Getting Started  

Staying in touch with your colleagues is vital throughout any significant change in the schedule — especially as a result of a crisis impacting all or part of campus. Early and frequent communication can ease employees' anxiety and save you from becoming overwhelmed with individual questions. 

The goal of this guide is to provide you the resources, strategies and assistance to help you work remotely.

Basic Requirements

Working remotely does have some technical hurdles you will need to consider. Please review the teleworking checklist below to gauge your readiness level.

    • If you do not currently have high-speed internet, sometimes your phone's data plan can be shared with your computer. Call your cellphone provider for more details.
    • Generally, if you work at home, you will want a minimum internet speed of 1 Mbps for both download and upload.
    • If you don't have a laptop or computer, a tablet might work for email and basic communications. However, you may have some challenges with the SUNY Portal, TAS, and editing/saving documents on a tablet.

Those are the basics. There are still some details to work out, such as how you save files, connect to shares and possibly take phone calls. Please read the definitions below, and check the Online Resources Section above for instructions. Please also reference the Data Classification policy; it is against SUNY Cortland policy to save important and sensitive files on your personal device.

Working Remotely — Important Technologies and Their Definitions

VPN: Virtual private network. SUNY Cortland maintains sophisticated security to protect our system. Many services available when you are on campus are not available when connecting from a remote location. VPN software creates a tunnel from your machine to on-campus resources. SUNY Cortland uses Cisco AnyConnect for VPN resources.

How to connect to VPN

Shares: A shares drive is shareable, secured storage that's only reachable while on the campus network. If you use your U drive or a department share you will need to first VPN in to connect to shares. You can then use the instructions below to access your shared files. Please keep in mind that often when saving files from a remote location there is a lag; it may take a few seconds to complete.

Connecting to shares

Remote Desktop: It is possible to use a tool called Microsoft Remote Desktop to connect to your work computer from home. This can be useful if you have a program installed on your work computer that you cannot install at home. Remote Desktop only works if your work computer is powered on.

How to use Remote Desktop

Phone Calls: You can set your office phone to forward calls to your cellphone, but a better method of getting these calls is to install Cisco Jabber a softphone. 

Softphone: You are probably used to taking a call at your desk on a phone. That is not always the case when teleworking. You do have the option to use a softphone, which is basically a phone that runs on your smartphone or computer. If you use your computer, you will need a microphone and speakers; a headset works best (Bluetooth or wired).

Request a softphone

Online Collaboration: We have three main tools to assist you. These tools will allow you to hold virtual meetings, conference calls, one-on-ones and stay in touch. We currently support WebEx, Skype and MS Teams.

Good Practices to Consider

  • Set a schedule. It is easy to fall into an "always working" mentality when everything is right there, so be sure to set a schedule.
  • Get comfortable. When in your office you have an ergonomically designed desk and chair. You may not have that at home. Be careful of your typing position, and practice good posture.
  • Take breaks. It feels good to be in the zone, but at work, we usually deal with constant interruption. At home, we may not experience interruptions, so take a break, get some fresh air. We may come to miss that walk from the parking lot into the office.
  • Disconnect when not in use. Make sure to disconnect from VPN and close the laptop down when not in use.
  • Save often. Things can take a bit longer when working remotely. Save often to ensure you don't lose any work.
  • Stay connected. With tools like WebEx we can connect. WebEx and many other tools work on computers and mobile devices. A quick video hello or chat can make all the difference.
  • We are all in this together. Things can and will go wrong with technology. Just remember we are all going through this. In some ways, we are pushing technology to its limits, so step back and appreciate the situation. If you need to call the Help Desk, we are here to help as best as we can.

The Help Center

Call 607-753-2500 for immediate assistance.

Submit an Online Support Request