to decide whom to share these reports – just your team, a department, the whole company, or even your entire community. Again, the message is more important than the medium, so don’t get too caught up in format or distribution tools.

Unprofessional Activity. Forget about work and deadlines and clients for a minute and just do something outrageously fun or fulfilling together. Some teams host a Fitbit challenge, slack book club, or happy hour video call to enjoy together. Be creative. Tap into your company’s branding or common interests and goals for inspiration. This will not only support your company’s mission, but strengthen it.

Temperature Gauges. Check in on your team members one-by-one to get an idea of how they’re doing in general. Think of it as an agile scrum, but for their big picture: Are you satisfied with your progress and accomplishments this month? What blocks are you noticing that are hindering your creativity? What can I do that might help you accomplish your goal for next month? If you choose to share responses publicly, make sure to follow up your posted response with a private message to display individual concern.

Quarterly, Semi-Annually, or Annually

Employee Evaluations. During standups and meetings, topics are usually discussed on a micro-scale, so this is a good opportunity to zoom out and look at the big picture of each worker’s progress, satisfaction, concerns, and goals. To encourage transparency, create a casual and comfortable environment, be open to any responses (positive or negative), and be as honest and compassionate as you expect them to be with you.

Personal Gifts. Remind your team about how much you appreciate their work and value your professional relationship with them by sending them a little something every now and then. Budget these into your necessary expenses, so if a special occasion pops up or morale seems to sink, you won’t have an excuse to hold back.

Company Retreats. You already know how important retreats are to the culture, workflows, and communication of a team, so we don’t need to be redundant here. Suffice it to say, this is a crucial investment for the emotional and logistical functions of your team. Have fun, work hard, and watch the incredible impact that it will have on your staff when you return. Trust us.

Establishing rituals with your team might be the most direct path to becoming a more engaged and productive remote leader. With consistent habits and rituals, you will notice a higher rate of employee satisfaction and a more positive vibe to your company culture.



What happens when the tech fails… plans C and D


What now… what next?

At the point that we’re working remotely because it’s part of business continuity plan, then we are already on Plan B.  So what comes next?  How do we build contingency into remote working?


Disaster Recovery plan – review your existing disaster recovery procedures. Are they up to date? When were they last tested? In the event that offices are closed and empty for long periods security may become a risk. Is your data securely off site?


What might your tech fail?

Stress test your remote connectivity. You may have several users that already have Private Network (VPN) or other methods to remotely access your internal network – but how many people will it sustain simultaneously? Cheaper SMB routers will struggle to manage more than single digit number of connections. The slightly more advanced and commonly found Draytek 2860 router for example will support 32 simultaneous VPN connections.


Test the capability.  For example, set aside two days for immediate remote working only.  On day one,  have all employees with existing capability work from home to ensure that the remote infrastructure is capable of dealing with that amount of traffic. On day two (after you have equipped remaining staff with the capability) have all employees work from home to fully stress your remote capability.  There should be a suitable gap between the two days to enable day two to be a success (this maybe equipping some desktop/WYSE based users with laptops for example, or allowing users to use their home kit via a VDI session and writing clear instructions for use), there is no better test than actually doing it – best to test it than assume – best to test it before you must invoke a work from home policy.  Start this process now.


Similarly your remote software may have limitations on licensing for the number of simultaneous users. Ask your IT provider/administrator to check your hardware limitations and software licenses. Whilst they’re at it, check the router configuration is up to date and supported – VPN and security standards are updated regularly so ensure you’re confirming to the latest specifications.


Your office connectivity will also need good, high speed connectivity to support many remote working tools such as remote desktop. Consider that a remote desktop connection requires approx 1.5Mbps to operate well. Typical modern Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) lines run at a maximum of 80Mbps download and 20mpbs upload (data FROM your office), many SMB connections are slower than this. If you’re limited by a 20Mb upload speed you will be able to support a maximum of 13/14 full screen remote desktop connections, less if each of those users is also using the internet on their machine in the office.

Check with your IT administrator what your maximum theoretical bandwidth limit is to determine how many users can be supported.


Information Security Considerations

What information are your people working with and is their home environment suitable?

Privacy – are your remote calls recorded etc and are people aware of that?

Unless you have your own secure office space – be mindful of little eyes and ears wandering in and hearing, seeing, picking up information that could be critically sensitive.


