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Peabody and Johns Hopkins have many tools available to let people be fully productive when they’re not in their offices or on campus.  There are so many tools, in fact, that it can be intimidating to know which one might be correct for what you’re trying to do.  With a little planning, though, people won’t have trouble working remotely.

The Basics

Everyone should read this part, no matter their role or responsibility:

  • Take transitioning to remote work seriously.  A little forethought and practice will make this go smoothly.
  • Get organized.  Think about all the routines you follow in your job — passwords, paperwork, hallway conversations, network drives, phone numbers, morning coffee.  All of these can be compensated for when working remotely, but it’s MUCH easier to figure out what’s important and how to replicate it if you break it down before changing your routine.
  • Practice, occasionally but regularly.  Software versions update, things change.  It’s much better to figure out your remote work strategy in a low-pressure situation than when trying to teach a class of expectant students or when a budget is due.  You will want to have that annoying software update kick off an hour before you need to do the video conference rather than in the middle of an important presentation.
  • If you have one, get in the habit of bringing home your laptop from the office every day.  You never know when you might need to work remotely.  In the Garland Hall lockout, there were a LOT of laptops left on desks by people who thought they’d have notice if they couldn’t re-enter their building, but those laptops ended up getting locked in their offices for the duration.

Things to check for any remote user

Regardless of whether you have a Peabody laptop or your own home computer, these are things you should review right now:

  • A fast and reliable Internet connection: In general, working remotely will require a reliable, high-speed Internet connection. For home users, this is typically either Comcast Cable Modem, or Verizon FIOS connection. You can also get away with utilizing a mobile phone hot-spot in many situations, if that is something you have activated on your mobile phone.

Some resources may require the following items, in general, at Peabody, we have worked to make resources available without the need for these items, but you may find that certain JHU-wide resources such as SAP, do require them:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA):  This is required for some systems even when on campus, but it is used even more heavily when accessing IT systems remotely. If you’re unsure if you have MFA configured correctly, a good page to test with is JH’s ESS system.  It will always require MFA.  If you can get to ESS, you’re all set. IT@JH has information and instructions for setting up MFA here – https://it.johnshopkins.edu/services/directoryservices/jhea/AzureMFA/AzureLoginMFA. Some people can find the process complex and confusing, so if you need additional help, don’t worry, just reach out the the IT@Peabody service desk (667-208-6540) or submit a request via the service desk portal (https://servicedesk.peabody.jhu.edu)
  • The Virtual Private Network client (VPN):  The VPN client allows you to connect into the private Hopkins network from the public internet, and use systems that are normally only available inside our network perimeter.  This includes tools such as SAP. You can find more information on using the VPN here – https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/xoN1BQ. Using the VPN requires MFA, so get that set first.  If you’re unsure if your VPN client is working correctly you can try to connect to SAP, which requires users to be connected inside the Hopkins network.  If you can get to that page, you’re good to go with the VPN.

Essential Tools for Remote Work

  • Phones / Voicemail. As an all Teams Voice Over IP Campus, Peabody staff already have everything they need to use their phone and voicemail remotely.  Voicemail is delivered as attachments to your email.  You can use the Teams app on your computer or smartphone to make calls and check messages.  You can also set your phone to simultaneously ring to another phone (your home landline, or other phone number) if that’s more convenient.  See the Calls section of the Teams preferences for your options. Four things to know about calls in Microsoft Teams – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/four-things-to-know-about-calls-in-microsoft-teams-2b883a81-dd15-41bd-a6ba-39deef141027.
  • Office 365 and OneDrive. If you store files in OneDrive, you can access those files via the web, or the OneDrive client as long as you have an Internet connection. You can find additional support resources for Office 365 and OneDrive here – https://wiki.peabody.jhu.edu/x/QATEBQ
  • Zoom video conferencing.  All Peabody faculty, staff, and students have access to internet-based conferencing that allows for video or audio meetings of up to 24 hours with up to 300 participants.  Screen sharing is also supported.  We STRONGLY SUGGEST getting your account provisioned and doing some test runs before you need to use this tool.  It’s not at all hard to use, but stumbling around with it in front of an audience can be embarrassing. For those new to using Zoom, reference this getting started guide (Zoom website) in advance of first use. Also see IT@Peabody’s Zoom Video Conferencing FAQ. Be sure to practice and build familiarity with how the tool works. All those logging into https://jhupeabody.zoom.us will automatically be given a fully licensed account with no limitations.
  • Microsoft Teams is an online collaboration tool that includes instant messaging, file sharing/document collaboration, screen sharing, and many more tools to let people collaborate when they’re separated by space.  We use it extensively in Peabody IT to share information and documents about projects.  There is a nice overview page about Teams at the CER website. If your team needs a collaboration space in Teams, please submit a request here – https://projects.peabody.jhu.edu/servicedesk/customer/portal/1/create/67.

For course instructors

Please refer to https://peabody.jhu.edu/keepteaching, where you will find resources specific to remote teaching at Peabody.

Matrix of tools and technologies

IT@JH prepared this helpful matrix specifying which access tools are required to perform which tasks from a remote location.

                                                         I should use this access method…
When I want to… Pulse VPN Web browser myJH Client Software
Access SAP or ESS    
Access myJH Portal      
Access Email  
Access Blackboard    
Use Zoom for Conferencing      
Access OneDrive Documents  
Access Microsoft Teams    
Connect to JH Network      
Office 365 Applications    

General remote work tips

Here are some tips we in IT have found that work for us when working remotely.  These aren’t hard and fast rules but will depend on your personality and the parameters of your job.

  • Stay active.  Don’t forget about all those steps you’d normally get in moving from the parking lot and across campus, and how they might affect your mood and health.
  • Set office hours for when your colleagues know they can count on being able to contact you.  Make sure your supervisors and teams know when you’re available and when you are not. When your office is your home boundaries can slip.
  • For some people having a home workspace for work is important for maintaining focus and keeping work routines and home routines separate.
  • Video is important for some people to keep a sense of feeling connected, so don’t get stuck in email- or IM-only mode.

Where to get help