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Remote Working – University of Reading

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Remote Working

Sometimes you may need to work from home or off campus. This page is a checklist of everything you need to work remotely.

On this page you will find:

You will also find further information on :

  • Accessing Business Systems remotely
  • Remote working support

All Staff

Computer equipment

You will need one of the following:

  • Windows 10 or Mac OSX 10.2 University provided laptop
  • Windows 10 or Mac OSX 10.2 home machine

For Linux requirements please see the 'Research' section below.

Updating your University laptop when working remotely

Staff need to connect to the VPN once a week for at least an hour to ensure their University laptops get required updates in order to keep themselves and their work secure. Further information on connecting to the VPN can be found below in the 'VPN' section.

MOUSE, KEYBOARD & MONITOR (OPTIONAL)

A separate mouse, keyboard and monitor are conducive to a healthy way of working. Remember to take home a mouse and keyboard should you wish to use them and do not currently have any of your own at home.

Headset with a microphone (Optional)

If you are planning on attending Teams meetings then you will need:

  • University provided headset (to take home)
  • Personal headset
  • Device speakers (if no headset)

Alternatively, you can use the Teams app on a University mobile device or a personal mobile device to take part in Teams meetings.

Broadband internet connection

You will need access to a broadband internet connection in order to connect to essential University services, systems and tools effectively.

Printing & File Management

We recommend that you print as little as possible when working remotely. Any printed documents that include confidential information should be brought back to the University and treated as confidential waste.

Files copied onto personally-owned computers (including synchronising your OneDrive for Business) will need to be deleted. Further guidance on this will be provided as part of forthcoming return to work documentation.

VPN - DO I need it?

A VPN is used to access specific systems when off campus that cannot be accessed directly. However, you don't need the VPN for most services when working remotely.

You can access most of the tools you need off campus without the need for the VPN. Only people needing access to certain internal University systems will need to use the VPN.  Accessing your Email, Calendar, Teams and OneDrive is all available without the use of the VPN.

VPN Services

Some services may require you to connect to the University network in order to access them. In these instances you will need to use the VPN.

This includes:

  • Collaborative shares (T Drive)
  • Home drives (please consider using OneDrive instead)
  • Business systems administration
  • Access to UoR Research Systems
  • Remote desktop access
   Staff Specialist
HR Systems No VPN required No VPN required 
Finance Systems No VPN required, use agresso.reading.ac.uk with MFA Use VPN + Remote Desktop
Student records No VPN required Use VPN + Remote Desktop 
Timetabling No VPN required Use VPN 
Home & Shared Network Drives

Home Drives (N) - use VPN but we recommend using OneDrive instead

Shared Drives (Collabs) - Use VPN 

 
UoR Learn No VPN required  No VPN required 
Blackboard No VPN required  No VPN required 

How do I get access to the VPN?

Follow the instructions found on the 'Setting up VPN on Your Computer' webpage.

VPN guidelines

  • Please remember to log off after you have finished using the VPN

Sign up to Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

In order to access some University services (e.g. Office 365 and the VPN) you will need to sign up to MFA.

Follow the instructions on the MFA webpage. Here you will find guides on how to set up and use MFA for verifying yourself when logging into some University services.

You can verify yourself with the Microsoft Authenticator App, a phone call or text message.

Office software & tools

You can access most the tools and services you need day to day without the VPN, such as Email, Calendar and Office apps (Office 365).

However, you will need to authenticate yourself when working remotely using Multi Factor Authentication. The MFA page has detailed instructions to guide you through this process.

Office 365

This includes:

  • Outlook & Calendar
  • Office tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • OneDrive - remember to have essential documents uploaded to the cloud before working from home.
  • Teams

How do I get access?

  1. Open a browser and navigate to https://www.office.com/
  2. Login using your University account and follow the onscreen instructions about verifying your login using MFA, either by the Microsoft Authenticator app, a phone call or a text message.
  3. You will then be taken to a page that contains all your Office 365 apps to be used in browser. Please note: you can also download Office 365 on up to 5 devices from this page.