  • Are your IT policies up to date to include business rules and expectations around handling of data, handling login credentials, customer data etc.


  • Run a security audit to ensure the credentials to be used by your external users are strong – ideally enforce 2FA (two factor authentication) by utilising 2FA mobile applications or dongles.


  • Ensure the mobile or remote access device has all security patches applied and up to date OS updates. (These may not work if your update servers are only configured to work whilst in the office).


  • For new devices purchased, decide whether to enable file encryption – this will ensure your data is safe in the event of a lost device as the drive cannot be read if removed from the machine.


  • Building on the above point, consider whether remote wiping/’nuking’ of devices is available or worth making mandatory. (Prevents stolen devices being used as a source of your sensitive data / data of your clients)

  • Does your organisation have any policy, procedural or statutory obligations arising from any company ISO27000 or IASME Certification, or handling any Official classification of information or other similar Information Assurance considerations? Do your threat assessments and control measures still make sense if large numbers of people in your teams will be remote working/WFH and do those staff know and understand what’s required of them? Consider provision of refresher training even if that’s just via distributing a few clear messages on a couple of basic slides.

How to engage in remote working as a freelancer

Maintaining contact with customers and continuing to provide value if you can’t visit premises. Always ensure that you are visible to your team, stakeholders and those that you report to – i.e. If you are using Skype for Business or Team – always ensure the settings are correct so that is shows when you are ‘available’ or ‘in a meeting’ during business hours.




Advice for schools

General advice

    • Many (most?) schools have G-Suite or Office 365 deployed already, because it’s free to schools – so access to remote tools is not a problem.

    • The problem is that schools generally have not invested in the skills, expertise and pedagogies to implement/embed use of these tools. So a typical school with 800TB+ SharePoint Online storage for free, will still be using internal mapped drives to run 80% of its function. Microsoft Teams generally not embedded despite having free access.

    • Email is still the key technology (Gmail or Exchange/Outlook) used by staff to communicate with staff and students. So some options here.

    • Rapid measures that schools should take to plan for remote working/learning: (example below is Office 365, but same applies to G-Suite, acknowledgement to @msetchell):

  • Remember Safeguarding is King. Brief staff on approved systems use outside school to communicate with students. Shouldn’t be a problem as Office 365/G-Suite is Safeguarding-safe. For protection of staff and students, unsanctioned/unmonitored systems should not be used.

  • Have you got integration between MIS, Active Directory and Office 365/G-Suite? Use a tool like @SalamanderSoft to automate account creation/access for all students/staff.

  • Have you got documents in the Cloud? Move content from mapped drives to SharePoint/OneDrive. Verify appropriate security/permissions though.

  • Do all your teachers have a school-assigned laptop/tablet? If not, plan to re-assign curriculum laptops for staff access at home.

  • If you have an Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) service, set sensible restrictions to priority users. 1200 concurrent attempts to connect will bring down RDC services intended for 10+ users (typical).

  • School IT Technical Support should be testing remote access tools that can be used to remote support home-to-home, and plan to need to issue several new guides to staff and students .

  • For teachers happy with live remote teaching, buy them some decent headsets.

  • Ensure your public communication channels are open, accessible and parents know where to go for updated information/instructions (Facebook, Website, Twitter, SMS, bespoke school app).

  • Secure access to passwords to systems off site? Populate a secure password manager. Use a specific tool for this, like LastPass, or Dashlane. These use encryption to ensure that passwords cannot be accessed, even by their staff, without a master password. Do not lose the master password or you will lose access to the passwords. Do not use something like Google Documents or Google sheets to store passwords, these tools are not intended for such.

  • Make use of distance learning Curriculum services, eg. GCSEPod. These services are embedded maturely across schools, and they offer good realtime student progress analytics – perfect for distance learning. Doesn’t replace the teacher though.

  • Train teachers how to Broadcast your PowerPoint presentation online to a remote audience.

    • Problems that I don’t have answers to (but probably beyond scope of IT/this document):

  • Statutory duty to maintain accurate daily attendance data? Maybe the government will relax this? If not, what do we do?

  • Safeguarding for identified students that are safer in school than at home? Can technology help in this context?

  • Continuity of live access to School MIS (SIMS, ScholarPak, Bromcom, etc..) data is crucial. Some schools have had the foresight to host this in the cloud, or ensure reliable remote access, but many (most?) do not due to cost. Can industry IT help us with this given that we’re definitely not for profit?

