Working Remotely

Training for Teaching and Working Online: Online and in-person technology training sessions are now available. See dates, times and locations at

Tufts provides a number of tools that enable the community to continue to be productive while working remotely in the event work or academic functions are disrupted due to prolonged campus or building closures.

Get started by reviewing the suggestions below, or see our online guides for help using these tools. There are many tools and methods to connect with colleagues and students remotely, but we encourage you to use the tools you know and need to keep your work going.

Preparing to Work Remotely

We suggest that faculty and staff with laptops or personal home computers verify that they are setup to work remotely by testing their ability to access Tufts resources. Be prepared by doing the following:

  • Check Your Equipment - ensure you have the proper equipment to support working remotely (see examples below).
    • Computer - bring home your work laptop, power cord, and any accessories you use (i.e. mouse and headset); or use a personal computer (laptop or desktop).
    • Microphone – this may be built into your laptop/desktop, or you may use an external device such as a USB microphone or headset.
    • Webcam – a camera may already be built into your laptop/desktop, but you can also use an external USB camera for video conferencing.
  • Test Your Internet – ensure you have broadband access to connect to the Internet.
  • Test Your Access - verify and test that you can access your email and documents online; communicate with colleague; and host or participate in online meetings. See details below in the Working Remotely section.
  • Update and Share Contact Information:
    • Ensure that your departmental emergency contact information - home phone, cell phone, personal email - is up-to-date and everyone who needs it has a copy.
    • Exchange cell phone numbers with your closest colleagues so you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Review Online Security at Home – ensure your home network and any personal computers are set to protect you and Tufts.

If you are a faculty or staff member with specialized roles and responsibilities and think you have different needs, please consult with your department to determine their expectations for working remotely. If you feel you do not have the proper equipment to support working remotely, please discuss with your supervisor.

Contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk, if you have any questions or issues.

    Prepare Your Computer and Software

    Options Get Started
    Using a Tufts-owned & managed laptop Check the software on your device, but you should already have most of what you need to do your work remotely.
    Using a personal laptop/desktop

    Check what software you need to do your work, and install any software that is not on your machine that is required (see link below to find available software).

    Finding Available Software See available Tufts Apps and Software or learn about the Tufts Virtual Lab/Virtual Desktop for online software.

    NOTE: As software usage varies from role to role and can be specific to your work, it is important that you review and identify what you require to effectively do your work remotely.

    Working Remotely

    Connect to Tufts

    Faculty and staff who have not worked remotely before may need to set up Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for their mobile phone or Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity if they need to access administrative applications or data.

      1. Use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) With Duo

      Ensure that your 2FA setup is appropriate for remote work. 

      If you use your office phone as your second factor DUO authentication, change it to your mobile or home phone or print and use one-time passcodes. If you don't have your mobile or home phone setup as one of your devices, you may need to:

      1. Add a New Device
      2. Use the Manage Device setting to update your default device.

      More details can be found in the 2FA online guide.

      Access 2FA

      2. Access the Virtual Private Network (VPN)

      A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that allows you to make a secure remote access connection to an organization’s network. Connecting to the Tufts VPN is done through Cisco’s AnyConnect application on computers and mobile devices. For an overview, watch the Tufts VPN video.

      Use the VPN: If you use shared drives (i.e. Q and R Drives), Peoplesoft Financials for processing payroll, entering and approving Electronic Requisitions (e-reqs), and approving Capital Expenditure Accounts (CEAs), you will need to download and use the VPN.

      VPN not needed: If you generally only use Tufts and online services i.e. Canvas, Box, WebEx, Office 365, and eServe, you do not need the VPN to access remotely.

      More details can be found in the VPN online guide.

      Download the VPN

      Use Tools to Collaborate

      There is a suite of tools to enable increased productivity and collaboration when working remotely. More information on the suite of tools outlined below can be found on ConnectTufts.

