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Best practices/FAQ working remotely

COVID-19 Working Remotely

South Dakota State University is working diligently to make accommodations for their faculty and staff. With COVID-19 taking place, it is the universities best interest to have their faculty work remotely to slow down this virus. Here are some guidelines to follow with working remotely. 


I’ve never worked remotely, what are the most important things to know?

From a technology perspective, working remotely may be quite similar to working in the office. Once you are logged in with your SDState username and password, you should have access to most or all of the SDState online services that are used on campus. (If not, please see the VPN instructions below or contact your supervisor.)

The main differences when teleworking may relate to how you and your colleagues communicate and collaborate. Refer to the resources in this guide and the resources in InsideState for helpful training and other remote work resources for employees and supervisors.

Will I be able to access the SDState services or tools that I need from home?

Most if not all of the services you access will function normally from a remote location, as long as you have an active internet connection, and a valid SDState and password. A few SDState services and software require a VPN connection and/or unique network access from a laptop or an off-campus location. If you think you may need special access, talk to your supervisor. If you’re not sure who to contact, reach out to the Support Desk.

How Can I Remotely Access Secure Resources Required For My Job?

Some University provided IT services, for example Banner and department shares, require you to access them remotely via secure methods. One of these options for a secure connection remotely is to use VPN.

To request access to use VPN, please fill out the VPN Request Form located here:

How Can I Have a Face-to-Face Meetings Remotely?

SDState provides access to Zoom Video Conferencing for all Faculty, Staff and Students.

Store Files in the Cloud

Box is a cloud computing service that provides: file sharing, collaboration and other tools for working with files that are uploaded to its servers. Faculty, staff and students all have access to Box. When you save your files in one of our cloud file storage options, you can always access the latest version of your files no matter where you're located as long as you're connected to the internet. For tips on using box checkout the Box guide at

Will SDState provide a copy of Microsoft Office for my telework computer?

Microsoft Office 365 is available for free for students and educators with a valid school email address. This free offer includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, plus additional tools, and is available using this

How will people know if I’m available and connect with me when I’m working remotely?
  • Stay logged into Zoom, Teams or Skype and use the status to indicate when you’re unavailable (and remember to update it when you return).
  • Check and respond to your SDState Email frequently to ensure timely responses to questions and tasks.
  • Confirm your schedule with your supervisor, including breaks (if full coverage is required for your job function). Where appropriate, note busy times on your SDState Calendar.
  • If there is information that is important for your colleagues to know when you’re teleworking, you may want to note it in your SDState Email signature and/or Zoom, Teams, or Skype status.
What if I don’t have adequate technical equipment to telework?

Contact your supervisor to discuss how you may be equipped to telework. Your Computer Support Specialist or the Support Desk can assist.

Employees are advised to:

  • Everyone should follow guidance from the CDC, as well as State and local government officials, regarding strategies to limit disease spread. 
  • Avoid meeting people face-to-face. Employees are encouraged to use the telephone, online conferencing, e-mail or instant messaging to conduct business as much as possible, even when participants are in the same building.
  • If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, the meeting time should be for a minimum period of time, in a large meeting room and participants should sit at least 6 feet from each other, if possible.
  • Avoid person-to-person contact such as shaking hands.
  • Do not congregate in work rooms, copier rooms or other areas where people socialize.
  • Eat at your desk or away from others. Bring your lunch or purchase take-out meals.
  • Encourage community members and non-members to request information and materials or place orders via phone and e-mail to minimize person-to-person contact. When items or materials must be collected in person, have them ready for fast pick-up or delivery.
  • For offices which typically accommodate walk-in service requests and/or appointments, moving toward a more formal appointment-scheduling process to better control the flow of people in and out of the office space.
  • Posting social distance flyers at office entrances reminding people of the importance of maintaining a greater awareness of personal space (about six feet between people).
  • Posting signs indicating that offices / workplaces / buildings are open only to members of SDSU faculty and staff
  • Employees should report a COVID-19 exposure and/or diagnosis by contacting their supervisor immediately.
  • Avoid handshaking as a means of greeting. Possible alternatives may include using a slight bow, elbow bump or toe kick when greeting others.
  • Use only your knuckle to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
  • When opening doors (especially bathroom or other public area doors) or touching other public surfaces, use a paper towel, tissue or disposable glove.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
  • Use general surface cleaning products or wipes to clean commonly touched surfaces.