As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, Stanford employees are working remotely to help slow the spread of the disease.

Stanford employees are being asked to work remotely whenever possible amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some tips to help you do so effectively. (Image credit: Getty Images)

This can be challenging for those accustomed to working in an office. With that in mind, here is a list of tools and tips that can help you stay connected and effective at work.

While the information below is specifically geared toward Stanford employees, much of it is generally applicable. For a more comprehensive list of tools and tips, please visit this page created by Stanford University IT.

You can view the latest information about Stanford’s flexible work and telecommuting policies here.

For the latest news regarding Stanford’s response to COVID-19, visit

Get approved

All telecommuting and remote work arrangements are at the discretion of the local department. An overview of flexible work arrangements is available on the Cardinal at Work website, including a Temporary Telecommuting Agreement form. Check with your department for approval and additional agreements that might be necessary for ongoing arrangements.

Have the right tools

You may need to modify or add to your existing office equipment to accommodate the unique circumstances of your remote work environment. Here is a list of some equipment recommended by University IT.

Make sure you have reliable online tools to help you connect and collaborate with colleagues. Stanford’s recommended collaboration tools are Slack for instant messaging, Google Shared Drive for file sharing, Zoom for video conferencing, and Jabber for phone calls.

Read more: How to Zoom effectively and Slack Best Practices

Many software applications are available at no charge to Stanford staff to use on Stanford-related work. You can find and download these applications at Essential Stanford Software. If you have specialized software needs, you should check with your local department for availability.

If you work at SLAC, visit SLAC’s Remote Worker’s Toolkit.

Forward your office phone

Most Stanford telephones allow you to forward incoming calls to another phone using the Call Forward feature. Procedures vary depending on the telephone model. You can also forward your work phone using Jabber.

Make sure you have access

Many key applications and document repositories are completely network-accessible, from your Stanford-issued laptop or tablet or from your personal laptop or tablet, as long as you know the correct URL to access the resource.

While most services can be directly accessed from anywhere, some are restricted to the Stanford network and require using Stanford VPN when telecommuting.

VPN is a remote access technology that allows you to securely connect to Stanford’s network as if you were on campus. This makes access to restricted services possible, and provides encryption between your computer and the Stanford network.

Stay safe

If you work remotely on your home computer (rather than on your Stanford-issued laptop or tablet), you must be aware of the data risk classifications and application risk classifications for the data and applications you use.

Read more: Two-Step Authentication Attacks and COVID-19 Phishing Campaigns

The system that you are working on must comply with Stanford’s Minimum Security Standards for Endpoints based on the types of data and applications you are accessing.