Technology considerations for working remotely

An important consideration on the development of a work from home strategy is to ensure that the university assumes an appropriate level of risk through the information technology employed to undertake remote working in these circumstances. The most significant area of risk is through the use of home devices when carrying out work activities. To address this risk, this web page has been created for campus leaders which provides key options for working remotely.

For instance, using centrally managed UNBC laptops is the lowest risk alternative, whereas the use of personal home computers represents a more significant risk if accessing sensitive information. This web page addresses this continuum by providing key considerations on which options should be utilized and when. University Systems will also be providing support to ensure that leaders and their teams are undertaking remote work with appropriate technological precautions.

General Guidelines


  • Prioritize critical work to be done from home and identify which employees must transition first; we have a limited number of staff available to transition people to remote work and without this prioritization technical resources will be quickly overwhelmed.
  • Authorize the purchase of any equipment required by the employee to support working from home.
  • Consider if on campus IT equipment is required at home to continue critical work and ensure equipment leaving campus is being tracked and inventoried (this can be done by IT support personnel).
  • Communicate to IT what equipment is being taken home for the entire unit to ensure that it is properly configured.


  • Safely and securely, transport university equipment to and from home.
  • Have an adequate broadband Internet connection at home.
  • Have a secure (long) passphrase on their home wireless network.
  • Utilize the VPN service to securely access university resources.
  • Please log out of the VPN when not in use (i.e. breaks or lunch)
  • G / H drives should be accessed via Virtual Desktop off-site.
  • To access files when using a VPN, ensure the files reside in SharePoint, and are not on the G: or H: drive.
  • Please do not engage in non-work related high bandwidth activities (e.g. streaming videos from Netflix) while logged into the VPN.
  • Report issues to the Service Desk at
  • Understand applicable policies, procedures and protocols for the work they are doing.

Computer Options

Employees who are already equipped with laptops and familiar with working off campus should be able to continue doing what they are familiar doing without any increased requirements.

For employees who are not equipped with laptops or familiar with working off campus: Leaders must work with their teams to determine remote work requirements for employees based on the following two options and communicate these to their IT support personnel as soon as possible – the recommended order is:

  1. Use the Virtual Desktop service
    1. This service will provide access to your H/G drive and most software and systems you may need access to. 
  2. Take the UNBC desktop computer home: prior to taking it home, notify the IT support person who must reconfigure the desktop to work from off-campus.
    1. Some software may not work because of campus network requirements; Systems can work to resolve critical software on a case-by-case basis.
    2. The individual must have a wired Ethernet connection at home (not wireless).
    3. The individual must transport and set it up themselves; there will be no on-site support at their home

Employees should follow the guidance provided by the Privacy and Access to Information Office.

Real-time audio/video/instant messaging Collaboration Tools

Important information for supervisors

The supervisor must come to ITS with the list of people who need ‘access from home’.

The supervisor should also be able to provide information about the employees PCs and special applications or processes that the employee performs.

The best approach is as follows:

ITS will triage requests and make recommendations based on usage and recommendations.

If you have a computer at home with Internet access the recommended way to approach is:

  1. Virtual Desktop
    1. Either through web browser interface or
    2. Horizon Client - better user experience
  2. If Virtual Desktop will not work for you then you must make a case through your manager.
    1. ITS will evaluate this and provision a computer as required.
    2. Please use Foxit Phantom through your normal desktop or laptop OR in Virtual Desktop Faculty and Staff pool.

There are a limited number of connections that UNBC can support, expectations of usage will be triaged and evaluated as they are presented.

Accessing drives and files

G: and H: drives should be accessed via Virtual Desktop off-site.

To access files when using a VPN, ensure the files reside in SharePoint, and are not on the G: or H: drive.