What do I need to work remotely?

To work remotely, you will need:

  1. Computer – with headset/webcam for any audio/video conferencing. “Headset” can consist of mobile phone earbuds with a microphone.
  2. Phone
  3. Internet connection (fast and stable). Go to https://www.speedtest.net/ and hit the large "Go" to start the test. To support video conferencing, results should be 5Mbps download and 3Mbps upload. Your results may differ if others on your network are accessing the internet at the same time. If you are using wireless, the speed test results may not match what your service provider indicates due to your distance from the router (and presence of walls/floors) and number of people on the network actively streaming content.
  4. Software installed on your computer:
    1. Cisco AnyConnect VPN – Refer to setup instructions: (Windows) (Mac)
    2. Office Suite.
      1. Work computers will have Office 2019 installed.
      2. Home/Personal Computer: You can download and install a copy of Office365 on your home computer by logging in at https://portal.office.com and click on the “Install Office” link in the top right. Alternatively, you can use the online version of the Office apps using a web browser and navigate to https://portal.office.com. In both cases, login credentials are your UW UserID followed by @uwaterloo.ca.
    3. Google Chrome web browser is recommended because it is compatible with most websites and online services.
      1. Work computers will have this installed already.
      2. Home/Personal computers: download and install from https://www.google.com/chrome/
  5. Know how to map your network drives – Refer to setup instructions: (Windows) (Mac)
  6. Access to your email: Use the web version (https://connect.uwaterloo.ca) or have your email software configured on your computer or Refer to setup instructions on the IST website.
  7. Know how to connect with others on-campus: Test and know how to use Teams or Skype for Business to contact people

See also IST’s guidelines for working remotely

Other things to consider:

  • If you are having trouble, AHS Computing can assist you using a variety of remote assistance tools if your internet connection is up and running. If your internet connection is not working, contact your internet service provider for support/assistance. Also, we cannot provide hardware support for personal equipment (equipment that is not UW-owned).
  • If you are taking a work laptop home, be sure to log into it before you take if off the UW network. This will ensure that you can log in when you get the machine home. Most desktop computers do not have wireless capabilities and may not work off-campus (even if connected directly to your modem).
  • Consider signing up for a UW Webex account – to host video conferences and meetings with people outside of UW (See: IST Webex Service page for details and request and account by email to rt-ist-itms-collab@rt.uwaterloo.ca)
  • Consider installing the WatSAFE app on your phone or computer to keep informed of any emergency developments at the university (Windows download, Mac download, Apple App Store, Android Google Play Store)
  • When video conferencing from home, avoid areas with strong back-lighting (e.g. a window behind you) and use a wired connection into the back of your modem (if possible).
  • Start the day clean... reboot your computer at the beginning of a new day (or better yet, power it off at the end of the day and start it up the next morning). 

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