Remote Work FAQs

Where is the best place to learn how to use Zoom?

Updated 4/8/2020

Faculty, staff and students can learn how to use Zoom at https://zoom.psu.edu/resources/.

How can I connect to applications and access the collaborative tools I use to perform my normal work functions?   

Updated 3/25/2020

You should test these functions remotely and you should be able to use your internet connection to access most of the Penn State services required for your daily work including LionPath, WorkLion, and Office 365.     

If you access certain services using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you are likely already aware of that need and using the correct connections and profile to access these services. Examples of these connections are the ability to access certain Level 3/Level 4 data in an enclave, or use of the more common  ISPtoPSU  profile or LIASVPN profile. Your local IT staff will be most knowledgeable if you are having any issues accessing specific applications for your unit.      

Tip: Certain applications, such as SharePoint and Zoom, will not function correctly while using a VPN. When you have completed your access to the application that requires VPN connectivity, turn off your VPN connection so that others have available access to this limited resource.

I do not have wireless internet access or a laptop. What should I do?

Updated 3/20/2020

For general technology needs, such as laptops, headphones, or monitors, faculty and staff should work with their local IT unit to fulfill their requests.

How can I maintain cybersecurity while working remotely?

Updated 3/19/2020

Penn State’s Office of Information Security (OIS) recommends following these ten guidelines to enhance cybersecurity

What are best practices for preserving bandwidth while working remotely?

Updated 3/18/2020
  • Turn off video unless necessary
  • If you can use a wired connection, opt for that – it will be more reliable.
  • If not, be as close to the wireless router as possible.
  • If possible, ask others who share your Internet service to limit their bandwidth consumption during your class session.
  • If you are using your computer or tablet to connect to class, turn the wireless off on your phone. You are likely consuming bandwidth without knowing it.
  • Your local provider (e.g. Comcast/xfiniti) may have advanced tools for managing devices connecting to your home network; please see their customer support pages for more information. In today’s connected environment, many “smart” appliances and devices consumer bandwidth without us giving it much thought. Disconnecting these devices for a short period may improve your class experience.

Other tips:

  • Mute your microphone.
  • Turn off sound notifications on your computer. It can be very distracting to hear email notifications while you are speaking.

How can I receive my work-related phone calls while working remotely?  

Updated 3/17/2020

There are a couple of options for you to consider, as you are working remotely.       

  • If you rarely receive phone calls (or only a few over the course of your work week), consider allowing the call to go to your voicemail. If you have opted to receive your voicemail sound files via your email, you can receive those messages in email and respond accordingly.  
  • If you often receive phone calls, the easiest way to ensure that you are available to answer them remotely will be to forward your office phone line to your home phone or cell phone. To forward your phone line, please visit this knowledge article (KB0011222). 

Tip: You will need to be logged in with WebAccess to make this change, and If you are setting this up from your remote location, you will need to use a VPN to get to the voice portal, using the  ISPtoPSU  profile.      

I need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to access these tools. How do I get one?  

Updated 3/17/2020

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection allows you to connect to the Penn State  network remotely.  VPN will also and give you access to certain resources.  

If you need to use VPN, download at https://softwarerequest.psu.edu . 

Are there any access restrictions when using a personal device?

Updated 3/17/2020

While you may use a personal device while teleworking, you will not be able to access information classified as Level 3 (“High”) or Level 4 (“Restricted”). Information in these classifications can only be accessed through Penn State equipment for security reasons. You must consult with OIS if you have a need to access level 3 or 4 information even on Penn State owned device

I am having a technology issue while working remotely, how can I get help?  

Updated 3/17/2020

Please visit the  Help Request Portal  anytime you are having technology issues or questions.  

I am responsible for answering a departmental phone for my unit, can I still forward this phone?  

Updated 3/17/2020

If you are responsible for monitoring and answering more than one phone line, you may also forward that phone to your home or cell phone. If you work with others in your area to monitor those phone lines, you should consider and discuss how you and your team will be sharing the responsibility to answer them. A phone line can only be forwarded to one phone number. To forward a phone line, please read this knowledge article (KB0011222).