Working Remotely

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Start Here: Connect Your Computer
1. Set Up Your Computer

You will need a laptop or desktop computer that can function reliably. Also think about any peripherals you might need, such as a printer, scanner, webcam, headset, and/or a second monitor. If you’re considering a purchase, see what special offers are available through the University. View the Quick Start Guide for Taking your work computer home*.

* Check with your division’s IT group before taking home your work desktop computer.

2. Connect To The Internet

Many high-speed solutions are offered in the Chicagoland area, including cable, DSL, and fiber. Contact your local provider of choice for more information about services, pricing, and estimated installation dates. Many providers have modified their rates and bandwidth in response to COVID-19.

3. Secure Your Computer
  • Use a separate device and account. While it can be a challenge, try to avoid using devices shared with others for remote work unless completely necessary. Always ensure others work under separate accounts from your own.
  • Install all required updates to your device’s operating system, applications, browsers and browser extensions. Criminals can find ways to exploit unpatched systems in order to access and steal data. Applying required updates significantly lessens this risk.
  • Use a secure, password-protected wired or wireless network. Criminals can compromise public Wi-Fi to steal data, so avoid using public Wi-Fi when possible. If you must use public Wi-Fi, use the University’s virtual private network (VPN). See VPN and Wi-Fi Security for more information.
  • Keep your data secure. Whenever possible, save and edit all data using cloud storage services (Google DriveUChicago Box, or Microsoft OneDrive) rather than on a local computer or external storage device. Sensitive data requires the highest level of security and privacy protection, and must be stored in accordance with the University’s Data Classification Guidelines. If you are confused about where you can safely store and share sensitive data, please see the UChicago Data Usage Guide.
  • Keep your device secure. Install antivirus software on it. The University’s supported antivirus software available to students, faculty, and staff at Ensure that your device has a screen timeout or lock if left unused. A good guideline is 20 minutes for a desktop, and five to 15 minutes for a laptop. Make sure that a strong password or PIN is required to unlock your device. See the Baseline Protection of End-User Devices for more information.
  • Beware of Coronavirus or COVID-19 related scams. Criminals are exploiting the urgency associated with Coronavirus to steal personal and financial data. Exercise caution in handling any email with a Coronavirus or COVID-19 subject line, attachment or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to Coronavirus or COVID-19. See Coronavirus Cyber Scams and Phishing and for more information.
  • IT Security policies provide additional guidance on working remotely. Familiarize yourself with the Policy on Information Technology Use and Access and other IT policies.

4. Connect to UChicago

You will need your CNetID to access many UChicago resources. Also, be sure you have what you need for two-factor authentication (Duo).

Some UChicago resources (such as library databases, local file shares, and remote desktop connections) are available only to users on campus or those connected to our virtual private network (VPN). If you need to connect to these UChicago resources, follow this link to download the VPN application. You may need to login with your CNetID and password to access the VPN application.

If all you need is journal access, use the proxy.

Get Support

Need a quick answer? Visit the online knowledge base for 24/7 access to a robust library of help documents. For the fastest support response, submit a request to the Self Service Portal.

Want to talk? Contact the Service Desk at 773.702.5800. If you’d rather put it in writing, email us at

For questions specific to your school or unit, please be prepared to reach out to your local IT support staff.

Visit the Status of University IT Services for up-to-date information on service availability.

Communicate With Colleagues
Phone and Voicemail

The Cisco VoIP desk phone can be forwarded to ring all calls at a home or mobile phone. This should be configured from campus.

  1. To forward to a phone line, press CFwdALL.
  2. Press 9, 1, and then the area code and phone number.
  3. Hear confirmation tone and see flashing arrow in top right corner of phone and “Forwarded to XXXXX” in bottom left corner.
  4. To cancel call forwarding, press CFwdALL.

IT Services provides a Single Number Reach service that can route calls sent to your office phone to up to three alternate phone numbers.

You also can have your voicemail messages sent to your email using SpeechView. Messages are sent as audio files with a short transcription of the message. Email to request SpeechView.

If you need additional guidance or support, please contact the Service Desk.

Video Conferencing

You can use Zoom to meet remotely with colleagues, work teams, and individuals. Zoom provides audio, video, and collaboration tools available either via the web or through a standalone application on your computer or mobile device. Visit the Web Conferencing site to request a Zoom account.

Please feel free to download these free UChicago virtual backgrounds to display during a Zoom meeting. Learn how to add these custom images as Zoom backgrounds.

Group Chat and Collaboration

All students, faculty, and staff can use Microsoft Teams to collaborate in a common space. Visit the Microsoft Teams Overview to get started.

For departments using Slack for office communications, visit Find your Slack Workspace.

Email and Calendar

You can access your Outlook email through the web. Sign into Outlook with your CNetID.

You also can access your Gmail through the web. Sign into Gmail with your CNetID. If you need to change the view from your personal Gmail to your work Gmail, click on the top-right profile icon to toggle between your profiles.

File Sharing and Storage

When you need to work on your documents while away from the office, upload your active documents to the Box service. To claim your account, visit and log in with your CNetID and password. 

You also can use Google Drive to work collaboratively on your work documents. To claim your account, visit and log in with our CNetID and password. If you need to change the view from personal Google Docs to your work Google Docs, click on the top right profile icon to toggle between your profiles.

Other Tools and Resources

You can download key applications, such as Office 365, onto your home computer. Review all applications for collaboration on the Collaboration website. If you seek an application not listed here, please contact the Service Desk.

To access mainframe applications (FAS & APS) from off-campus locations, you will need to be connected to the University network via cVPN. View the instructions (pdf) to connect to cVPN and install mainframe applications.


You can access Workday through the web. Go to and log in with your CNetID and password.

GEMS Travel and Expense System

You can access your GEMS account through the web. Go to and log in with your CNetID and password.

People Directory

You can access the People Search through the web.

LinkedIn Learning

IT Services provides free online courses through LinkedIn Learning to help you stay productive while working at home. Course recommendations for successful remote work include the following:

Creating a Digital Signature

While use of digital signatures for internal University documents is encouraged, digital signatures on University contracts and agreements with third parties may only be used by University employees who are authorized signatories under applicable University policies. Learn more on the Creating a Digital Signature in Adobe Acrobat page.