Remote Work FAQs

What can I do to prepare to work remotely?  

  • Update your contact information for your supervisor/team 
  • Make sure you test remote access to all of the tools you currently use to perform your work duties 
  • Take home any non-confidential printed materials and your computer, in the event that you cannot get access to those items remotely 
  • Consider forwarding your office phone to your remote location/cell phone if you know that you will need to receive work-related phone calls 
  • Set up a regular meeting cadence with your project teams and working groups (daily or weekly check-ins help maintain productivity)  
  • Use your normal working patterns and channels of team communications (such as email, chat or virtual meetings) 
  • Ensure that you’ve identified a virtual venue where the team can meet in one area and communicate in real-time or asynchronously (good options are Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams, Box Notes, Google hangouts or chat channels)  
  • Update your service subscriptions at the Service Status portal (you must be logged in via WebAccess) to receive any technology degradation or outage notifications.  Tip:  Click the +/- in front of the name of the service in the Status History area to subscribe or unsubscribe to notifications for that service. 

What connectivity is needed to work remotely? 

If you do not have acceptable (or any) internet connectivity at your remote location, please work with your supervisor for alternative work assignments and/or options.  Due to availability, mobile hotspots will not be provided. If you have any questions or technical issues, please email [email protected] visit our support page for additional contact information.

What if I need to provide remote instruction? 

Teaching and Learning with Technology has compiled a comprehensive set of resources for you to be able to continue your instruction.   

How can I connect to the applications that I need to perform my normal work functions?  

You should test these functions remotely and you should be able to use your internet connection to connect and access most of the Penn State services required for your daily work (LionPath, WorkLion, Office 365, etc.).   

If you access certain services using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you are likely already aware of that need, and are using the correct connections and profile to get to these services.  Examples of these connections are the ability to access certain Level 3/Level 4 data in an enclave, or use of the more common Penn State VPN profile. Information on how to access your unit specific VPN can be found on our Remote Work Resources page.  

Tip: When you have completed your access to the application that requires VPN connectivity, turn off your VPN connection so that others have available access to this limited and likely very busy resource. 

How can I receive my work-related phone calls at my remote location? 

There are a couple of options for you to consider, as you are working remotely.   

  • If you rarely receive phone calls (or only a few over the course of your workday/workweek), consider allowing the call to go to your voicemail.  If you have opted to receive your voicemail sound files via your email, you can receive those messages in email, and respond accordingly. 
  • If you often receive phone calls, the easiest way to ensure that you are available to answer them remotely will be to forward your office phone line to your home phone or cell phone.  To forward your phone line, please visit this knowledge article (KB0011222).  Tip: You will need to be logged in with WebAccess to make this change, and If you are setting this up from your remote location, you will need to use a VPN to get to the voice portal.
  • Or enable your office phone number and PSU Access ID for Cisco Jabber services by submitting a request for 'Cisco Jabber'. 

Can I continue to attend or facilitate meetings? 

It will be important to rely on virtual meetings to continue normal business operations.  Fortunately, many of us have participated in virtual meetings or training sessions using Zoom.  You should continue to use Zoom as a standard virtual meeting tool, and you may want to update your previously scheduled meetings to virtual meetings using Zoom.   

If you are not familiar with Zoom, here is a Quick start guide.    

In the event Zoom is unavailable or has performance issues, there are other alternatives to virtual meetings below.  You can also take advantage of the associated mobile applications for these tools as needed. 

  • See the learning path for setting up Microsoft Teams in O365   
  • See the learning path for using Google Hangouts in GSuite  

Tip:  You will need to be logged into WebAccess to use any of these virtual collaboration services. Turning off video will consume less bandwidth and may help your meeting room performance.