Work from home - COVID-19

IST is the primary resource for working at home documentation. Here are additional resources for Math Faculty staff, faculty, and grads.

  • MFCF does not troubleshoot home networking issues.  IST has some home network connectivity tips
  • The Math Faculty has no plans for staff to physically carry their desktop computers home with them.
  • However, staff who have home computers or laptops of their own can use those for business.  Staff who have a Nexus-joined UW-owned laptop at home need to follow the directions lower on this page for using Nexus-joined machines when off campus.
    • Connect to the VPN (uw-general-campus) only when necessary:  
      • connecting to shared drives, or personal drives.
      • remote desktop to the windows.math.uwaterloo.ca servers.
    • Staff whose files are in the cloud (ownCloud, OneDrive) can work directly from their home computers.
    • Staff whose files are on shared drives will need to connect to a server from home.  
    • For users wanting to connect to the Windows server, windows.math.uwaterloo.ca
    • Use O365 to download applications to the home computer.
  • Using Nexus-joined machines when off campus:

    • Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to get to the sign in screen.
    • Confirm there is network connection (icon in bottom right).
    • Connect to wireless network if required (e.g. first time signing in to a new machine).
      • click on the wireless icon and connect to the available network.
    • Click on the double screen icon (bottom right) to connect VPN (uw-general-campus).
    • Now you are ready to sign in to Nexus with your WatIAM credentials.
    • Signing in can be slow if you are signing into a new machine for the first time.
    • Wait for the VPN to reconnect after sign in.  The VPN connection should be left in place for the entire working day.
    • MFCF strongly recommends setting Teams to not start automatically at sign in.
      • Click on your avatar icon near the top right.
      • Select Settings.
      • Uncheck the options to Auto-start application and On close, keep the application running.
      • Close the Settings windows by clicking on the X at the top right.
    • Nexus-joined machines need the VPN connected for these services to work properly:
      • Nexus sign-in depends on connecting to the domain controllers. User credentials are cached locally in case the domain controllers are unavailable but cached credentials expire after 30 days.
      • Network drives (N: and S:) are connected automatically at sign-in.  Many applications retrieve and save files to these folders and become unresponsive if the locations are not accessible.
      • The Documents folder is redirected to N:\ResearchDocuments so applications also need the VPN if they are looking for the Documents folder.
      • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) also requires a VPN connection for the computer to communicate with the management server to retrieve Windows updates and application upgrades.
      • Applications like MATLAB validate their licences with servers that are accessible only with the VPN connection.  MATLAB requires the VPN to use the campus license.