Technology Resources for Temporary Remote Working
If you don’t normally work remotely, there are a few things you consider, should it become necessary to work off-campus. Here are some of the essential questions to consider:
- Do you have sufficient computer hardware to complete your normal and necessary work tasks?
- Can you access the internet? Do you have sufficient bandwidth off-campus? If not, consider options from your cellular provider or alternate locations for working.
- Do you have a university-owned device, or will it be necessary to use a personal home computer? Contact your IT support to discuss options and security.
- Can you access all essential programs, such as your email, work calendar, myMU, Blackboard, Office 365 programs used for word processing (like Microsoft Word), presentation software (like PowerPoint) and spreadsheet software (like Excel)? Do you know where you can find additional tools to help you learn more about these programs, such as the Office 365 page which includes links to training for applications like Microsoft Teams (outside link).
- Can you connect to any servers that you need?
- Do you have a webcam, microphone, or headset to connect to Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business?
- Do you have a surge protector that you can place between the electrical outlet and any computer to protect the equipment from faulty electrical fluctuations?
If you determine technology problems may prevent you from working remotely, check with your departmental or college IT for support.
What you need to do your job?
If you have a MU managed device (your office computer, laptop, or loaner equipment owned by MU), you can do the majority of your job with a normal internet connection. Access to Office 365 (e.g. Outlook, Teams, Skype, OneDrive), myMU, Banner, MUBert, Blackboard, and Zoom are all available by simply logging in to your computer and connecting to the internet, you may need to use the VPN. You can also access files on your OneDrive.
Skype for Business: Can be used to connect and meet virtually. You can have calls forwarded to your mobile device for convenience. You are encouraged download and use the app on your cell phone.
You can also set up simultaneous ring in Skype for Business to receive calls coming into your work phone to ring your home or cell phone.
To access internal resources, such as MUBert, Banner, and accessing your office machine remotely, while away from campus using a MU managed device, use the Global Protect VPN Client. Not sure if you need to VPN in to access an application? Try to access that application when not remotely connected. If it is not working, connect via the Global Protect VPN Client and try again. If you are still unable to connect, contact the IT Service Desk. If you log out or your computer goes into sleep mode, you will need to reconnect to the VPN when you log back in.
MUVPN is NOT required for the following:
- Outlook email client and Outlook Web Access
- myMU web portal
For more detailed information on VPN access, please visit our Network and Wireless page.
Note: This option can be used on loaner laptops.
If you need access to applications or services that are on campus and not available on your work at home device, please visit http://muremote.marshall.edu and log in with your MUNet Username and Password to access. Examples of applications on MURemote include: Visio, MatLab, SPSS, Wolfram Mathmatica, and Visual Studio.
OneDrive is available for cloud-based storage, which means files can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. As always, continue to follow security best practices.
To help staff work remotely, we are temporarily adjusting our policies around peripheral equipment loans and university-managed equipment.
MU staff can take home their regular work equipment (monitors, docks, keyboards) if needed.
- We are asking staff to tell their managers if they are taking monitors or docks home.
- We are asking managers to keep track of who is taking what home, and take responsibility for making sure their staff brings the equipment back when the time comes.
- Items you’ll need to take your work PC home:
- Computer Tower
- Power cords for: Computer and Monitor
- Ethernet Cord
You will still need to log in your Marshall Username and Password
If you have issues with logging in, make sure you are checking that you have signed up for Multi-Factor Authentication (Microsoft Office sends you a text or asks you to approve the sign-in with your Microsoft Authenticator Application on your cell phone. You may need to click approve twice on your authentication application, so keep it in hand.
You may need to log into the VPN to access certain programs.
- If employees need equipment beyond what they have at their desk or regular workstation (e.g. stands or monitors with stands, if they’re using monitor arms) they should contact the IT Service Desk to request those items.
The university has several tools available for communication and collaboration, all of which can be used anywhere you have an internet connection.
Office 365: Access email, store and share files, communicate with your coworkers or students, schedule meetings, track your to-do lists and more by integrating applications and downloading them on up to five devices. Some key communication tools from Office 365:
Skype for Business: Connect and meet virtually. You can have calls forwarded to your mobile device for convenience.
Microsoft Teams: Use Teams for group collaboration, chat and as a platform hub.
Zoom: Use Zoom for audio and web conferencing. You can share your screen and host large meetings.
How to use a hot spot on your iPhone or iPad or Android device.
Trying to decide on which video conferencing system is the best? Review this article for comparisons.
For better communication when working from home, be sure to activate and use your camera when communicating with co-workers and students. Using your camera helps to lessen the feelings of social isolation. Be sure to test your microphone and speakers to ensure proper volume levels before starting a meeting.
Tips for Managers
While Marshall’s campuses remain open for faculty and staff, there may be a need to accommodate telecommuting opportunities for staff who can accomplish their responsibilities outside of a university office and/or a traditional work schedule. This can be challenging to manage, but we have technology that can help.
- Keep regular hours: Make those hours known. If you use Skype or Microsoft Teams, it will broadcast your availability based on your calendar.
- Be available: Be sure your team members know when you’re available, and the best way to reach you. – email, instant messaging, cell phone, etc.
- Get on the same page: Establish standard practices within your team to maintain communication. Choose a standard technology – whatever works for your team – so everyone knows how to stay connected and updated.
- Address common concerns: If you are finding a common concern, anything that multiple people have raised, address it using the tool you have established as the best way to stay in touch.
- Connect with your team: Continue team meetings and one-on-one meetings with team members. Move these meetings to Skype or Microsoft Teams as appropriate and necessary
- Collaborate: Use collaboration tools to share work and keep work teams and project teams updated on progress and stay on track. Examples are OneDrive, Sharepoint or Microsoft Teams.
- Maintain boundaries: Set standard rules for escalating person-to-person communications. There may be legitimate reasons to communicate via cell call or text, but caution your staff to respect boundaries; not every message is urgent.
- Walk the talk: Reinforce communication norms. If you don’t do it, don’t expect anyone else to.
- Be flexible: Different environments, different job duties and new developments mean employees will have different needs. Please work with each employee individually to ensure they have the technology they need to do their job.
The IT Service Desk is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The best way to get quick help is through the chat option, found at the bottom of our IT pages. For urgent needs, call 304-696-3200 and press option 1 to speak to service desk technicians dedicated to providing support Marshall students, faculty, and staff. If further help is needed, email email@example.com or search for the answer on our How Do I… page.