A Guide to Remote Working - Staff

Working from home has a few requirements that differ from working in the office. This article covers some of the basic things you should have in place before you consider working from home.

Have computer you can use for remote work

This can be a University-provided laptop, or a personal computer at home.

If you're using a personal computer there are a couple of things to check before logging into University resources:

  • Ensure that it is running the most recent operating system available (Windows 10 or OS X Mojave or newer) and has the most recent updates applied.
  • An antivirus program should be installed and running. If you don't have one installed you can download Sophos Home for free as a staff member:

A stable internet connection is key

By definition, you'll need an internet connection to work remotely and to access most of the resources listed later in this document. 

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Don't connect to open WiFi networks when working with University Resources. They are insecure.
  • Always connect to the Wharton VPN. Make sure to install the VPN, or know how to connect using the VPN, before you attempt to work remotely.
  • If something seems wrong with your internet service, check your providers' status page and the Wharton Computing Status Page for any outages or updates. You can subscribe to the Wharton Computing Status alerts if you want them delivered to your email or phone. 

Getting Work Done Remotely

Now that you have an updated computer with the VPN installed and configured, you're going to want to actually get some work done. Below is a list of Wharton provided tools that you may already be familiar with. Keep in mind that this list isn't comprehensive; your department may use a tool not listed here. If you have any questions reach out to your Wharton Computing Representative

Two-Step Verification

Make sure you have the device (smartphone, key fob, or something else) that you use to authenticate for Two-Step Verification. You might also want to print out some backup authentication codes by following these instructions (the Generate and print backup codes section specifically).


  • Meeting Remotely - There are a wealth of tools out there to enable remote meetings; Penn supports Zoom and  Microsoft Teams, which is part of the PennO365 platform (available to faculty and staff at Wharton).
  • Email - Webmail (https://outlook.com/upenn.edu) is very handy if you find yourself using a computer that doesn't have Outlook setup. If you'd like to install Outlook follow these instructions and configure it as detailed here.
  • Forwarding your office phone - If you have a PennFlex office phone you can forward your phone to another number (your cellphone, perhaps) and check your voicemail. 

File Shares

You may access a number of files via a network share mapped to a drive on your work computer (i.e. That presentation is on the Y drive.). You can connect to those shares remotely, though keep in mind the Wharton VPN is required. 

If you use a cloud file sharing service (Box, Dropbox) you should be able to connect as you normally do; no VPN required.

Other Tools

Here is a partial list of University-provided software you can install on your personal computer for the purposes of remote work:

  • Office 365 - The full Microsoft Office suite.
  • Adobe products - This will give you access to any Adobe products that you've been licensed.
  • Wharton VPN - This allows you to access certain resources on campus.

Getting Help

Reach out to your Wharton Computing Representative if you need help, or have any questions.