Making a whole school virtual

What does virtual mean?

  • Continuity of education/learning outside of the physical school building – that’s all that matters. It’s important though – statutory duty.

What do parents wants from a virtual school (clue: it isn’t teachers on Skype 24/7):

Changing to a virtual school


Virtual meetings

  • Refer to the Software/Tools section elsewhere in this document.


  • Relates to “School MIS” point above.


  • Most IT Support partners for schools have a good moral compass and pull out all the stops for crises, including free extra support during Ofsted inspections. COVID-19 will be no different.

  • Large IT Support companies are well-placed to flex their resources as they become more in demand.

  • However, at least 50% of schools are supported by much smaller, well-meaning IT Support companies, that I believe will struggle under the enormous extra IT demands if schools close in huge numbers.

  • Personal plea – Having Office 365/G-Suite for free in schools is great, but it’s had the impact of eliminating its perceived value, so school leadership teams have felt little pressure to invest in skills, expertise and pedagogies to implement/embed use of these tools. If you have valuable experience embedding/developing staff with Office 365/G-Suite within corporate /commerce/ industry, then please get yourself on school local governing boards and help set the IT agenda for school leadership teams.

Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19


Getting ready to use video conference tools as a classroom on limited bandwidth connections

  • Turn off your computer’s cloud back-up service such as Box Sync or Google Drive Sync

  • Schedule any software automatic updates. They eat bandwidth. Save software updates for overnight or the weekend.

  • Turn off your mobile phone’s wireless connection & other devices in your house that will suck your bandwidth dry.

  • Ask others in the house to not use the internet during video conference meetings.

  • Limit the number of browser tabs. Lots of web pages like to automatically and periodically “phone home” creating extra traffic.

  • Close as much desktop software as possible during video conferencing for the same reason as limiting the number of browser tabs.

  • If you share a screen, share the smallest screen available. Less pixels to render across the network.

  • If using my camera in a video chat, make sure the room lighting is steady and use a plain wall in the background. Movement and lighting changes force more pixel value changes to be calculated and sent across the network. Trust me on this one. I’ve seen it happen more than once where the sun streaming through a window keeps peeking in and out behind clouds and the video gets all blurry and choppy.

  • Use a headset with a microphone, if possible, to reduce background noise and to hear other participants better.

  • Where possible use a wired over a wireless connection when using video & audio. The connection quality is significantly higher

  • Be understanding/empathetic that there is a lag between your spoken words, and the students/other hearing it.

  • Be understanding/empathetic that students’ home situations are not the same as a classroom. Background noise, children, etc. Many faculty and students are new to virtual classrooms.

  • Consider your video conferencing technology’s “mute” functions. Take some time to learn what options are available.


Advice for Apprenticeships and General Further Education

Toolkit/Hardware/physical location

Dual monitor if possible (for instance a laptop and external screen) – This allows you to have materials on one screen and the presentation on another. Share whichever is smallest, set that to one side, have the largest screen directly in front and the webcam directly on top. Set your PowerPoints being set to the presenter view, the presenter view should be on your main screen, the one with the webcam. share the second screen.


Webcam – you’re going to establish rapport via the camera so it’s important you can position this in front of you. Always use video, Always, or you’ll spend half the sessions wondering if they’re still there.


Microphone – if a headset then ensure it’s close enough for good audio and not so close that all everyone can hear is you breathing.


No Background distractions – Ensure as plain a background as you can from where you’re delivering, this will minimise distractions.


Good internet is vital – wired is vastly superior to wireless for anything which requires real-time interaction. Refer to the Connectivity (Wi-Fi, 4G, etc.) and how to manage it section elsewhere in this document.


Virtual classrooms


It probably sounds impossible but if done correctly this will allow you to add to their learning techniques which aren’t possible within a regular classroom.


Establish connectivity with learners beforehand. Make sure they can connect with Audio and Video before the session so that if they need any technical support etc. this can be dealt with prior to the session. You don’t want technical problems when you’re supposed to be teaching.


Have a clearly structured Presentation. The best approach is to Time Chunk, kind of basic but takes on a whole new level of significance when your audience isn’t quite so captive.


Establish ground rules for the session – online etiquette. This will be new to both sides so ground rules will be appreciated all round.

  • Mute microphones if not speaking

  • Raise your hand if wanting to speak.

