Guide to Working Remotely
Nearly all students and Wooster faculty and staff use notebook computers or tablet devices. These can be used for work-at-home or remote work purposes. While IT doesn’t maintain a formal “loaner pool,” a few notebook computers are available in departments and IT has a few (much) older notebooks available for loan to staff who are required to work remotely (as approved by Cabinet officer & HR) and who do not have a College-issued notebook or home computer. If it is at all possible, given the limited number of loaner notebooks available, IT prefers that faculty and staff use their College-issued portable devices or home computers.
IT needs to ensure that the equipment you will be using meets the College’s basic standards for information security and compatibility with our applications and systems. We ask that all staff who have been approved to work remotely complete this survey so that we know that you have the appropriate computing equipment, software, and system security. You should complete this request if you need a loaner notebook computer, too.
If you have any questions, please contact the HelpDesk at 330-287-4357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also suggest that you pre-test the technology at your remote location — the biggest frustration that the periodic “work from home” worker faces is their Internet connection (slow, drops, etc.). We also know that if you’ve not done it before or do it on a regular basis, work-from-home is a very different experience from work-on-campus. We have a few tips we’ve uncovered from articles and blogs..
WHAT SHOULD I HAVE AT HOME OR MY REMOTE LOCATION?
A computer with anti-virus/anti-malware software
Nearly all students and Wooster faculty and staff use notebook computers or tablet devices. These can be used for work-at-home or remote work purposes. While IT doesn’t maintain a formal “loaner pool,” some notebook computers are available in departments. IT has a few (much) older notebooks available for loan to staff who are required to work remotely (as approved by Cabinet officer & HR) and who do not have a College-issued notebook or home computer. If it is at all possible,IT prefersthat faculty and staff use their College-issued portable devices or home computers. To inquire about a notebook loaner, complete this survey.
Your computer must be running an up-to-date version of anti-virus/anti-malware software. College-issued systems have this. The College does not provide this for personally-owned devices. There are free applications. We suggest:For Windows: Windows Defender (comes with Windows 10), Avast, Sophos, Bitdefender.For Mac: Sophos, Avast, Bitdefender For malware (in addition to an anti-virus application) Malware Bytes
An Internet connection
Unless you expect to be transmitting or accessing very large files or working with high resolution media files, a basic home Internet connection should suffice.
Periodically, you should test your home Internet connection and service to make sure it is operating as it should and you are getting the upload and download speeds provided through your subscription.
Especially for faculty and staff who are away from their offices. Your office phone number can be forwarded to your remote location or mobile phone if you must take calls for your area in real time. At this time given the potential large number of phone lines that could be forwarded, IT recommends that you should put a message on your voicemail that states that the best way to contact you is via email and provide your email address, check your voicemail periodically, and make certain your supervisor and departmental associates have your mobile phone number in the event they need to get you immediately. We are concerned that cell phones will ring at all hours, “marketing” & “cold calls” will use College phone resources, and we are concerned we may not have the capacity to handle most phone lines forwarded to cell or home phones.
We take it for granted, but our devices do need to remain charged
And it’s very smart to use a surge protector, as you never know when lightning will strike near your location (it’s happened) or there will be a power surge in your neighborhood.
A power strip is not always a surge protector. A surge protector need not be expensive, either. Here is some info about surge protectors.
Faculty & staff can access their Wooster voicemail remotely. Read how to here.
Especially handy if you need to print a few things like letters (to mail!), labels, or other documents. If it doubles as a scanner, all the better if you are working with Perceptive (Image Now), or have other documents you need to scan and send to others.
A webcam and microphone
These are now built into notebooks and tablets. If you are using a home desktop computer and plan to video conference with others, consider getting a separate webcam and microphone.
You should know these, but sometimes you may have several and have them “noted” “someplace.” Remember that your responsibility for your password and the security of your and the College’s information applies remotely as well. So please, no sticky notes on your computer or monitor at home, either!
Your MFA device
You will need to use multi-factor authentication from your remote location as well. Make sure you have your mobile phone. If you receive a phone call on your office phone for MFA, make sure you either forward your phone to your remote location OR change the phone number in MFA (see instructions here)
APPLICATIONS & SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR WORKING FROM HOME OR A REMOTE LOCATION
Microsoft’s service for hosting files in the “cloud” (much like GoogleDrive or Dropbox). This is part of your Office 365 account.
Remember, if you keep your Wooster files in your Wooster One Drive account, then they are automatically backed up and you can access them from anywhere.
Learn more about OneDrive
Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that provides a group of individuals the ability to work together and share information. Provides chat, audio, video conferencing.
More about Teams:For a brief overview on how to use Teams, see our Ed Tech post on Teams including a downloadable guide or see the Microsoft Guide.IT Documentation: Installing TeamsTo schedule and join a meeting using Microsoft Teams:download our how-to documentation with screenshots (start at page 7 for joining)watch our 4 minute how-to video in Stream (start at :51 for joining)visit the inside documentation
Colleague Self-Service & WebAdvisor (ScotWeb)
WebAdvisor and Self-Service are web-based applications that provide students, faculty, and staff access to various functions of Colleague.
IT Documentation: Colleague Self-Service
Your College phone can be forwarded to your remote location.See our note above about forwarding when most of us are working remotely.
eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. It allows any user from an eduroam participating site (Wooster) to get network access at any institution connected to eduroam. If eduroam is available where you are (you will see it in your list of available networks) you can connect to the network using your Wooster credentials — email@example.com.
Individuals who need to use certain educational software applications hosted by Wooster (see “Software Access“), Colleague via UI login (NOT Self-Service or ScotWeb), and users who are connecting to network storage remotely must use VPN to connect from off campus. We have a new VPN application, too, that’s much easier to install and use.
IT Documentation: Connecting to Network Storage & Services from Off campus
Colleague via UI ; Informer, Image Now
Obtain the links from Applications Development and make sure to bookmark them on your computer
TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME OR A REMOTE LOCATION
So, I have the technology and can get to the tools. That’s all I need, right?
No. Not enough. We’re collecting articles and blogs about working remotely, by people who usually don’t. We find that all of the writers’ experiences suggest the following are “must haves:”
- A dedicated space for work
- A great worktable or desk
- An equally great chair
- Office supply basics (paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes…)
- Noise cancelling headphones (very useful if others are at home with you)
- Keyboard, monitor, mouse, docking station — basically, your at work setup. (note that during the COVID-19 “work at home” period, you may take your College-issued computer accessories home)
- A daily routine
Some articles (if you come across others, please send them along and we’ll post them — send them to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- How to Work From Home & Still Be Productive (Cleveland Clinic, March 16,2020)
- 10 Tips for Eating Healthy When You’re Working [or studying] from Home (Cleveland Clinic, March 20, 2020)