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Working from home

COVID-19 Coronavirus has forced many of us to work from home. Here's some important information to help you and also to support our IT infrastructure.

General advice for working from home for a sustained period of time.

  • Arrange with your line manager if you need to collect peripheral items from your office (laptop charger, mouse, keyboard etc) if safe to do so, or arrange for them to be delivered to your home.
  • If you need to purchase any additional IT equipment to support virtual working (webcams or headsets for example, view this guidance: Home working equipment
  • Where possible, divert (forward) your desk phone to a mobile phone or set up voicemail advising people of how to contact you.
  • Please update your calendar to show your working pattern.

Please note: If your Exeter IT computer is new, you MUST have logged on to that device once before you take it home.

Be vigilant - COVID-19 Cyber-Attacks

There have been a lot of cyber-attacks identified in the last few weeks off the back of the COVID-19 escalation, resulting in a lot of malicious email opportunities to exploit loopholes and system vulnerabilities. Please do not open or regard any email surrounding the COVID-19 virus other than those from official sources.


We anticipate a very high demand on the University’s VPN during the COVID-19 response due to a significant increase in remote working and studying. We have brought forward access to new VPN software, called VIA, available herePlease download VIA and use this as the preferred method to access the VPN (instead of Pulse Secure). 

For full information visit: Off campus access with VPN

Office 365:

There are some helpful ‘getting started’ videos to support you with the use of the Office365 tools. You do not need a VPN connection when using Office 365.

Email – Accessible either via a web browser or Outlook. If you have a University laptop Outlook will operate as usual once you have connected to the internet.

OneDrive for Business – OneDrive is a replacement for the My Documents service and allows you to save your documents securely in the cloud and access them from any device with internet connection. Everyone has access to OneDrive for Business, however you will need to move your files from My Documents if you haven’t already done so. More information about this service can be found here:

Teams – A tool for flexible working and collaboration no matter where you are: Microsoft Teams at the University of Exeter

SharePoint – SharePoint is a document management and collaboration tool which will eventually replace the shared (N drives) across the University. Your department may already be using this tool. More information can be found here

Off campus access with VPN

Please note: In situations where there are a high volume of users on the VPN, the service will likely become noticeably slower making it difficult to use. Therefore, it is advisable that you prepare yourself to use Office 365 as an alternative solution.

Please ensure that you are using the latest available version of the VPN as older versions may not work. For more information please go to the following address:

Data Transfer

Do not transfer large data sets from the network via the VPN to your local machine. As a workaround, please move the data set to your OneDrive, disconnect from the VPN and download via Office365 on your web browser (e.g Chrome, Edge).

If you would like to discuss any of the above services or the availability of other software please contact the IT Helpdesk or speak to your IT Business Partner.

Health and Wellbeing when working from home

If you do need to work from home please ensure you:

If you normally use a device or hardware to support you with a disability, please discuss this with your line manager as it may be possible to provide this to you to help you work at home.

Data Protection:

The University takes data protection very seriously; review the key steps you should take below. For full guidance read Remote Working Guidance.

  • University data should not be shared with unauthorised individuals.
  • University data should not be stored on personal equipment, use your university equipment or removable storage.
  • When deleting data ensure that it is removed securely and not held in temporary files of the recycle bin.
  • Ensure you lock your devices when you are not using them (Windows + L on a Windows machine or Control + Command +Q on a Mac).
  • Make sure that you have a safe space away from common areas to use when processing confidential information.
  • Make sure that you close documents when sharing your screen (via Teams for example).
  • When sharing your screen consider only sharing the application you need to share.
  • Consider who can overhear you when you are on a call.
  • Consider locking away equipment containing confidential information when it is not in use.
  • Please always consider your physical environment and home security.
  • Check the settings when sharing files, setting up online surveys using forms, if in doubt ask.
  • Continue to report data breaches to the IG team as soon as you learn about them.