  • Don’t ask open questions, have a rota of who is asked, everyone trying to speak at once in a virtual classroom is bedlam.

  • Ensure that your learners are set to mute when they enter the room to minimise distractions.


Look directly at the camera to establish eye contact and build rapport. ensure you are far back enough to get a range of non-verbal feedback. It can also mean that as you’re looking into the camera you’re looking directly at each learner and can actually establish more rapport than in a classroom.


Speak and engage with learners as though you were in class. Don’t get too concerned with the new medium, it’s still the transfer of ideas from one human to a group of others, not as much has changed as it might appear.


Use names a lot more as you’re looking at a camera and they’re looking at a screen, they may have no idea who you’re really looking at or talking to unless you explicitly state their name.


Ensure sessions are recorded and the recordings shared with learners. This is important for learners who might lose connections etc.


SEND – use dyslexic friendly fonts and colours. use pictures and not lots of text. Any learners who might have unidentified learning difficulties might find their coping strategies stop working in this new environment.





  • Polling

  • Quizzes

  • Exit tickets


Ziteboard  –   – Interactive/collaborative whiteboard

Miro –

Class flow – manage class activities online

Screencast-o-matic – create screen recordings, for creating content


Session Planning


Make use of their workspace. In a virtual classroom, you can take advantage of their surroundings. Doing a session on health and safety? then add a ten-minute activity where they have to go around their workplace and take pictures of hazards? There will be things you can do virtually which are impossible in a regular classroom environment.


Time Chunk If you’re presenting as a video then you’re competing with ted talks and youtube. The Pomodoro technique can be excellent for this. 


Break your lesson into 30-minute slots, give each an objective. roughly 10 minutes delivery of theory, 10 minutes activity/consolidation, 5 minutes checking learning and 5-minute discussion repeat per objective. The activity can be something simple as a discussion, the use of interaction and discussion is more important with remote learning as it can be more anti-social both for the teacher and the learner.  plan for interaction and discussion but control it well.


Start the session a few minutes early so that everyone can be in and ready to start, and any technical issues don’t impact the session. 10 minutes is usually enough.


End with an exit ticket

Socrative does a good online exit ticket, which lets you do a basic assessment of how well learning has gone.


online courses and resources


There are a variety of resources which might help learners with the technical subjects being delivered. These can help significantly with activities and the 20% OJT.


Populate Links here:




If you have a VLE then it will be its time to shine.

Moodle is free and reasonably easy to set up


Remote 1-2-1s & Mentoring


You can use remote software to engage in virtual mentoring sessions rather than face to face visits.

Note that the current exceptional times may well present unique situations/experience for learners. They could be asked to step up in the face of staff absences, they could be dealing with a lot of Activities which are unique to disaster management. You can get them to record video for this and submit it into their portfolios. Especially those on project management or CyberSecurity Technologist (Risk Analyst)


Assessments and End Point assessments


These will still need to be done in a controlled environment and supervised. With the current situation, the government will allow apprentices to have a break in learning if they cannot be assessed due to coronavirus


A brief note on security


the temptation to collaborate can lead to documents being shared via dropbox etc. which should not be shared via that means. e.g. PII being shared via dropbox to get to a remote worker. Do not do this.


Your team

‘Forming, norming, performing’ for remote teams:


Remote worker resources


Resources for designers:

Designers In Need of Work

If you need to hire a designer – please select one of these talented people whose work has been affected by the coronavirus:

Need work:

Available for work:

Remote Job Boards

There are a growing number of remote dedicated sites.

Job Sites Around the World

Add ‘Remote Work’ to your status, location, bios or account name. Or filter by ‘remote’ work.

Jobs Boards – Companies share their job opportunities:

Design Directories – Designers share their portfolios + availability:

Don’t get board! Organise a #remotedate with a friend, family, colleague or a crush during this time of self isolation

Check out this list of virtual entrainment #stayathome

Remote Resources

Remote Design Podcasts

Remote Friendly Companies

Consult remotely

  • Provide your expertise to people around the world via


Data on remote working:


Buffer 2019 remote work survey:



Physical fitness and exercise

When exercising from home 

With thanks to James Neil Thomas (Personal Trainer/Gym Manager at the Ministry of Justice)

Health and Safety

  • Make sure the space you are using is clear of any sharp corners and objects

  • Make sure you are wearing clothing that is suitable – I.e. breathable, loose.

