In the event that routine work is disrupted due to prolonged campus or building closures, you may find it necessary to work from off campus. CIT provides a variety of services to connect you with colleagues remotely so that work can continue uninterrupted. Faculty should visit our Remote Instruction page for more information.
Note: Only the Department of Human Resources can provide guidance as to if, when, and under what circumstances employees may work remotely. The following article is informational only and not intended to be a substitute for a directive from HR.
- Prepare to work remotely
- Meet online
- Access your Oberlin phone/voicemail
- Access your work remotely
- Software applications
- Electricity and Internet
- Data and application security
- Gather everything else you’ll need to be productive
Prepare to Work Remotely
In preparation, you should make sure you have tested your access to the following equipment at home:
- College-issued computer or tablet
- Microphone - this may be built into your laptop or computer, or you may use an external device such as a USB microphone or headset. If you're looking to purchase a microphone, Zoom has the following recommendations.
- Webcam - a camera may already be built into your laptop, but you can also use an external USB camera for video conferencing. If you're looking to purchase a camera, Zoom has the following recommendations.
- Internet - either commercially provided (e.g., Comcast, Cox), or a wireless hotspot through your mobile phone.
- Desktops may not be accessed with remote desktop software.
- CIT does not permit desktop computers to be removed from the campus without explicit approval from both your supervisor and CIT. To request approval, have your supervisor fill out this form, making sure to include your name in the request.
- If you do not have a portable, College-issued computer or tablet that meets the above standards, please use this form to request a supplemental computer to meet your remote work needs.
It's best to know these options will work for you before you actually need them. Test access to your equipment and resources at home before the need arises.
You can continue to meet with your colleagues using Zoom, Oberlin's video conferencing tool. Visit the Oberlin Zoom support page to learn more about how to get started with Zoom and how to use its features conduct a productive meeting.
Hold a recurring Zoom session for regularly scheduled meetings to maintain a sense of continuity for you and your colleagues. Add information on how to join the Zoom session to your calendar invitations so no one needs to hunt for the connection information at meeting time.
Access Your Oberlin Phone/Voicemail
Before leaving your office, note the model number of your desk phone (it may be printed on a label on the bottom of the unit). Visit the Oberlin College Telephone Office website and click on Downloads at the bottom of the home page for complete guides on how to access your voicemail from off campus.
Access Your Work Remotely
Documents and Files
When you save your files in Box, you can always access the latest version of your files no matter where you're located as long as you're connected to the internet. Before leaving your office, you should consider copying files from your local hard drive or external drive onto Box so you can have access from anywhere.
Box offers self-paced and virtual, instructor-led training that will help you get up and running with Box and learn how to best organize and share files.
- Register for an instructor-led Box User Essentials course using the promo code UEFREE to waive the registration fee.
- The art of organization: Tips and tricks from Box. This on-demand covers simplifying collaboration with folder security, sharing, and preview features; integrating all the environments you work in: Drive, mobile, and offline; and Box Notes.
Many key applications are completely network-accessible from your Oberlin-issued laptop or tablet. You can access many Oberlin resources, including Box, Zoom, Gmail, Banner, and the CIT Tech Support Portal through OberView without needing to memorize or bookmark a URL. Just search for what you need in the search bar at the top of the page.
Note: When working remotely, you may need to start a VPN session to access certain restricted applications. Please note that most Oberlin and cloud resources, such as Oberlin Gmail, Box, and Office 365 don't require the use of VPN. Services that do require the use of VPN include: local file shares (sometimes called by a letter such as the "G Drive"), Banner admin forms
Due to current capacity limitations, please only connect to the VPN when using a service that requires VPN and be sure to disconnect from the VPN when you are no longer using that service.
Accessing Electricity and Internet
Electricity and internet access are prerequisites to being able to work remotely. If you cannot make it in to work during a regional emergency, this access might not be available at your home.
Plan ahead by becoming familiar with your options to access these services near your home. These options might include working from the homes of local family, friends, or neighbors; working from coffee shops or libraries with wi-fi.
Data and Application Security
Using an Oberlin-owned device that has been configured to meet Oberlin's security requirements is always the best choice for conducting Oberlin work, both when at Oberlin or at another location. No sensitive college data is permitted to be stored on a device that is not appropriately secured, and you may not access or stored college data on a personal, home device. College data should only be stored in Box; Google Drive should not be used to store sensitive information.
You'll be relying on your ObieID and password to grant access to services you use while working remotely. Multi-factor authentication is a great way to protect your privacy as well as the financial, student, and research data of Oberlin College. Consider taking this time to add this extra layer of protection to your account. Complete set up instructions are available on the CIT Tech Support Portal.
Gather everything else you’ll need to be productive
Don’t forget any important work files or other equipment, like USB drives, external hard drives, or power adapters, that you’ll need to bring home from the office.