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Working remotely checklist

Our objective is to ensure that employees are able to work remotely without difficulty. This information was informed by responses to the IT Services preparedness survey. Use as a guideline to help you prepare and organize for practical and technical considerations. Please note: now is the time to test your work devices and software to ensure you can operate successfully from a remote location. If you have identified any missing capabilities, please advise your manager or contact the IT Service Desk.

Technologies good practices: 
If you have an Ontario Tech laptop, ensure that the software is up-to-date. This includes verifying that anti-virus software is running, VPN capabilities are installed, remote desktop capabilities enabled if applicable and that you have all software applications necessary to complete your work. Also, be sure to take power adapters with you when bringing devices home from the office.
If you’re working with your own equipment, ensure that there is current anti-virus software running, that the hard drive is encrypted, VPN software installed if required and that the software is up-to-date.
If you lack equipment to work remotely, please contact your manager to identify options. If office devices are to be removed for out-of-office use, plan with your manager for their relocation.
Webcams and microphones – While most current laptops will have a built-in camera and microphone, if you are working on a desktop device you may need to obtain equipment for participating in video conferences. Check with your manager about the capabilities you will require. Note that a phone may be sufficient.
Verify ability to connect to MyCampus, SunLife and other applications you use regularly. If you administer systems, make sure you have sufficient security capabilities (a static IP, appropriate VPN…).
Collaboration tools
Communication and collaboration resources are available in WISC (Workspace for Information Sharing and Collaboration) and Google Workspace (email, chat, Google Drive, voice and AV conferencing).
Remember that you have multiple approaches to working on your files and documents. For those who use Remote Desktop services to access their work equipment and network drives, you could also move documents into Google Drive, or WISC. 
Ensure that when working remotely your activities are consistent with our security posture and the access practices already in place. Know when to use a VPN or Remote  Desktop.
Operate as if you are in an extension to your office and take the same care and precautions about devices, data and the applications you access.
If at any time you become concerned about system or data comprise, please contact the IT Service Desk to ensure the proper resources are engaged to address the situation.
Where to go for support and assistance (configuration, VPN, applications and more)?

Now is the best time to test your equipment, connections and access to University resources. If you encounter any difficulties contact the IT Service Desk

  • Imaging team can assist with software installation or configuration.
  • Business Services Team can assist with using any Google Workspace products.
  • Shared Services team can assist with any VPN/connectivity and device security questions.
  • IT Service Desk Portal has a number of supporting documents and FAQs to guide you as well. 
Work considerations

Working remotely means that you will be separated from your colleagues and the daily routine at the office. Maintaining your connections with your team, your department and colleagues from across the University is important. With your colleagues, establish good practices for staying in touch. Being able to reach each other was also identified as a key requirement. The section below identifies some best practices for working remotely.

Availability Maintain your regular office hours and notify your manager if you have to be away.
Connect in Log into one of the available text or chat services (Google Chat or Skype) in the morning so that your availability is known.
Presence Make sure your presence indicator is kept current. If you have to step away from your “home office,” then change the presence indicator to “away.”
Work environment

Working remotely may mean that others will be in your home or workspace at the same time. For this reason, it is advisable to:

  • Identify a quiet place in your workspace where you may work and collaborate with your colleagues as if you were in the office.
  • If possible, ensure you have a compatible headset for meetings and/or phone calls. If you have one at work, ensure you take it home in the evenings. If one is needed, speak with your manager.
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