Getting Started with Teams

Use Teams to chat, call and collaborate with your colleagues.

Get help with:

Further and more detailed guides can be found on the communicating with Teams webpage.

LinkedIn Learning

You can also access specific Office 365 learning materials, including Teams, from the new LinkedIn Learning service. Whilst not tailored specifically to the University of Reading, you will find some helpful learning materials.

While logged into Office 365 online you can click the 'App Launcher' at the top left of the page, scroll down to Other and get access to LinkedIn Learning.

screenshot-linkedin

 

 

Once logged in, go to 'My Learning' in the menu bar at the top, then click the 'From Your Organization' tab to view the recommended Collections, including Microsoft 365 and Working Remotely. Alternatively, in the Search bar enter 'Microsoft Office 365' and click the 'Your Company' filter option on the left of the page.

Telephony

University staff can make internal calls to each other via Teams. The Communicating with Teams project, scheduled later in the year, will allow you to make external calls.

Alternatively, you could use your University provided mobile phone or personal phones.

Please note: refrain from forwarding your desk phone to a mobile phone as it will increase load on the system in this busy time.

Teaching & Learning

cQSD Website

CQSD's 'Blackboard Help for Staff' website has useful information on delivering teaching when working remotely.

AppsAnywhere

AppsAnywhere is a web based tool for Windows devices which provides access to the Software applications you use for teaching and studying. AppsAnywhere can be used from your own Windows device or from a University owned PC, from any location.

How does it work?

AppsAnywhere has two parts; a web page from which to view the catalogue of Software applications and a Cloudpaging player to load the Software applications you want to use. The Cloudpaging player window allows you to see the progress of the Application loading. Software is supported only on Windows PCs at present.

Important: CloudPaging Player

Before accessing AppsAnywhere on your own device you will need to download the CloudPaging Player.

Please follow the specific instructions on the Apps Anywhere page for installing the CloudPaging player on a:

  • University provided PC
  • Personal Windows PC

You will need to follow the appropriate steps before AppsAnywhere works.

After installing the Cloudpaging Player, follow this guide on Using the Cloudpaging Player to manage your apps in AppsAnywhere.

Teams meetings for informal Collaborative Learning

For informal collaborative learning and communications with students you can use Teams to organise online meetings, chat and file sharing.

Assisted Recording Rooms

The assisted recording rooms provide staff with the opportunity to book a room to record personal capture videos onsite, with the benefit of AV support technicians on hand. The Assisted Recording Rooms webpage explain how to book and use the rooms.

Research

X Desktop (NX)

Linux Desktops via NX can be accessed off campus using the VPN, ssh tunnel or web client, for more details see the ACT connect from outside of campus landing page.

RACC and Unix/Linux servers

Use X Desktop (NX), act-ssh or VPN, see the ACT connect from outside of campus landing page.

Research Data Storage

SMB (Windows) shares can be accessed in the same way that Collabs are accessed, via VPN. A workaround access, including ndrive and Collab shares, is also <WBR>provided via act-ssh and sftp client, see the ACT connect from outside of campus landing page.

NFS (Unix) shares can be accessed on Unix systems (RACC, NX), via Managed File Transfer (MFT), and via act-ssh. See the ACT connect from outside of campus landing page.

 

Support

The IT Service Desk is the first point of contact for all fault reports and service requests.

We are currently receiving a high number of requests for support as our schools and functions monitor and plan for remote working.

We would recommend logging any requests or faults with our team via the IT Self Service Portal. This can be accessed 24/7 and allows you to view the status of your ticket, or add/edit any information.

IT Support can also be reached by emailing dts@reading.ac.uk at any time or, if your request is urgent, by calling 6262 from any internal phone (0118 378 6262 from your mobile or off site) between 8am and 6pm. We expect lines to be busy and thank you for your patience in advance.

The IT Service Desk's remote support systems will allow the team to continue to support you whether you are working on campus or remotely.

Useful links

further advice

For further advice remote teaching please visit the Blackboard Help for Staff pages.

Students: for more student focused advise please see the CQSD website.

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