Staff Resources for Remote Work
In urgent situations, remote work can be helpful in sustaining many campus operations. This guide offers insight into key tools, best practices and resources that can aid you in adapting to a remote work environment.
Critical decisions about campus closures and the need to work remotely can occur with little to no advanced notice. Take time to consider the following steps ahead of time, so you’re organized and ready to work remotely when the need arises.
If possible, prepare in advance
Don’t wait until the last minute. Stay aware of area news and campus updates to get ahead of any critical announcements. Take time to draft a plan of action for yourself, including a list of technology-related equipment you may need to take home each day, in case your remote status begins before you return to work, a priority task list and other materials that will be helpful to you in a remote work environment. If you need to check out a laptop computer, you must complete Elon’s temporary remote work request form, which initiates the process with an evaluation of your technology needs. If you need to download applications for easy access while out of the office, make arrangements early to ensure that you get the help you need before you leave the office. In addition, make sure that your remote environment is equipped with internet access and other necessities to ease your transition.
Be aware of technology tools and services
Elon offers a comprehensive list of technology tools and services to help you be productive while working remotely. Tools such as Microsoft Teams allow you to communicate with colleagues in real-time, host meetings, co-author documents and more. Webex is a web conferencing tool that allows you to hold meetings through a web browser without needing to install special software. Visit the IT Self-Service Portal to learn more about what’s available and continue reading to explore best practices.
Review remote work policies and procedures
It’s important to keep up with updated work policies during times of campus disruption. Updates from the Office of Human Resources can be found on the Employee Information page of Elon’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website, along with the university’s Temporary COVID-19 Remote Work Policy.
Communicate your status and update contact information
If you plan to work remotely, remember to communicate that to the colleagues and teams with whom you work closely. Provide multiple forms of contact information to your supervisor and check to make sure your emergency contact information is updated in OnTrack.
The Knowledge Base, found in the IT Self-Service Portal, offers an array of instructional articles to aid you in working remotely. Please take time to review the following technology checklist for insight into key tools that can help ease your transition to a remote work environment.
Manage calls and voicemail
Continue to manage calls to your extension by forwarding calls from your desk phone to your cell phone or another phone number where you will be readily available. You can also check your voicemail remotely, either on the device you forwarded your calls to, by calling in to your desk phone or via email. Learn more about desk phone operations and voicemail.
Host virtual meetings
Before cancelling upcoming meetings, explore applications offered by Elon that allow you to host or join virtual meetings. You can use Webex Personal Rooms, Webex Meeting Rooms or Microsoft Teams to host online meetings with one or more colleagues. Meetings can be video or audio-only. Learn more about Webex and Microsoft Teams.
Verify your identity with DUO Security
If you are working remotely, you must be enrolled in multi-factor authentication (MFA) using DUO Security and opted-in to DUO for Single-Sign-On (SSO) applications. Some campus staff may already use DUO Security to access Colleague or Entrinsik Informer. If so, you also must opt-in to DUO for SSO. For remote work, it is very important to add a second device (mobile phone, tablet or home phone) to DUO Security along with your desk phone. You may also want to set DUO to allow you to choose which device you will use to authenticate. If possible, this should be tested while still on campus.
To enroll, register a second device, change your default device or choose which device to use for authentication, visit the Multi-Factor Authentication Self-Service Enrollment Guide. You will need your 7-digit university ID, which you can find in OnTrack by selecting “User Profile,” which is found along the left-side column under the User Account section.
Stay safe online while working remotely
As many Elon employees adjust to off-campus work environments, basic information security measures must be taken to protect personal and university data from cybercriminals and hackers. It’s common for cybercriminals to take advantage of emergency situations through various attempts to defraud, including malware distribution. Visit the Information Security website to learn more about staying aware, being prepared, and connecting with care.
The following best practices can help you manage your remote work environment and maintain productivity.
Remote work is still work. It is essential to review expectations set by Elon and by your department. Take time to talk with your supervisor about how your time and performance will be managed. Make sure that you are responsive during work hours and communicate regularly with your supervisor about your work priorities, deadlines and other critical information.
Prioritize essential tasks
Evaluate the responsibilities and priorities of your position, and if necessary, re-prioritize upcoming tasks. Consider factors that may impact your work and the feasibility of what you can accomplish remotely. Then, share your thoughts with your supervisor as you make plans to work remotely.
Organize your remote environment
Prepare a dedicated space in your home for remote work. Consider that you need to complete work tasks as if you were in the office and any arrangements you need to make at home, so that you are not distracted while trying to complete work. Factor in the demands of family members, lighting, seating, internet access and other basic conditions. Create a schedule and set expectations with others in your home regarding your interactions and availability.
Be aware of information security
At a minimum, you will need a computer, internet access and phone access. Whether you are using an Elon-issued device on-campus or while remote, you are responsible for following all university practices and policies to maintain security on your device. Visit the Information Security website for tips and other helpful resources to help you safeguard data and devices while working remotely.
Practice virtual meetings
It is likely that you will have at least one virtual meeting during your period of remote work. Elon offers tools such as Webex and Microsoft Teams that make hosting and participating in virtual meetings a seamless process. Prepare in advance by reviewing the potential for online meetings based on your current schedule. Before you host or participate in a meeting, practice by logging into the platform ahead of time to test audio, video and other settings.
Information Technology (IT) is ready and willing to provide you with support as you transition to remote work.
The IT Self-Service Portal can help you with common tools and services that are necessary for remote work. Searching through the Knowledge Base is a great way to find further information. If you need additional assistance, you can submit a ticket through the Service Catalog.
For help by phone, contact the Technology Service Desk at 336-278-5200. Staff is available to answer basic questions about Moodle, WebEx and other technology tools and services.