IT / remote working information and guidance

Information and resources for remote working during the coronavirus emergency

Many of us are now working from home (remote working) and can only contact colleagues through telephone, email and video conferencing (such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime). This can present challenges as we get used to the new technology and adjust to working in a different environment.

Here we have prepared some sources of information and guidance for DDPOs on remote working and tips on good IT tools some DDPOs are using. We hope you will find these useful. We will update this page as we get more information.


NEW: Considering a safe return to work, and improving systems for home working – resources from 28 July webinar

Working from home

HEAR member and partner Superhighways have some useful information and guidance including:

  • Look after your physical, mental and emotional health. See the ‘Working Remote – COVID 19 Principles’ which they have retweeted #RemoteWorking
  • Be aware of cyber-security issues. Especially if you are using your own personal laptop or computer. Remote working-some best practice tips


Islington Council have issued Top Tips for Working from Home

Digital Support and Advice for organisations

Organisations across London are offering different types of digital support to London’s charities, community groups and social enterprises, during a time when we are having to work remotely and consider ways in which we can continue to deliver our services online. If you need digital or IT advice and support please complete the Digital Support Access Form

Ability Net   provide a range of support to organisations including free resources on IT adaptations and accessibility and designing accessible websites,  and working from home reviews (these are charged for).


Digital training and support for service users and staff

  •  Ability Net offer support to individuals with using their IT and getting it set up to be more accessible. Usually they offer home visits by DBS checked volunteers, but at the moment are offering this support online or by phone. Call 0800 269 545 or email
    There are also lots of free resources on their website to support people to use IT more easily and get computers set up to suit their individual access needs. On their careers page they advertise vacancies for IT volunteers and also Disabled User Testers 
  • Learn My Way offer free training and templates, broken into small steps for individuals
  •  Learn My Way Make It Click offer training aimed at staff and organisations


Online tools for communication and working together

There are many ways to contact colleagues, share information and stay in touch. Here we have sourced some Free online tools that you can use:

  • Office 365 Teams app. This is available FREE for 6 months for everyone. It allows you to chat to colleagues, make video calls and share documents online. Superhighways give a useful overview of Office 365 Teams and how to use it.
  • Google Hangouts lets you make video calls and video conference with multiple people. Google Hangouts Premium is now FREE until 1 July.
  • GoToMeeting is another online meeting and video conferencing app. They are offering their remote work tools FREE for 3 months.
  • Quip is another application that allow teams to work on documents together, share information and chat. Quip Starter is FREE to to any non-profit organisation through to 30 September 2020.
  •  Slack also allows teams to message, video call and share and save documents. You can set up different teams and “channels” so that it is easy to work on specific projects with different groupings of staff. The basic level of use is FREE, but you have to pay if you want to use all its tools
  • Zoom is a popular video conferencing tool. It is FREE for 1:1 meetings and group meetings up to 40 minutes. However if you want to host a meeting of 3 or more people for longer than 40 minutes you will need to pay.

Guides to using Zoom

Zoom is a popular video conferencing tool that many organisations are now using.

Inclusion London’s Making It Work staff have produced  Easy Read Guidance on How to Join a Zoom Meeting

MIND have prepared some useful Tips for successful video meetings

Captioning on Zoom

Providers DDPOs have been using to provide captioning on Zoom calls:

  • AI Media
  • Do let us know if you are using any other providers you would recommend

Sharing documents

  • Dropbox is a useful way of sharing documents online. Dropbox Basic is FREE but has limited storage space. However nonprofit organisations focused on fighting COVID-19 can access 3 months of Dropbox Business which gives 3TB of space for FREE.
  • Google Docs is another way to share documents online. Google Docs Personal is FREE but users will need to set up a Google account (which can be done with any email address).
  • Office 365 allows you to share documents and work on them collaboratively. It also has a feature called Sharepoint which allows you to store and synch files, build intranet sites, manage workflows in your team.

Guidance and support for moving training online

  • You can use Zoom for presentations. Create a meeting and use the ‘Share screen’ option to show others your slides and documents. You can even record the meeting for later.
  • There are other applications that allow you to record your training presentations with voiceover and allow people to comment and participate. These include Panopto which allows users to record, edit, share and live stream videos.


Technology for collaborating with service users or between team members

  • Flipgrid is a video discussion tool. You can set discussion points and people can make short video responses to the topic.
  • Padlet  allows you to create “boards” where you can display a discussion topic and ask people to comment and collaborate. People can add video, voice, text, or pictures to contribute their ideas around a topic. You can used different styles of boards such as mind maps, blog style, timelines, maps etc. You can download reports from your Padlet in PDF format. Sign up is FREE initially and you can create up to 3 boards before you have to pay.
  • Miro is an online whiteboard tool. You can use a blank whiteboard and coloured “post it notes” or you can use templates which include mind maps, customer journey maps, empathy maps etc. You can invite collaborators. You can save particular parts of your whiteboard as separate “frames” so that you can share or work on small parts of it.
  • Trello allows you to make “cards” with different topics or lists of work to do. Multiple people can be invited to collaborate. People can comment, add progress, set deadlines, message each other. There is a FREE basic version but you have to pay to access lots of the collaborative features
  • Voicethread works as a multimedia slideshow that allows you to upload a series of images, Powerpoint slides, documents and video clips which you can then narrate. Other users can then leave comments with audio, video or text
  •  Workplace   is a facebook application that works very similarly to standard facebook so you can set up and communicate within different groups, but also has additional features for information sharing and events organisation. It supports group discussion as well as instant messaging and unlimited photo and video uploading. It can be integrated with other applications like Dropbox and Office


Productivity Tools recommended by DDPOs

  •  Asana is a project planning tool which allows you to plan work and track deadlines. There is a FREE version though with limited functions which gives you a chance to try it out and see if it works for you.
  • Toggl  is a really easy to use time tracking tool that allows you to monitor how much time you are spending on different projects or pieces of work. You can download reports against specific projects and “tags” or look at your time breakdowns on a dashboard. It is FREE. You can pay for an upgraded version that allow you to track work across teams and allow for more detailed reporting
  • Togglplan (previously called Teamweek) is a project planning tool which allows you to set up GANNT charts that help you plan work on multiple projects and track deadlines. It is really easy to use and there is a FREE version. You can pay for an upgraded version which allows you plan work across teams

Are there other tools that you are using that you’d like to share? Email us: