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Remote Work Resources

Tools, tips, recommendations, common barriers, and FAQs to help you get work done where ever you are.


Whether you need to remotely connect to a resource on campus, or simply wish to know about best practices while working remotely, this page aims to set you on a path to remote work success.  If you should have any questions about any of the content below, please submit a help request using our web form.

CALS OIT Recommendations

Image of person holding a smart phone and sitting infront of an Apple laptop.
Use a CALS OIT Managed Laptop
For those who need to access campus-based resources while working remotely, we recommend using a CALS OIT managed laptop.
Student taking notes with pen and paper.
Determine the Resources You Will Need
To prepare for working remotely, we recommend you make a list of all of the IT resources you expect to need access to.
Blue gloved lab worker holding test tube and eye dropper.
Thoroughly Test
We also recommend thoroughly testing remote access before needing to rely upon it. Ensure you’re budgeting time to test and troubleshoot with CALS OIT as needed.

Use a CALS OIT Managed Laptop

Whenever possible, you should use a CALS OIT managed laptop to access campus-based IT resources.  Doing so greatly reduces risk to the resources you rely upon.


We also highly recommend that you:


While not recommended by CALS OIT, we recognize not every employee has access to a CALS OIT managed laptop, and as such the use of personally-owned computers to remotely access campus-based resources may be the only option.  If an employee must use a personally owned computer for remote work purposes, it is critical to mitigate risk to data and technology resources. 


On your personally owned computer please ensure that :

  • You apply all critical OS security patches and update third-party software - CRITICAL
  • You update antivirus/anti-malware software - CRITICAL

IT Resources

An important part of working remotely is knowing how to access the resources you need.  There are two kinds of IT resources to consider when working remotely: campus-based and cloud-based.

Campus-based resources either physically exist on-campus, or exist within Cornell's network.

The following resources are only accessible from Cornell IP space, and require the use of Cornell’s VPN service to access them while away from campus.

Most cloud-based resources are accessible anywhere in the world, and do not require special network configuration in order to connect.  These resources include:

Test Remote Access

Before relying upon remote access to resources on-campus, please take the time to test from a remote location well in advance.  Testing will afford you the time to work out any issues with CALS OIT.

Generally, broadband Internet access will provide sufficient speeds to effectively work remotely while connecting to campus-based resources.  However, degradation in external Internet Service Provider services, such as network outages or network congestion, may impact your remote work experience.

Suggested Solutions to Remote Work Barriers

CALS OIT has provided the following guide which includes potential solutions to common barriers staff might face while working remotely.  Prior to reviewing the guide please make sure you thoroughly review the COVID-19: Remote Work Guidelines for Employees website.  As outlined on the website, “if the only option is to use a personally owned computer, laptop, or other device, the employee is still responsible for following all university practices and policies to maintain security on their device.”

Common Barriers

Potential Solutions

You require software only available on a CALS desktop


  • Explore the use of remote desktop access from a home computer
    • Enter a ticket if this approach is required
  • If remote desktop access is not possible from a home computer
    • Explore with your supervisor the option of taking your CALS work computer home
      • Enter a ticket if this approach is required

You don't have a CALS managed laptop


  • Use a home computer

You don't have a CALS managed laptop nor home computer

  • Explore with your supervisor the option of taking your CALS work computer home
    • Enter a ticket if this approach is required

You have limited or no home Internet service



  • Investigate Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers (Charter/Spectrum)
  • Contract with an ISP to upgrade or install home Internet (Spectrum, Verizon, Haefele, etc.)
  • Seek approval from your supervisor to initiate the process of borrowing a CALS provided Mifi Hotspot.
    • Enter a ticket if this approach is required
    • Please note that signal strength coverage and performance will vary from location to location


Your Zoom connection is functioning poorly

  • Consider connecting to your WiFi router's Ethernet ports.  Spectrum's website has an example of this configuration.
    • This will require an Ethernet cable of your desired length.  You can purchase one on Amazon.
    • If you have a modern laptop that doesn't have a built-in Ethernet port, you may need to purchase an ethernet adapter. You can purchase one on Amazon.
  • Consider relocating your WiFi router for better coverage.
    • Pick a central location, and avoid placing in corners or behind obstructive furniture etc.
  • See this Wired article for additional suggestions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Zoombombing”?

It’s when uninvited attendees connect to your zoom meeting, or worse, share inappropriate content during the zoom meeting.

What has been done to prevent “Zoombombing”?

Zoom has changed its default settings and hosts should now see an option in the Zoom meeting controls called Security.  This new icon simplifies how hosts can quickly find and enable many of Zoom’s in-meeting security features.  Learn more about this Security feature on Zoom's website.

What other things can I do to keep meetings private?

Please see CIT's webpage: Keep Zoom Meetings Private and Reduce the Odds of Zoombombing.

Want more Zoom training?

The Center for Teaching Innovation offers a "Using Zoom for Teaching Online" webinar, and online drop-in sessions to answer your Zoom questions.