Accessibility statement

Working from home: requirements

We've put together information to assist staff working from home. This page includes reminders of things you will need to have with you to work effectively.

We've also published guidance on how to accomplish specific kinds of tasks remotely, advice on remote team working and guidance on data protection when working from home

We understand that the recommendations and technology may be unfamiliar. We encourage everyone to try new approaches, don't worry about getting things wrong, be understanding when things don’t go as well as we hoped and support everyone to learn and improve. You can do this by sending feedback on remote working to IT Services.

If you need help you can contact IT Support at or on +44 (0)1904 323838.

Things you will need

1. Your University account

Make sure that you know your University username, email address and password. You will need these to access University services.

If you are not able to access your University account you can:

2. Computer - laptop or desktop

If you need to work from home, you will need a laptop or desktop. For example:

  • a University laptop that was provided by your department
  • your own desktop or laptop at home.

It may also be possible to do some work on a tablet (eg an iPad). But we recommend that if you do not have access to any laptop or desktop you should speak to your line manager to make them aware of this.

Make sure that you have any accessories that you may need, such as your laptop charger and mouse, as well as a suitable desk space to work at.

3. Software

Think about the software you will need to allow you to work. For example:

  • An up-to-date web browser: we recommend Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
  • Microsoft 365 (formerly Office): this is preinstalled on University managed laptops and the Virtual Desktop Service. All members of the University can download and install Microsoft 365 for free on their own devices.

4. A reliable internet connection

You will need to have access to a reliable internet connection to access University online services and resources from off campus.

If you do not have access to a reliable home internet connection:

  • If you have a University mobile phone and a good signal, you can tether your laptop to it, and use the 4G data network. If you run out of data please email or call +44 (0)1904 321015.
  • IT Services have a small stock of 4G MiFi devices which provide an internet connection via the 4G data network. As these devices are in short supply we will need to prioritise any requests for staff to borrow these. Please email or call +44 (0)1904 321015 to discuss this further.
  • Unified Communications has negotiated a contract for unlimited data mobile broadband connections with our supplier, Vodafone. These are now available to staff and for departments who wish to purchase a broadband connection for any student who is having difficulty with the internet for remote learning. Find out more about staff connections.

The UK’s broadband and mobile data networks will be under increased load during this period where many of us will be working remotely.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are doing what they can to provide as much capacity as possible, but there are some things we all need to be aware of, and some common sense steps we can all take to minimise our impact on network capacity:

Using a laptop or desktop at home

Using a University laptop

Most laptops (including the University managed laptops) have speakers, a webcam and a microphone built-in to allow you to conduct online lectures and seminars, or make voice and video calls. However we recommend using a headset, if possible, as this will provide better audio quality. If you need a headset you should email or call +44 (0)1904 321015.

Using your own desktop or laptop at home

If you have not been provided with a University laptop, consider whether you have a personal desktop or laptop at home that you will be able to use.

Only the University account holder should have access to University systems. Therefore if you are using a home device you must choose one of the following options:

  • Use an account on the device that is password protected so that only you have access to it, rather than using an account that multiple people in your household have access to.
  • If you use a Windows desktop that's managed by IT Services on campus, you can remotely connect to it from your home computer. This allows you to use your University computer as if you were sitting in front of it.
    • Important: Read the document linked above carefully. There are some steps you'll need to take on the University desktop on campus.
  • Use the Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) - this allows you to login to a secure virtual Windows 10 machine that has the same look and feel as a managed University PC, and you can access your filestore and commonly used software.
    • You don’t need to be connected to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to log in to the Virtual Desktop Service (VDS).

Remember! When working from home you still need to follow the University's Policy for safe use of University information on all devices.

This policy applies to staff, students, associates, and anyone else using University IT and University information. It explains what you need to do to make sure University information is safe when you are accessing, storing or managing it.

We've also condensed our IT security guidance into a handy one-page guide:

If you need to purchase equipment to work from home