Preparedness for working from home
Colleagues may be asked to work from home if they need to self-isolate, or to limit the spread of infection if their roles can be carried out remotely. By taking the following steps, you will be ready to work remotely if asked to. In some cases the information required for home working across schools and departments will have already been gathered and we would ask individuals to please seek local advice before contacting the IT Service Desk.
Step one: device preparation
Take University-issued devices - laptops, tablets and phones - home with you every night. Don't forget the peripheral equipment like chargers and other cables. For information on diverting your desk phone, visit the IT Services website.
Step two: test your method of remote access
All staff will have different circumstances for remote working, based on the four methods listed below, please test the most appropriate method and that this works, ensuring you can access the core applications and systems you need.
Step three: safe working
For some staff, working remotely is not a common occurrence. Familiarise yourself with general Information Security guidance. Please also be mindful of data handling guidelines and best practice if you are working remotely with physical files that contain personal or sensitive data. As per recommended practice on the Information Security SharePoint, only take what you will need, carry all such files securely in a suitable bag/holdall and ensure that they are kept away from other family members and visitors at home.
Tools for working from home
Office 365 provides an easy method to access core office applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), as well as Outlook, OneDrive storage and Teams from any location, on any device with an internet connection.
Connect to Office 365
Other University applications availble remotely
There are many University systems that can be accessed remotely from any device or location – a list of frequently accessed application is available to staff on the University's workspace.
Making calls while working remotely
Staying in contact with colleagues is especially important when working remotely.
In addition to mobile telephones for calls, the University has two recommended solutions for text, voice, and video communications when working remotely:
1. Internal calls - Microsoft Teams
Every member of staff and student has access to Microsoft Teams via their Office 365 account.
Teams can be used through a web browser, the desktop or mobile application. Teams can be used for instant messaging, virtual team meetings and voice calls with other University colleagues.
Further information on Teams can be found here:
Please note that calls to external numbers is not currently possible with Teams and any communication will use your data allowance if you are not connected to a Wireless network.
If you need to make or receive external calls and do not have a mobile phone that you can divert calls to, we recommend using Skype for Business, which can be installed on a personal computer, laptop or mobile device depending on the equipment available to you.
2. External calls - Skype for Business
Please contact the IT Service Desk to request your University telephone number to be linked to a Skype for Business account (note that this is only available to University Staff and Postgraduate Researchers).
Further information on Skype for Business can be found here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/it-services/software/skype.aspx
Frequently accessed systems information - workspace
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The most widely-used University systems are easily accessible via the internet. If the system access you require is not available via the internet and you are undertaking activities defined/agreed as business critical, you can use VPN. Please note that access has been granted temporarily to all permanent university staff.
Before you can use the VPN, you will need to set up Multi Factor Authentication (MFA).
More information is available on the IT Services - Working off campus website and instructions can be found on workspace
Information on VPN - workspace
You can use remote desktop to access files or systems on a computer that is located on campus and is switched on. You should set up Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) first, then set-up Remote Desktop on your home laptop/computer. When you leave the office please remember not to switch off a computer that you may need to access to.
Remote desktop information
Windows Virtual Desktop
A new temporary Windows Virtual Desktop is now available to all Staff, Associates and Students. The service will allow you to connect to a Windows 10 virtual desktop environment over the internet.
The virtual desktop should only be used when you require access to University web resources, software and other services when you are away from campus.
More information is available on the IT Services - Working off campus website and instructions can be found on workspace.
Windows virtual desktop information - workspace
Effective remote working and staff wellbeing