IT guidance for homeworking

Accessing files from home


You can remotely access network folders including your personal U: drive (plus any N: drive folders) via the MyExeter Portal. Simply log in using your staff credentials and look under 'My Files' to access your personal U: drives and shared N: drive space stored on the University network and your staff account.

Accessing Systems through VPN

There are several systems which will require you to be connected to the University securely in order to gain access, e.g. TRENT HR, Scientia Room Booking, or Softphone services. Using the University's VPN will allow you to connect to systems as you normally would whilst working on campus. For more detailed guidance on using the VPN please visit the VPN and network webpages.

Access the VPN via: (Note: You cannot connect to the VPN whilst already connected to the University network) 

Remote desktop

Using a remote desktop is suitable if you need to access specialist software which isn’t available on your personal devices e.g. Photoshop or programming software. For more information on how to use a remote desktop please contact


OneDrive for Business will shortly be available to all staff as part of Microsoft Office 365. OneDrive for Business is cloud-based, meaning that all documents are stored securely outside of the university network. Whilst maintaining high levels of security, storing documents 'in the cloud' as its known has tremendous benefit, particularly to those opting to work with greater flexibility. For more details on OneDrive please contact

Working securely at home

Data security and the confidentiality of person and business-sensitive information must be maintained as part of homeworking arrangements. Working from home demands extra vigilance to maintain good information security working practices so that the confidentiality and integrity of University information is maintained and the institution’s good reputation is not jeopardised.

Storing and transferring documents

  • Staff should avoid saving documents relating to their University work to the hard drive of their home computer. Where this is necessary while a document is being drafted, the final version should be saved in the U drive (My Documents) or shared N drive via the staff portal and deleted from the home computer (and deleted from the Recycle Bin). All documents should be saved to the U drive or N drive and deleted from the home computer at the end of each working day. However, if necessary, information can be carried securely between locations using encrypted USB memory sticks.
  • The transfer of hard copies of documents between the University and home should be avoided. Managers should not agree to homeworking arrangements unless they are satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place to maintain the security of such documents. In the interest of data security and sustainability, homeworkers are discouraged from printing and retaining University documents at home.
  • Ensure you're fully aware of any specific storage requirements of sensitive material. Some research contracts prohibit the storage of files on cloud platforms.
  • Personal or confidential information should not be stored on:
    • any non-University portable device (eg laptop or PDA)
    • non-University (eg home) desktop computer
    • University portable device (eg laptop or PDA) which is transferred off-site (eg taken home) unless appropriate encryption is in place OR
    • on any portable medium (eg CD, DVD, USB memory stick, external hard disk, solid-state or other storage card (eg CompactFlash, SD), other digital storage, etc) which is transferred off-site, unless the storage medium is encrypted.

Data security

  • Employees must be able to assure their manager that they have a work area at home which allows them to work without other family members having access to any personal or confidential information. This may involve locking their screen with a password if they are away from their home work area and securing any documents and portable storage media at the end of each day.
  • Ensure all your devices are protected by a strong password and that if you are using a University owned device that it is encrypted.
  • For more information please read the policy for Information Security on Laptops and Portable Media.

Equipment for working at home

The following equipment may be advisable if you are regularly working at home:

  • Nortel/Avaya 2050pc IP softphone for Windows PC - The IP Softphone 2050 transforms your PC into a full-featured phone
  • Video conferencing equipment - Video conferencing will allow you to attend meetings from home. We advise on having a headset, microphone, speakers and webcam.
  • Laptop - speak to your line manager about availability
  • Docking station - a docking station may be useful if you are working from a laptop.

You will need to raise the need for any additional equipment that may need to be purchased if you are working from home. For software issues please contact SID