      1. Conduct/Attend Meetings Online

      Tufts recommends you use Cisco WebEx to conduct online meetings.

      Access WebEx

      Options Get Started
      Joining a WebEx Meeting How do I join a WebEx Meeting?
      Hosting a WebEx Meeting How do I host a WebEx Meeting?

      Make sure to test in advance of working remotely by setting up a mock meeting with a colleague.

      Some Best Practices/Tips for Using WebEx include:

      • Test in advance.
      • Sharing your screen: Keep your desktop cleared in case you need to share your screen in a meeting.
      • Audio: Stay muted if you aren't speaking (to avoid background noises i.e. traffic, dogs, kids). Test your audio in advance.
      • Video/Camera: Only use your camera if you have a strong internet connection.

      More details in the Audio and Virtual Conferencing with WebEx online guide, including Best Practices and Video Tutorials.

      Cisco WebEx Best Practices for Online Meetings cheat sheet.


      Zoom for Video Conferencing/Teaching Online

      Zoom is an alternative video conference service to WebEx. Some Tufts faculty are using Zoom for teaching online. More details in the Audio and Virtual Conferencing with Zoom online guide, including Best Practices. NOTE: You need to login using single sign-on with your Tufts credentials to access Zoom through the Tufts instance.

      2. Access My Email and Calendar

      Access Office 365 Email

      Tufts provides Microsoft Office 365 as a tool for accessing your email and calendar online.

      Options Getting Started
      Setting Up Office 365 for Email

      How do I setup O365 on my iPhone?

      How do I setup O365 on my Android phone?

      How do I setup O365 on my Macintosh computer?

      Forwarding Email How do I forward my Tufts Email to another email account?

      More details in the Email at Tufts online guide.

      3. Access My Phone and Voicemail

      Tufts uses Cisco Jabber for Voice over IP (VoIP) providing telephone services over the internet. Even when you are away from the office, there are several options for accessing your calls and voicemail.

      Options Getting Started
      Enabling Single Number Reach Single Number Reach will ring both your desk phone and another number simultaneously, allowing you to receive your calls both on and off campus. Note: Jabber by default will have your phone ring on your laptop but we recommend single number reach if it is more reliable.
      Forwarding Call Call forwarding allows you to simply forward all your calls to another number and not have it ring your office phone.
      Accessing My Voicemail remotely Accessing voicemail when away from your phone can be done by calling 617-627-6300 and when prompted enter your 10-digit phone number and PIN associated with your Jabber account. If you don't know or need to reset your PIN, call 617-627-4357 or email

      For more information see the VoIP Telephone online guide.

      4. Chat or Send Messages

      Access Cisco Jabber

      Tufts recommends that the community use Jabber to chat with colleagues online.

      NOTE: You need to be an administrator on your machine to download and install Jabber. If you need assistance installing Jabber, please contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk.

      Options Getting Started
      Using Jabber as a phone

      How do I use my Windows or Mac laptop or desktop as a phone?

      Messaging with a colleague How do I send a chat message to a colleague?
      Messaging with a group Can I chat with multiple users at once?
      Notifying colleagues of availability status How do I set my availability status using Jabber?
      Installing Jabber on a personal device How can I download Jabber on my personal device?

      For more information see Cisco Jabber for Chat online guide.

      5. Store, Access, and Share Files

      Access Box

      Tufts provides Tufts Box for faculty, staff, and students as the recommended tool for secure storage and sharing of Tufts data and documents. You need to login using your Tufts Username and Password (UTLN) to access this tool.

      When you save your files in the cloud using Tufts Box (or an alternative storage option), 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.

      Options Getting Started
      Creating a New File or Folder How do I create a new file/folder using
      Editing Files How do I edit files in Box?
      Sharing Files and Folders How do I share a file or folder with a colleague for collaboration?

      For more information see the Box Data Storage and Collaboration online guide.

      Support Resources

      If you encounter any issues accessing and using these tools to work remotely, please contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk.

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