Guest Blog: Working Virtually – Tips & Tools (Part Two)

As a part of PRMS’ ongoing commitment to behavioral health, we invited Pat Troy, IOM, CAE, President of Next Wave Group, LLC, to be our featured guest blogger this month and share helpful hints on how to successfully make the transition to working from home. [See Part One of Ms. Troy’s blog post on how she decided to make the switch to virtual years ago and why.]

What are some “must-dos” for transitioning from office to home?

The most important thing is to embrace the opportunities and have a positive attitude. It is also important to have the right tools – computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone.  Try to think digital, rather than paper. It is important to have a to do list every day, as well as block out some time away from email to work on big projects.

How to participate in Zoom meetings most effectively?

Learn to use Zoom and set up the background behind you to convey that you are an organized person. Get the lighting right so that people can see your face. Dress professionally, at least from the waist up.  Have your cell available for back channel comments via text and your tablet handy for doing research on matters that might come up on the call. Keep the dog, cat, kids, and spouse out of the room (as much as you can!).

How can I structure Zoom meetings to work well?

Be prepared – by sending out an agenda and having the reference documents handy for screen sharing during the call. Strongly encourage all to participate via video, not just phone. Call the roll, so you know who was there and remember to add the people who come in late. Start on time and end on time. Reserve five minutes at the end of the call to summarize action items, and who is doing what. Take advantage of breakout rooms.

What tools do you recommend for more effective virtual operations?

We especially like these tools and use them regularly, although we are still searching for the right project management tool and the right virtual conference/trade show platform.

Web-based Applications


  • Office 360 – Microscope Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Adobe Creative Suite – Graphic design (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • QuickBooks Pro – Accounting
  • T-sheets – Time Tracker integrated with QuickBooks

Mobile Apps

  • WAZE – Navigation (app)
  • Quickstart – Photo editing (app)
  • MileIQ – Automatic mileage tracking (app)


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Categories: PRMS Blog, Internet