  • If you decide not to wear trainers make sure you wear either non-slip socks or exercise on a non-slip floor

  • All you need is roughly a 1m x 1m space

  • Open windows for ventilation

  • If the heating is on you will want to turn it down a little so that you do not over heat. Also, take others into consideration when setting the temperature

  • Make sure you keep yourself hydrated.

  • Secure anything that could potentially fall and break (especially anything of sentimental value) You don’t want to be the person who starts any arguments 🙂

Exercises – Pyramid circuit

Pyramid circuit training involves adding or subtracting: exercises, repetitions, rest periods or changing the weight after every round or set. Using Pyramid workouts is an effective way to get more out of your workouts and to add in a little fun along the way.


Start doing each set of exercises once, for 20 secs, then for 40, then for 60, then for 40, then for 20, and do this twice.


Or you can increase reps and then decrease them again on the way down.

Beginners to intermediate

  • Walking on the spot (warm up)

  • Press ups

  • Reverse curls

  • Squats

  • Tricep Extension with a towel

  • Bicep curl with a 1ltr or 2ltr bottle of water

Intermediate circuit

  • Jogging on the spot (warm up)

  • Plank to press 5 x each arm

  • Reverse curls

  • Lunges

  • Tricep extension with towel

  • Bicep curl into Arnie press (with water bottles)

  • Mountain climbers


  • Mountain climbers

  • Press-ups -narrow / wide

  • Reverse curls

  • Squat Thrusts

  • Tricep extension with towel

  • Bicep curl into Arnie press (with water bottles)

  • Side plank

  • Burpees


Doing something is better than nothing – walk round the garden, climb the stairs, do some press-ups, just don’t spend all day sitting in the same position.


Youtube is also a great resource for relaxing workouts such as yoga as well as dance workouts which can also get you energised and in an upbeat mood, depending on what you need. Simply search for the workout you are interested in, and the length of time you would like to work out for e.g “30minutes Afrobeat workout”, “20 minute dancehall workout”, “15 minute abs workout” etc.


Keep moving every hour – set a small goal to achieve instead of a big workout.


Set a reminder to go off every hour, named after the exercise you need to complete.


Useful exercise links:


Exercise and your mental state

Isolation is a perfect opportunity to take time for yourself. Think of it as a holiday at home, some much deserved time off from the demands of everyday life. Remember this will all blow over, nothing is forever. But in the meantime be patient, kind and gentle with yourself. One of the most kind and beneficial things one can do for oneself is to learn to relax more easily and more deeply. Luckily there are infinite resources online which can help one learn this skill. In fact you’re spoilt for choice, so I’ve included below a few short videos which I’ve found to be the greatest introduction to the practice. Even done once, these practices can have a radical effect on your mental and physical health and wellbeing. I hope you enjoy them.


  • This short video walks you through awareness of your body, it can be done laying in bed, or on the floor and only takes 30 minutes.

  • These two very gentle and very easy yoga classes can be done by anyone, on the floor or seated, each one is only 30 minutes and provides enough movement to feel yourself in your body and reconnect with what matters in the present.

  • A 15 minute minimally guided meditation which can be done sat down or laid on your back.

  • This app is very simple, it has a single button you can push for a ten minute body scan meditation that can be done laying down in bed or on the floor. I recommend doing this just before you sleep and/or when you first wake up. Even one use is enough to feel deeply relaxed but daily practise is where the lasting benefits are found.

  • On-demand yoga and meditation videos 5-90 minutes in length from a variety of instructors.  These instructors all agreed to provide this content for free in response to Covid-19.  Zenevate is usually a paid application.  In order to get the free subscription, subscribe on the website.  Subscribing directly through the iOS app incurs a $0.99 monthly charge (since Apple doesn’t allow $0 in-app purchases).


Finding work remotely

In a world of mass remote working, there are implications for finding work – whether that’s in a sales sense, or from a recruitment angle.


