1. Teaching during times of disruption tips:
If you are an instructor preparing to teach remotely, visit the online guide to help you identify and become acquainted with alternatives to face-to-face instruction for your use.
2. Learning during times of disruption:
If you are a student preparing to learn remotely, visit the online guide to help you identify and become acquainted with alternatives to face-to-face instruction for your use.
3. Install the Virtual Private Network (VPN) client on your work and/or home computer:
A VPN is used to access restricted University resources from off-campus through a secured internet connection. Many University resources – such as Blackboard, email, SharePoint, most library resources, HRMS, Box, Workday, MyPath, and more – do not require you to be connected through VPN, so only use it when you need to connect to a resource that requires it as this will help avoid overloading the VPN service. University VPN
The University has enabled an additional VPN service and are requesting Non-Medical users who leverage VPN to use this new service (vpnconnect.rochester.edu), UNLESS you have requested a reserved IP address for specific firewall access and services. Should you have any issues with the new service, please contact University IT for assistance. University VPN.
For information regarding URMC VPN please contact 585-275-3200.
4. Enroll in Duo for two-factor authentication for both your NetID (HRMS ID) and Active Directory (Email ID):
Two-factor authentication simply means you will be asked to take a second action to verify your identity when you log into a protected system such as HRMS and Workday. You can use your mobile phone, tablet or landline to provide a second verification of your identity. To enroll in Duo for the first time, you must be either connected to the University network while on campus or connected via VPN. Enroll in Duo
5. Check your internet speed at home to ensure adequate response time:
You can do this yourself or check with your internet provider. When deciding where to work in your home, keep in mind you may want to be located closer to your router to ensure a strong Wi-Fi connection.
6. Know how to check your office voicemail from home:
Check the voicemail reference guides for instructions to retrieve your messages from outside the office. You could also create a secondary voicemail message or update your email signature to let people know when you’re working remotely and to use your mobile or other number to reach you. Voicemail
7. Set up a contact list for your department:
If you don’t already have a critical contact list with names and mobile numbers, it’s a good idea to have one so people can reach each other as quickly as possible when not physically in the office.
8. Set up a Box folder for yourself or your work groups:
Box allows you to collaborate virtually or easily share electronic documents with colleagues and reduce overall email volumes. Use the link to learn more about using Box and how to get started. Box
9. Add Zoom Collaboration to all meetings:
Zoom video and web conferencing allows you to meet with your colleagues to share presentations, hold training seminars, and more from any location with a computer and Internet connection. If you don’t already have a Zoom account, it’s easy to sign up. Zoom
10. Explore other University collaboration tools:
Besides email and phone, there are other collaboration tools available to help you quickly communicate with your colleagues such as Skype for Business (instant messaging) and Microsoft Teams (chat-centered workspace). If you choose to use these tools remember to update your location within the tool to let people know when you’re working remotely. Skype | Teams
11. Secure your home computer:
If you will be using your home computer and not a work laptop, be sure it has up-to-date security and anti-virus software installed to protect University data. Antivirus Software
12. Know the policy for acceptable use of mobile devices:
If you plan to use a mobile device to access or store University email, electronic data or other nonpublic information, be sure you understand the Mobile Device Computing Standard to ensure the safety of University data. Policy
13. Bring home what you may need:
If you use a work laptop, bring it, along with your power cord, home with you each day so if you unexpectedly need to work remotely, you’ll be ready. Be sure to keep your laptop secure at all times. In addition, ensure you have critical paper files, work instructions, contact lists etc. so that you are as productive as possible while working remotely.
14. If you are a P2P user, download the P2P app for quicker access:
For additional help reference the P2P Self-Help Support Materials
15. Do not forward your office phone to a non-University phone number:
Do not forward your office phone line to a non-University phone number because this significantly strains the University’s telecommunications system. University IT will be proactively remove nonessential phones forwarding to non-University phones. Instead,check the voicemail reference guides for instructions to retrieve your messages from outside the office. You could also create a secondary voicemail message or update your email signature to let people know when you’re working remotely and to use your mobile or other number to reach you. Voicemail. This can help prevent office voicemail boxes from getting full and unable to accept new messages, as well as gives employees an easy way to respond to voicemails.
16. Important Remote Desktop Settings Reminder
Many faculty and staff work remotely using Remote Desktop Connection. It’s important when connecting this way, to verify the settings for the remote PC and that it is not set togo to sleep, or hibernate. When connected to the remote system, go to the Start Menu, from there you will need to search for and run “Power and sleep settings”. You’ll see an option for, “Put the computer to sleep or Turn off after” with a drop down menu, select Never. When you finish working remotely, always remember to “Disconnect” rather than “Shut Down” your machine. If a remote PC is shut down and powered off, someone will have to visit the office to physically power it back on.
17. If you need assistance:
Contact your IT support person. If you don’t know who your IT support person is you can call the University IT Help Desk for assistance. You can also request assistance by sending email to
18. Reference IT system status at tech.rochester.edu