Prepare to Work Remotely

Best Practices for Working Remotely

Find a list of best practices below for things to think about as you prepare to bring your department and your work online from alternative locations.

Set Expectations

  • Communicate to staff to bring laptops, accessories, and other essential work home from the office every night. 
  • Plan to follow your existing work schedule. For any exceptions, work with your supervisor.
  • Find a quiet place that you can work without distraction.
  • Maintain the same high-quality work product and performance that you currently deliver;
  • Keep calendar updated with schedule (planned time away, meetings and calls) and open up details for your manager, also mark your status as “away” in Teams if applicable.
  • Follow typical protocol with manager for time off requests

Prepare Workspaces

  • Confirm you have a working laptop or other computer at your remote work location with the necessary applications.
  • Identify any additional, essential equipment such as webcam, monitors, scanner, printers and/or supplies. 
  • Confirm that you have internet access.
  • If you do not have any essential hardware, request a loan from the IT Service Desk

Access Resources

  • Ensure access to the key resources needed to work online.
  • Register a second device to Duo two-factor authentication–if your primary authentication method is your desk phone, you don’t want to be locked out if you are not at your desk to verify the login!
  • Download Northeastern’s VPN on home laptops. The VPN is needed to access some university resources, including the Q drive, remotely. 

Manage and Share Your Files Online

  • Store files online for convenient access anywhere and from any device, and rest easy your files are safe and secure.
  • Microsoft OneDrive is Northeastern’s recommended storage option for personal files. Visit and start by logging in to Office 365.
  • Move and save your files to OneDrive using your web browser or the desktop app.
  • Emailing attachments and juggling multiple versions are no longer needed. Share a file from your OneDrive to specific people or use a link.
  • For department-wide files, SharePoint and Teams are the recommended online storage solutions. 

Share Your Contact Info

  • Make sure that you have contact information for the people you regularly work with–and that they have yours.
  • Create a spreadsheet with staff contacts for your department or division, and store it in a shared online location, like Teams or SharePoint.

Plan to Stay Connected with Your Team

  • Have a plan for how you and your team will stay virtually connected and work effectively and communicate that (ie: Use Teams chat function for internal communications, turn on video and audio for meetings).
  • Create a Team for your department where members can communicate with one another and collaborate on projects and files.
  • Consider having virtual lunch hours or pizza parties during which everybody gets together on a Microsoft Teams meeting with their lunches.
  • Other tips to consider and share with your teams:

Forward Your Phone Numbers

  • Plan ahead by requesting a forward of your desk phone to a phone at home. This will allow you to take office calls even when you’re not physically in the office.
  • If making oubound calls using your home phone or cell phone, dial *67 before the telephone number to hide your caller id.

Don't Forget Your Belongings

  • Take any plants or other personal items of importance home with you.

Additional Resources 

Take a Crash Course on Teams

In this curated series of on-demand videos, get off the ground quickly using Microsoft Teams to become more effective working anywhere.

Working from Alternative Locations

Learn more about the technology and the keys for transitioning day-to-day business responsibilities online. 

Take OneDrive Crash Course

In this 20-minute video series, learn how to use Microsoft OneDrive for storing your individual files for convenient access.

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