Selling products and services


Finding work

At Home Need Work is a service that connects home based workers to projects:


Useful ways to earn whilst social distancing is in place:


Income stream

What it is


Task Rabbit


People per Hour

Esc the City

Recruitment platform offering remote work opportunities


Remote job matching site


Everything you need to recruit remotely in 2020

There was a huge list of tools in a previous version of the Remote Work Survival Kit (up to and including v3.0), under the heading Everything You Need To Recruit Remotely in 2020. Unfortunately, this was found to be a direct copy/paste from a blog post – you can find the original source with the full list which covers Communication, Email, Meetings, Remote Office Tools, Productivity, Admin, Content and Wellbeing at

Media and Links


YouTube remote work playlist


YouTube remote work exercise playlist


UK media advice


Generic articles

The following provide useful, but general, advice:




Book Club

Remote Working:

  • The Joy of Work – Bruce Daisley – goes with the “Eat Sleep Work Repeat” podcast

  • The Digital Nomad – by  André Gussekloo & Esther Jacobs  – You might have suddenly found yourself stranded in another country and this might help!

  • The HR Nomad: A remote working guidebook for HR professionals –



Backlog of things to do

    • Taxonomy:

  • Add Sections e.g. Education, Transport

  • Add Specifics by role e.g. worker, manager, owner…

  • Add Specifics by organisation e.g. school, business…

  • Add specifics by business: e.g. law firm

    • Styling

    • How to…

    • Campaign to share, what to share, who with

    • Add GP surgery section including that virtual meeting tool

    • Health and Well-being – anyone have any HR specialists that would be willing to talk about anxiety, fitness, counselling approaches especially for managers managing teams.

    • Virtual team meeting etiquette guide.  e.g. formal meeting vs. friendly catch up.

  • It’s not the same as being in a room with people.

  • Formal meeting, have an agenda

  • If in a multiparty meeting mute your microphone if not talking.

  • Meeting chair keep an eye/ ear to make sure everyone is engaged

  • Limit the numbers if you want discussion.

  • If you are doing a broadcast to a team, allow for feedback and comments. Often written feedback in the meeting chat function is OK.

  • Communicate cancellations or postponements to meetings, preferably ahead of time. Nothing quite raises anxiety levels than waiting on a call for someone not planning to attend.

  • Mindfulness

General suggestions for content

Digital accessibility best practice: try to avoid pasting long hyperlinks into documents, instead embed links into text. A good source of guidance for this can be found on the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility web page. This helps the document to look more aesthetic and it’s also beneficial to people who use assistive technology.


The people below have voluntarily contributed to the Remote Work Survival Kit and also volunteered to provide their details.


Due to the rapidity and scale of this collaboration, it is possible that this is not a comprehensive list of contributors. It is also not a space to sell, spam or plug, rather an opportunity to demonstrate the critical mass and the proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.



About (Max 50 words)

Dom Mason Dominic Mason

Global digital strategy consultant. Works from home 95% of time, accompanied by Puddles the Springerpoo.

Patrick Shaw

EdTech Consultant supporting schools/MATs in the UK. @EdTechAdviceUK

Chris Weston

Created this blank doc on 11th March 2020. Amazed daily at the work that has gone into it. Tech/CIO Advisor and

Chris King

Matt Ballantine

The B in

Peter Barfield

Hannah Lawrence

Matt Mallett

Paul Eastman

Retail IT leader, been mixing remote and office based work for almost 20 years.

Grace Jessup 

Freelance PR Consultant specialising in corporate comms & issues management for B2B businesses.

Ben Foulkes

Irma Mesa

Charlotte Bailey

Results-driven, customer-focused, technologically savvy and energetic COO at

Michael Condon

Problem solver, mentor and project expert delivering high value, business led projects across industries with knowledge of managing distributed virtual teams

Rich Price

Lead Infrastructure, Networking and Cyber Security Trainer. Experienced in all aspects of FE, HE and Apprenticeships. Working for the Apprentice and Training Partnership

Louise Bromby

Edtech and informal learning specialist with a focus on future of work. Entire career has been portfolio, remote first, freelance and digital/entrepreneurial.

Zeeshan Kazmi (

Consultant working in IT Strategy, Operations and Transformation.

Michelle Rogers

Ivan Panton

Head of Tech at northern Mgt/Strat/Tech consultancy, where 90%+ of all workflow happens remotely. Eager to support those who haven’t caught the remote productivity bug.

Ebele Mogo

I am a Doctor of Public Health and researcher at the University of Cambridge. I have built a mostly remote consulting business, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship remotely, and quite enjoyed doing both remotely. I curate, sharing remote work opportunities with a focus on academics and people with a PhD.

Peter Jones

Former tech project manager, Edutech co founder

Mark Wilson

Principal Architect at risual.

Husband, father, geek and many other labels.

Experienced remote worker.



And Finally

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