Getting Started with Working Remotely

See more remote resources for connecting from home.

  • Preferred contact method: Update your MCommunity profile Notice to let classmates and colleagues know how to reach you while you work remotely. Edit the Viewable By menu to choose who can see the information.
  • Prepare your home work location: Whether you plan to use a university computer or a personal computer, test connecting to the resources you need at home in advance.
    • Take steps to secure your personal devices and home wireless network.
    • Consider the equipment that you need, such as extra displays, docking station, mouse, keyboard, and any ergonomic needs. Contact your local unit administrator or IT staff to discuss hardware that you may need at home. The Computer Showcase can also provide advice.
  • Reliable internet connection: We recommend at least 15 mbps download and 5 mbps upload to prevent common connectivity-related issues, and that you connect via a physical wire. See how to test your network speed.

    Individuals without a reliable internet connection have a number of free or low-cost options:

    • MWireless is available in the Diag and the North Campus Grove. Limited WiFi coverage is available north of the bus stop in parking lot NC90 off Baxter Road, and in the parking lot north of the Walgreen Center. See the WiFi coverage map for all university WiFi locations.
    • Check with your local internet providers for discounts. Many are providing free services to qualifying households for a limited time. For example, Comcast is offering its Internet Essentials package free for two months to low-income households, and Charter Communications is offering free access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students.
    • See additional resources for Michigan families to get internet during the coronavirus crisis compiled by Bridge Michigan.
  • Learn about videoconferencing options: Choose from three videoconferencing services to stay in touch. Each offers different features for connecting and collaborating with individuals and teams remotely. See best practices for videoconferencing and information about privacy and videoconferencing, regardless of the service you use.
    • BlueJeans: Get started with BlueJeans. For recommendations for using the tool at U-M, see BlueJeans for Wolverines. This service is approved for Private Health Information (PHI). NOTE: Use the BlueJeans app for desktop or mobile phone, or dial 312-216-0325 from an off-campus phone. If you are calling from an on-campus phone, dial 3-1841.
    • Zoom: Get started with Zoom, now available to all students, faculty, and staff.  Zoom is a feature-rich and accessible videoconferencing service that includes options for online meetings, chat rooms, webinars, and mobile collaboration. (Consider securing your Zoom meetings to prevent disruptions.)
    • Google Hangouts Meet: Learn more about Google Hangouts Meet, now with expanded features through July 1 to accommodate remote work.
  • Review two-factor authentication preferences: Update your Duo settings to accommodate working remotely. For example, if you currently opt to use a landline phone, you may wish to add a mobile phone number as an option.
  • U-M Virtual Private Network (VPN): Use the University of Michigan VPN to connect to university resources that require a university network when you are off campus. Learn how to set up and use the VPN on personal devices and unit-managed university devices or how to use the pre-configured VPN on MiWorkspace Macs. (MiWorkspace Windows computers do not need to use VPN when off campus.)

    Unless necessary, please use the UMVPN - Only U-M Traffic option, or UMICH VPN (tunnel only U-M activity) on a MiWorkspace Mac when working from home.

  • Protect yourself and the U: See the IT Security When Working Remotely page for what you can do to protect university and personal information when working from off-campus.
  • Digital accessibility: Be aware that some online resources and tools are not accessible by everyone. Please be patient and understanding with students, classmates, and colleagues. Contact to report barriers or get assistance with proactive remediation. Learn about digital accessibility.
  • Get help: Contact the ITS Service Center by chat, phone or email. Please also reach out to your school, college, or unit's IT professionals for additional information or questions that are specific to your department.
  • Stay informed: Follow @umichTECH for the latest technology tips for the U-M community and visit the ITS Service Status site for updates on the health and availability of university IT services.


If you have feedback or suggestions for this guide, please let us know. For other questions or to get help with the services in this guide, please contact the ITS Service Center.