Tools to help you navigate a two-week shelter in place

We know that staying indoors, especially with children, can be challenging for parents as they work from home for an extended period of time. Even without children in the house, adjusting to a virtual work environment can make connecting with co-workers and your work much more challenging. Below, we’ve included some of Obsidian’s favorite tools for creating efficient work habits and finding ways to remain successful and motivated in our “new normal.” 

Google Suite

The Google Suite is a great tool that allows you to collaborate with colleagues on projects of various forms. While we can’t necessarily work on one assignment in a face-to-face fashion right now, Google allows multiple people to write, view and edit documents simultaneously, adding comments for colleagues and even including the opportunity to chat within the document. This can be done in documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings and more. The suite also includes  email, chat and hangout functions as additional ways to stay virtually connected. You can instant message or video chat through these services – after all, who wouldn’t love an opportunity to actually talk and see another person while we’re working from home? 

Free Conference Call

Free Conference Call is a great way to loop in a number of co-workers on one call. And as you can tell, it’s free! Rather than trying to merge multiple calls on your phone, we suggest using this application that allows everyone to call in to one number, input an access code and join in the conversation. However, we do suggest setting calls for 10-15 minutes after the hour or other non-peak times. As more people are working remotely during this pandemic and trying to call in on the top or middle of the hour, lines can get crowded and calls delayed! 


Zoom is another useful communication platform to utilize while sheltering in place. This platform allows you to host online meetings, webinars, phone calls and conferences. It has group collaboration features that allow optimal interaction while speaking with others. This platform offers multiple payment levels, each with different services, but it also has a free version for those who don’t require as many advanced features. 


Your co-workers likely use different phone types, so messaging isn’t always compatible.The GroupMe application allows you to text groups of co-workers without losing messages in cyberspace! This free application can be downloaded on your phone, where you can then create different groups for different sectors of your office – no more mass group texts to everyone when they don’t all need it! 


For those who have multiple projects assigned to multiple people, Google documents may not be the most efficient way to track progress. Wrike is a project management system that allows employees to send assignments to others, track progress, add assignees, set due dates, log hours and much more! This is an efficient way to create a streamlined process and workflow for everyone in your office, even when you aren’t there. 

While these are only a few of the tools we utilize daily, we hope that they can help ease your workflow and communication while we all shelter in place!