This page outlines methods that allow for University business to continue in the event that staff must work remotely or campus is closed. These methods are in alignment with UC Merced Human Resources COVID-19 Employee Guidance published March 17, 2020.
Here we provide strategies, tools, and resources to facilitate remote work and collaboration. Each link will take you to resources to help you get set up with that particular activity or tool.
Information and resources listed here will continue to be updated as the campus works to provide additional tools, resources, and strategies. Last update: March 17, 2020 4:00 pm
Note: As you prepare for online/remote work, please be aware of increased cybersecurity threats disguised as information about COVID-19.
Make Plans Proactively
Work with your business unit to ensure that you have the resources, tools, and equipment necessary to work remotely for a period of weeks.
Sign up for emergency alerts
Stay appraised of the situation and sign up to receive alerts from Emergency Management via text message and email:
Coordinate with your business unit
Work with your business unit to agree on remote business practices such the various ways in which you will be accessible, collaboration methods, work priorities, contingency plans, etc. This will ensure that you are well-prepared for effective remote work and collaboration.
Familiarize yourself with available technologies and resources
There are a number of technologies that can be utilized to facilitate effective remote work and collaboration. In Strategies and Digital Tools below, you will find guides that will help you set up and prepare to use these tools.
- Office 365 is the primary suite of tools that allows for the creation of various work documents, access to campus email, and communication and collaboration.
- Box is a cloud-based file storage and sharing system that allows access to your files across devices.
- Zoom is a videoconferencing service that enables synchronous online individual or group meetings.
- VoIP is a internet phone service that allows users to receive calls via a desktop or mobile app.
- Teams is a Microsoft platform that allows for group collaboration and communication.
Below, we list OIT's recommended equipment to facilitate online instruction and meetings. Before purchasing individually, faculty should reach out the Dean's Office in their school. Individual schools may have already made purchases or be managing purchase of equipment for their faculty. Schools are also best suited to help faculty with individual purchases of these items.
1. Set Up A New Remote Work Station: Basics
Ensure that you have what you need to effectively work remotely: computer, monitor, internet connection, phone line, and access to your 2-Factor Authentication devices. If you will be working on a different computer or device, you may need to install Office 365 applications.
Office 365 with Skype for Business
Office Apps for Mobile Devices
2. Access Your Files & File-Share: Box
If you will be accessing your files via a different computer while you are remote, you may want to download Box Drive and enable key files for offline access.
Learn more about Box via these resources, then install Box Drive below:
3. Remote Meetings & Collaboration: Zoom
Zoom is a videoconferencing service that enables synchronous online individual or group meetings.
4. Make and Receive Calls: VoIP (existing customers)
For information about VoIP setup and troubleshooting, please refer to OIT's VoIP Technical Resources page.
5. Access Secure Campus Resources: VPN
The campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) service allows UC Merced users a secure, encrypted connection back to the campus network from remote locations. VPN should be used when accessing secure campus resources that require it, but is not necessary for everyday activities like checking email.
6. Manage Group Work, Meetings, and Collaboration: Teams
Teams brings together chat (IM or Instant Message), online meetings, calling, file management, and a project workspace all into one solution, making it easier for users to communicate and collaborate.
Teams is licensed and available for all UC Merced active students, faculty, and staff. If you’re new to Teams, there are two ways access the application. You may either use it online as part of Office 365 or you may download and install it (recommended).
Acces the Teams page for more information. You can also access the following vendor resources:
Feeling a bit uncomfortable about working remotely? Explore these articles to help familiarize yourself with important advice and tips on effectively working remotely.
The video below shares valuable tips and best practices to keep yourself mentally healthy while acclimating to a remote work experience.
Managing Anxiety and Increasing Resilience | Community working session recording and chat transcript
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UC Merced is providing free access to Calm, the #1 sleep and meditation app, for students, faculty and staff. Click here to learn more.