Telecommuting Resources

This document includes tips on working from home.


  • Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Forest & Wildlife faculty, students, and staff; Hub staff


Considering telecommuting?  Here are some items to keep in mind.

What work materials should I bring home with me?

  • Laptop
  • Laptop bag or means to transport laptop
  • Power adapter
  • If used, MFA security fob for NetID authentication
  • A mouse to use instead of the laptop’s touchpad
  • Physical materials needed to work from home such as paper documents, office supplies, PCard, etc.

Do you have any spare mice, keyboards, or monitors I could borrow to use at home?

Russell IT has a supply of some computer peripherals - check with John for more information. We do not have headsets.

How should I store/access my documents and other files?

The university offers several cloud storage options that enable you to efficiently access your documents from any location – at work or at home.

Check out the comparison chart for these different cloud storage options.

If you store items on a Russell file server, you must connect to the server via ​a VPN connection on a UW-owned device. See the VPN section for more details.

What about bookmarks/favorites for websites?

If you have specific websites you use to complete your work, make sure you have a copy of the URLs saved somewhere you will be able to access from home (Box, Google Drive, OneDrive or the Russell file servers).

You can see how to export bookmarks for major browsers at the links below:

Chrome -
Edge -
Firefox -
Internet Explorer -
Safari -

Thanks to Kerry Tobin at the Biochemistry dept. for this info.

How do I access the Russell file servers / connect with a VPN?

VPN connection is required when working remotely. We use VPN – Palo Alto GlobalProtect to do this. You can test GlobalProtect from the office to ensure it is working properly. View VPN installation instructions for mobile and personal devices.

How can I access my phone and voicemail from home?

How can I message and collaborate with colleagues?

  • Microsoft Teams for instant messaging and web calls.
  • WebEx for hosting virtual meetings and video conferencing.
  • UW-Madison G Suite (Google) has a collection of cloud-based productivity and collaborative tools. For example, use Google Drive to create a single document that you and your colleagues can all edit and work on.
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for those working in Canvas.

Check out the comparison chat for these different online collaboration tools.

Do you have any tips for videoconferencing from home?

Check out this article from Computerworld which covers things like lighting, audio, and desk clutter.

How do I practice safe computing from home?

How do I get IT help?

Desktop Support (issues with computer hardware or software, how-to questions):

John will be working remotely but has been approved to come onsite in case of emergencies (example: one of the servers going down).

He will be monitoring the help email throughout the day.

If you need immediate assistance, include "URGENT" at the beginning of the email subject line and include your contact info in the body of the email.  John will do his best to respond to those emails within 15 minutes.

Website Support (my site is down, my site has an error message, how-to questions):

Other resources:

Thanks to our colleagues at CALS IT for creating this list.


Keywords:Telecommuting, work from home   Doc ID:120762
Owner:Dixie L.Group:Russell Labs Computing
Created:2022-08-17 12:24 CDTUpdated:2022-08-17 12:30 CDT
Sites:Russell Labs Computing
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