Working Remotely

This guide is intended to serve as a repository of resources available to Students, Faculty, and Staff in recognition of an evolving work culture that includes flexible work schedules, and occasionally working/learning remotely.

This guide may also be used to inform a work-from-home approach in response to an emergent event, such as pandemic, extreme weather, or other catastrophic scenario that would temporarily require many day-to-day business operations to continue from home.

Please test your access to UVM services from home in advance! This is an important step in preparing to work remotely.

Working Remotely Preparation Checklist

The following checklist is intended to provide a general idea of equipment and connectivity requirements needed to work remotely successfully.

Know your UVM account credentials

It is important to know your UVM NetID, password and multi-factor tool as you will need these to login to UVM services remotely.

  • To change or reset your UVM NetID password visit account.uvm.edu
  • If you do not know your UVM NetID, please contact the UVM Help Line.
  • Check that you have more than one method (e.g. home phone, cell phone, DUO mobile client) registered for approving multi-factor authentication requests by visiting account.uvm.edu.

Computers

  • Faculty and Staff – It is recommended that you use a UVM owned computer when working from off-campus as it already meets the requirements of our security policy.
    • UVM owned computing devices should only be used UVM staff member(s)
    • Screensavers must lock the screen with a password after no more than 10 minutes of inactivity.
    • Bring home all the essential parts of your computer to make it work along with their cables, power supplies and power cords.
  • Personally owned computers used to conduct University business should be updated with the most recent security patches and their hard drives should be encrypted.
    • Do not store University data on unencrypted devices.
  • Verify that you are able to connect your computer to the Internet.
    • If you are using a Desktop that does not have Wireless built in, you should use an Ethernet cable to connect the computer to the Ethernet port on your home router.
    • The Help Line can only offer very limited support for your home computer setup, especially regarding Internet connectivity.

Internet Connectivity

  • Accessing University services from off-campus requires a reliable Internet connection.
  • While it is not available in all areas – high-speed Internet service of 20/Mbps or higher is recommended for the best experience.  Network speed testing tools/sites are available to help you evaluate your situation.
  • You must know your the password to your WiFi network if you plan to connect your laptop to your wireless router.
  • The University’s IT Help Line is NOT able to fix issues with Internet Service Providers (e.g. Comcast, Burlington Telecom, Fairpoint, WCVT). Please contact your ISP for support if you experience general Internet connectivity problems.
  • An Ethernet cable may be required to connect Desktop computers your home router.

Email

  • Your UVM email account is used for all official University communications. It is important to ensure that you are able to access your UVM email at all times.
  • Email is accessible through your Outlook Client even from off-campus locations. Email is also accessible through your web browser at – mail.uvm.edu
  • For help with adding your UVM email account to your computer, phone, or tablet – please see this guide.
  • It isn’t necessary to send yourself materials via an external email service in order to work remotely.  Please keep all University protected data on University systems, most of which are listed in the Recommended Software and Resources below

In addition to services like Email and the Blackboard learning management system, we’ve compiled a list of software and services that can be used to make working remotely more productive.

Not all software listed here will fit everyone’s use case – use the list below to find the resources that meet the needs of your workflow.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative communications platform that can be used to hold online meetings, share and collaborate on documents simultaneously, or to chat with other members of your team – offering a more instantaneous alternative to email.

For a better experience – it is recommended that you use a USB headset for improve audio quality when attending online meetings.

OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud-based storage and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its Office Online suite. Your UVM OneDrive account offers 1TB of storage, which enables you to share and access files from all of your Internet-connected devices.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) is offered at no charge to current UVM students, Faculty, and Staff for use on up to five devices, including computers (including your home computer), smartphones and tablets.

Accessing Network Folders

We’ve created “how-to” guides for connecting to the Shared drive, MyDocs folder, Zoo, and Netfiles. Note that accessing network folders from off-campus may require the use of Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.

SharePoint 2016

Sharepoint 2016 is an online collaboration and document management tool. You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from a variety of devices. All you need is a web browser, such as Google Chrome, or Firefox.

Duo Multi-Factor Authentication

If you currently use your Office Phone as your only Duo MFA device, you’ll need to enroll an additional device such as your smartphone, or tablet to access Duo protected services from off-campus.

Duo Security is a multi-factor authentication tool used by the University of Vermont to protect some UVM services. Upon logging into a Duo-protected site, you will be required to perform an additional authentication step via Push notification to a smart phone or tablet, SMS text, or phone call.

Virtual Desktop (VDI) for Working Remotely

Enterprise Technology Services has expanded its virtual desktop infrastructure offerings to include two new VM pools, which are intended to meet the needs of UVM affiliates who require access to a reliable and patched Windows system and do not have access to a UVM owned laptop computer.

Cisco AnyConnect VPN

Most UVM services do not require the use of Cisco AnyConnect VPN – there is no need to run the VPN client for email, MS Teams, access to the uvm.edu website, Blackboard, etc.

