Information on working remotely, device housekeeping and communication tools


April 21st, 2020

Information Services have recently updated their Working remotely web page, ways to access your University data, systems and applications remotely and when to use them. This includes information on Office 365, University systems, Remote Desktop, Virtual Private Network, and Windows Virtual Desktop.

Maintaining a University Windows Managed Device

During times of prolonged remote working, it is important that university devices are maintained while on or off campus. Based upon feedback and reported issues by users, we have some advice for users with a Windows university managed device.

When a university device is not connected to the university network (wired or wireless), it is not controlled in the usual way as it would be when on campus. As such, in some cases devices won’t receive important Windows and security updates.

Because of this, it is essential that users with a university Windows device follow some key steps to ensure the device is kept up to date and maintained:

  • Restart your device that is on or off campus at least once a week
  • Connect to the university Virtual Private Network (VPN) using the IPsec connection and have it connected for a couple of hours each week
  • Ensure your device has enough air flow so the fan is not blocked

For more information about known issues with preventative and reactive actions, please see the Digital Network blog.

Communication tools

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.

  1. 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.

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