Working from home information

Remote Working

As we all start adapting to the change to remote working, it may seem as if there are many unfamiliar tools and programs being discussed. You may be unsure which platform to use to stay connected to your College team or to begin conducting meetings or supervisions remotely. For simplicity’s sake, we suggest all members of staff begin with the following steps: 

  1. Create a Whatsapp group for your team or department. This is a more casual medium for communication, which can be used as the virtual equivalent of popping into a colleague’s office for a chat. 
  2. Set your office phone to divert to your home or mobile number. More information on how to do this will be given below. 
  3. Familiarise yourself with Microsoft Teams, a platform freely available to University members which offers text chat, videoconferencing, screen-sharing and many other features. You can invite anyone to communicate with you on Teams — you don’t have to be part of a “team” first, although many find this helpful. 



WhatsApp is a text-messaging service which enables group chats. It can be downloaded from the app store on your phone. You will need the mobile phone numbers of anyone you would like to communicate with through WhatsApp. 


Diverting your phone 

If you use the university ‘Chorus’ telephone system you can remotely access your voicemails and you can remotely forward your telephone to any other number. Softphone software is available for using your university number via the internet; although this can be complex to set-up it can also be very useful.

If you do not have an individual personal telephone number (which you can check here), any desk telephone can be set to forward to another number using the buttons on the front. Notice that the forward button will illuminate when this is active.


Teams and other Microsoft tools available remotely 

You can access Teams through the website, but to get all the features you can download the client. If you haven’t used it before, you may have used web-based Outlook.  Like Outlook, Teams is one of the Microsoft programs you can access remotely after logging in with your single sign on. Others include Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneDrive, which you can use to share files with colleagues. You can see them all when logged in at

What can I do with Teams and what should I use it for? 

Teams offers a quick-start guide, and lots of online help material. The calendar feature allows you to invite Oxford and non-Oxford members to “meetings,” which may be either audio or, if you have a webcam, video. You can also share your screen in these meetings, making them useful substitutes for in-person team meetings or tutorials. If you are sending a calendar invitation to somebody not on the University system, they can simply click the link in the email they receive to join the meeting. 

For more information about what services you can access remotely, please see:


IT Help

The tools above are relatively new and the College IT may not immediately know the answer to your questions, so you should experiment, use the online help, and these should resolve most of the problems you come across. IT Staff in College and at the University’s central IT Help Desks are all experiencing much higher demand than usual, so please make use of built-in guides and help resources rather than immediately referring to IT Staff.

 If you do need IT help, you can reach us through:

  • E-mail to
  • In emergencies only, telephone: 84527 or 84528