Working Remotely

Tufts provides a number of tools that enable the community to continue to be productive while working remotely.

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 recommended and supported tools and follow the Tufts recommendations/policies outlined below.

Quick Overview Table

Preparing to Work Remotely
  • Check Your Equipment (computer, microphone, webcam)
  • Test your Internet
  • Test your Access to Tufts Services
  • Update and Share Contact information
  • Review Online Security Information
Prepare Your Computer and Software
  • All Central Administration, School, and Clinic Administrators are required to use Tufts-owned and TTS-managed devices (laptops/tablets) for accessing and performing Tufts work involving institutional information except for data defined as public data or for accessing your own personal information.
  • Use Tufts Apps and Software

NOTE: New Tufts-owned and managed machines come with key software and tools enabled including: 2FA, Tufts VPN, MS Office Suite (including Email, Calendaring, MS Teams etc), Zoom, and Box.

Connect to Tufts
  • Use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) With Duo
  • Access the Virtual Private Network (VPN) - required use for Dental School faculty, staff and students.
Use Tools to Collaborate
  • Zoom for online meetings
  • Office 365 for Email and Calendaring
  • Cisco Jabber for Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone
  • Microsoft (MS) Teams for Chat/Instant Messaging
  • Box to Store, Access and Share Files
Get Help
  • Contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk

    Preparing to Work Remotely

    Please verify that you are setup to work remotely by testing your ability to access Tufts resources on your devices. Be prepared by doing the following:

    • Check Your Equipment - ensure you have the proper equipment to support working remotely (see examples below).
      • Computer - a work laptop/desktop, power cord, and any accessories (i.e. mouse and headset), Make sure you have a recommended and secure computer. NOTE: Tufts staff should be using a Tufts-owned and managed computer. Use of personal laptops/computers/tablets should be limited to personal things and/or email.
      • 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 colleagues; 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 Information – ensure your network and any devices are set to protect you and Tufts.

    If you have a specialized role 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

    Recommendation: All Central Administration and School Administrators must use Tufts-owned and TTS centrally managed computers for accessing and performing Tufts work involving institutional information except for data defined as public data or for accessing your own personal information. If you do not have one, please contact and TTS will work with you on next steps.

    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).

    Using tablets Tablets must be Tufts-owned and managed by TTS if used for Tufts services beyond accessing email.
    Using a personal phone or tablet Only use personal phones and tablets for accessing limited Tufts services i.e. email (O365), phone (Jabber), chat (MS Teams), storage/file sharing (Box), and texting.
    Finding Available Software*** See available Tufts Apps and Software or learn about the Tufts Virtual Lab/Virtual Desktop for online software.
    Requesting a laptop loaner Contact TTS at if you have an emergency or are in need a loaner laptop.

      *Using a Tufts-owned & managed laptop is required for accessing and performing Tufts work.

     **Only use a personal device for accessing public data or your own personal information. 

    ***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 should ensure that Two Factor Authentication (2FA) Duo app is setup on their mobile phone and use 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. 

      NOTE: Faculty, staff, and students are enrolled in 2FA when they start at Tufts.

      If you use your office phone as your second factor DUO authentication, change it to your mobile or home phone. 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.

      Recommendation: The Dental School requires the use of the VPN to access their services. Tufts does not require for general use however, some services will require it before allowing access.

      • Requires 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 required: 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.

      NOTE: Faculty and staff should be using a University-provided device for Tufts work which has the VPN installed. If it is not installed, you can learn how to install it below.

      Install the VPN

      Use Tools to Collaborate

      There is a suite of tools to enable increased productivity and collaboration when working remotely. 

      1. Conduct/Attend Meetings Online

      Access Zoom

      Access Tufts Zoom HIPAA

      Tufts recommends you use Zoom to conduct online meetings or the Tufts HIPAA Zoom instance for meetings with sensitive information (i.e. Medical and Dental sessions).

      Options Get Started
      Joining a Zoom Meeting How do I join a Zoom Meeting?
      Hosting a Zoom Meeting How do I host a Zoom 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 Zoom 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 Zoom online guide, including Best Practices for Hosting and Participating in Zoom meetings and Video Tutorials.

      Zoom Security @ Tufts tips sheet with links.


      Alternative platforms for video conferencing and meetings

      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

      NOTE: You will also receive a recorded message in email with the phone to email function.

      For more information see the VoIP Telephone online guide.

      NOTE: You can also make audio calls to colleagues in the Tufts community with your computer using Zoom or MS Teams.

      4. Chat or Send Messages

      Access MS Teams for Desktop

      Access MS Teams Online

      Tufts recommends that the community use Microsoft (MS) Teams to chat with colleagues online.

      NOTE: Faculty and Staff should be using a University-owned and managed machine for to access Tufts services and MS Office is installed and gives access to MS Teams (and other tools). You need to be an administrator on your machine to download and install MS Teams. If you need assistance installing MS Teams, please contact the 24/7 TTS Service Desk.

      Options Getting Started
      Messaging with a colleague How do I send a chat message to a colleague?
      File Sharing How do I file share and collaborate with MS Teams?
      Notifying colleagues of availability status How do I change my current status using MS Teams?
      Virtual Meetings How do I have a virtual meeting in MS Teams?

      For more information see Microsoft (MS) Teams online guide.

      Alternative platform for instant messaging/chat

      Jabber | Access and Guides

      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 (UTLN) and Password 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?
      Backing up computer files It is recommended that you work online vs. saving things locally on your computer. If you do store locally, you should backup your files to Box regularly or purchase CrashPlan.

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

      Alternative platform for storing, accessing, and sharing files

      • OneDrive | Access as part of your Microsoft O365 access
      • Google Drive | Access with G-Suite and Tufts Credentials
      • R-Drives (for Research) and Q-Drives (for Departments)
      • CrashPlan for faculty and staff backing up computer files ($98/year) NOTE: Not for use with HIPAA protected data.

      Support Resources

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