UVM’s Virtual Private Network service allows remote users with UVM credentials to securely access resources that are normally only available to on-campus users – the most common being Accessing Network Folders (shared drive, netfiles, zoofiles), or connecting to Zebra or Banner Administrative Pages, submitting Famis requests.

Access is only enabled for Faculty and Staff by default, however, Students may request access at https://go.uvm.edu/vpnrequest.

Cisco Jabber VoIP

This service is currently rolling out to departments across campus and is not available to all users at this time.

The Cisco Jabber client is a communications software that allows you to answer and make phone calls directly from your computer or mobile device.

Suggested Equipment

Depending on your particular use case, the following equipment may be optional. While these recommendations should offer better overall video and sound experience – using the built in webcam, mic, and speakers on your laptop can get you by in a pinch.

Headset (Headphones w/ Mic)

The recommended equipment for participating in calls or online meetings through your computer is to use a USB or Bluetooth Headphone/Microphone headset. A headset generally offers better sound quality than the built in speakers and mic of your computer.

  • Tip – If you don’t have a headset, you may be able to use existing headphones paired with the built in microphone of your computer to participate in calls/meetings.
  • Tip – Devices like AirPods may work in a pinch.
  • Jabra Evolve 40 MC – USB wired headset, with 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Logitech USB Wired Headset H390 – USB Headset with Noise Cancelling Mic.

Webcam

While nearly all laptops now ship with built in webcams, if you plan to attend online video meetings through services like MS Teams, you may want to invest in a higher quality webcam that will provide a higher resolution image.

Microphone

The built in microphone on your laptop will get you by in a pinch – but these devices often lack sound clarity desired when making calls through services like Cisco Jabber, or participating in online meetings through MS Teams.

  • Consider using a headset as described above.

Speakers

As a general rule, using the built in laptop speakers while participating in online meetings or calls should be avoided. The sound from the speakers is often picked up by the microphone which results in an echo or static to other participants in the meeting. If the nature of the discussion is sensitive, you should avoid using speakers when in public places.

  • Tip – If you must use your internal speakers, mute your mic until you need to chime into the call or meeting.

Call Forwarding Alternatives

Telcom & Network Services has received many requests to allow forwarding of Nortel phone numbers to cell phones as folks anticipate working remotely. Unfortunately, the Nortel phone system used by most UVM affiliates dose not support call forwarding features that would allow your UVM phone extension to ring your personal cell phone or home number.

There are two suggested options to handle this situation:

You can re-record your Nortel Voicemail message to include the appropriate cell phone number so that callers can reach you directly.

To Record your greeting:

  • While logged in to your mailbox, press 82.
  • Press 1 for external greeting, 2 for internal greeting, or 3 for temporary greeting.
  • Press 5 to record. Wait for the tone, then record.
  • Press # to end your recording. ►To play your greeting, press 2.
  • Press 4 to return to your messages.

You can allow all calls to go to your Nortel Voicemail mailbox; you will need to check Voicemail frequently and return calls as needed.

To log in to your Nortel mailbox to check voice mail messages:

  • Dial 656-9930
  • Enter your mailbox/phone number, then press #
  • Enter your password, then press #.

Hardware Repairs and Service

The Client Service Hardware Team supports computer repairs on Apple and Dell hardware. In the event UVM faculty and staff need to work remotely in response to COVID19, the Computer Clinic and Hardware Repair services will close temporarily, at which time we’d suggest you reach out to Apple or Dell directly for support with hardware troubleshooting and repair. 

Please note that the UVM Helpline will remain open – if you have questions related to software on your computer, please submit a help ticket or call 802-656-2604

Apple* support can be found:

Dell support can be found:

Safeware support can be found:

  • Online at: https://www.safeware.com/Solution-Center 
  • Phone: 1-800-800-1492

    Should you have a computer with Safeware warranty coverage and need repairs, we suggest starting your process with Safeware directly.  Safeware will help you with the best way to send your computer in for troubleshooting and service.  Safeware will also help you start the claim process for any hardware repairs covered by their warranty.



Remote Teaching/Learning

The following resources have been created to address teaching continuity of UVM operations in light of the unfolding situation with COVID-19.

Teaching Continuity - (Remote Instruction)

The Center for Teaching and Learning has created a guide on teaching continuity that aims to assist instructors in adapting their course materials and lectures to a style better suited for remote teaching.

Teams: Remote Lectures for Instructors

We’ve created a guide focused on using Microsoft Teams to create your class team, create an invitation code to invite students to your class team, how to schedule online meetings for remote lecture, as well as how to present within an online meeting.

Teams: Remote Lectures for Students

We’ve create a guide to assist students with installing and logging into MS Teams, learning how to join a class team created by their professors, as well as how to join an online meeting.

Virtual Votey (CEMS faculty and students only)

Virtual Votey is a virtual computer lab that is configured to have some of the software available on lab computers in Votey. The intention is to provide a remote platform where students can run costly licensed software without having to be in Votey.

 

Updated on April 1, 2020

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