Working remotely

Flexible work arrangements

All HSC employees: Please note that, effective immediately, Campus HR no longer requires those working remotely to turn in Flexible Work Arrangement forms or to complete the online training. Supervisor approval is all that’s required. Anyone with questions may email HSC.HR@untsystem.edu. 


Information Technology Recommendations

Staff

Assess your organization’s critical business functions, roles and responsibilities to identify and prioritize employees and/or workgroups HSC absolutely must have operating every day.  Evaluate whether some of these functions can be effectively managed by employees from a remote location such as a home office.  Certain jobs are more conducive to a work-from-home option than others.

Some things to consider and/or prepare for:

  • Do resources have HSC-assigned computing devices to support business operations?
  • Do resources have fast internet access to be able to work remotely?
  • Do resources have training/exposure to Web conferencing solutions (Microsoft Teams)?
    • A webcam and headphones with microphone are strongly recommended
  • Will access to a printer/scanner be required?
  • ITS Telecom has a *very limited* (less than 35 lines for the whole campus) capability to auto forward work phones (direct individual extensions) to cell phones. This capability will be for mission critical functions.
    • Telecom recommends placing a customized greeting on voice mailboxes giving callers an expectation of when they should receive a call back.  A few examples would be: “Thank you for calling the XYZ Office at UNTHSC.  Our office will have limited resources working onsite; however, we will be checking voice mail periodically throughout the day.  Your call will be returned as quickly as possible.  You may also email our office at XYZ@unthsc.edu.” OR “Thank you for calling the ABC Office at UNTHSC.  Our office will have limited resources working onsite; however; we will continue to conduct business by working remotely.  If your issue needs immediate attention, please call 817-111-2222 (listing a cell phone if you deem necessary).”
    • Please remember you can check voice mail remotely by calling the access number 817-735-5100 from any location.
  • User data that is stored on that user’s local computer, whether desktop or laptop should be moved, where possible, to a shared space more easily accessible from a VPN connection. This would be a network share or a SharePoint/Teams site for your department or team.  This should not include data that contains HIPAA, FIRPA, or any other type of PPI data.
  • IT has a very limited number of laptop computers and is prepared to provide additional support and resources to ensure operationally-critical team members can remain connected to campus.  Please contact our Helpdesk team for assistance.

Faculty

In the event that campus-based teaching is not possible, we want to ensure that all Spring 2020 coursework have an activated learning management system presence (Canvas).  Please reach out to CIL for assistance with getting courses online-ready, for course content availability, communication with students, and assessment of student performance.

You may also consider attending a CIL Class and Business Contingency Training session to learn more about options for conducting your classes remotely.

Finally, consider attending a Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor training webinar to learn how to conduct secure exams online.

  • Contact CIL to have LockDown Browser added to your course.
  • Effective immediately, Respondus will offer DAILY training webinars for Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser.
  • Instructors and staff can register for the webinars

Test your connectivity

  • Internet connectivity speeds
    • Appropriate internet speed for working from home depends on what kind of work you do, but should be at minimum 10Mbps.
    • If you frequently download and upload large files, internet speeds of at least 40 Mbps are recommended.
  • Access to all relevant systems and/or resources e.g., Canvas, Mediasite, Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor
  • Hosting meetings via Teams or Zoom to gain familiarity with the tool and its capabilities

Public vs. private systems/resources

Some of our systems and/or IT resources will require VPN access in order to securely access certain internal resources while outside the office/campus.  VPN uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that data cannot be intercepted.

For information about which services / systems require VPN, please refer to the intranet page (requires login).

How to install a VPN

Information security considerations

Follow best practices when working remotely:

  • Use a VPN
  • Make sure the device you use has an updated operating system, is patched, and has updated antivirus software.
  • Avoid using personal devices for UNTHSC work.
  • Do not let family members and children use devices designated or used for UNTHSC work.
  • Avoid mixing work activities with personal computing use.

Be wary of phishing scams or malware attacks using this event to compromise credentials or spread ransomware.  Many phishing attempts may use official looking, CDC, government, or UNTHSC/UNT logos or information to trick users into a false sense of security or urgency.

  • Remember the [EXT] tag in the subject to denote an external sender vs. an internal user.
  • Confirm any unusual requests using a secondary method outside of email.
  • Be vigilant in interpreting the authenticity of email messages
    • Check the actual sending email address
    • Avoid clicking on links or attachments from unknown or unexpected senders.
  • Report any questionable or suspicious messages to abuse@unthsc.edu

IT Support resources

Please contact our IT helpdesk for assistance:

This page was last modified on March 20, 2020