Remote working

Remote working

MQ Information Technology (MQ IT) can support staff with remote working arrangements.

When setting up a remote working arrangement, consider:

1.      Which devices you will use

2.      What WIFI, VPN or phone access (including diverting phone) you will need

3.      You are responsible for both use of MQ IT resources which includes hardware and systems. This includes ensuring your personal laptop is secure (and have up to date virus protection) when logging on to MQ systems. For explanation of your obligations and responsibilities, please refer to:

4.      Who will be responsible for costs and any liabilities?

5.      If you need to seek accounting advice when managing costs to you.

Data security – staff must ensure the following:

·         Your work area allows you to work without others having access to any sensitive or confidential information

·         All devices are protected by a strong password and that your screen is password-locked if you leave the work area.

Getting ready

After your manager has approved your plan to work flexibly by working remotely, MQ IT can help you get ready with the following:

Tools, files and systems:

Manage your filing online and offline

Software access

Most common systems are available online and can be accessed via the internet securely using your Macquarie Staff ID and password. Click here if you don’t already access these systems online to find out how to install or access them.

Where a system for security or structural reasons is not available, access these on site at Macquarie University or via a VPN process.

To check if VPN access is necessary, speak to your manager and faculty IT lead. Once agreed you can request VPN via OneHelp click here.

Phone and conference calling

When working remotely, stay in touch and achieve outcomes by adapting normal ways of communicating and connecting.

Instead of normal ways of working, try:

  • Messaging someone using Skype and keep Skype open for ad-hoc messages
  • A conference call using Skype (University-supported conference tool). Conference a person or engage a group of people and share attachments or screen instantly. Check out our tips on ways to best manage conference calls below.
  • Ensure people know how to contact you either by providing a mobile phone number in an out-of-office message and email signature.
  • Check out the Quick Reference Guides on how to setup your voicemail, log into your voicemail remotely and more.

You can also divert your phone, however, this attracts a cost per call and requires a manager’s budget and approval. Once approved please redirect your phone using an Avaya phone.

Remember, the cost of using your personal mobile phone and/or internet when working remotely is the personal responsibility of each staff member. For more information, see the flexible work policy and procedure. People may wish to seek personal taxation advice on how best to manage this expense.

Computer and other hardware

When working remotely you will need the right tools including computers and hardware. If you don’t have the right tools at work or remotely, ask your manager to arrange, either to use personal devices or University-owned devices (which will require budget from a manager).

If it's agreed that a personal computer will be used, please ensure the device meets the minimum requirements to ensure software and systems can run effectively. For details click here.

Before working remotely, consider these resources:

Communication and Conference Call Tips and Tricks

Communication can be best managed by:

  • Having an out-of-office message that explains how best to contact you when off site. To set this up, click here
  • Open Skype for Business every time you work online to enable people to drop in and just chat (via notes or video), whether you are on site or not. For centrally managed devices, Skype will open automatically at log on. For more information click here

Conference calls are a useful and instant resource. Set up easily by following these simple steps:

  • Set up video and microphone to work whenever you get a call. Click here
  • When organising any meeting, set up an online meeting to ensure everyone can attend regardless of where they are.

When conferencing:

  • Speak one person at a time because WIFI can cut out when people talk over one another
  • If in a noisy place, make sure your microphone/speaker is muted so other people on the conference can hear the conversation rather than background noise.

Secure management of data, files and systems

Please ensure your work area doesn’t allow other people to access sensitive or confidential information. Ensure all work devices are protected by a strong password and are password-locked when leaving the work area. For more information about staff responsibilities, please read the policies:  Acceptable Use PolicyInformation Security PolicyPrivacy Statement.

Securely manage data and files by:

  • Keeping copies of files secure by saving them only to OneDrive (online only)
  • Only using a secure internet network when working with sensitive information
  • Ensuring anti-virus software is up to date on personal devices. Download Macquarie University’s recommended anti-virus software (SOPHOS) for free here.

Securely management systems by:

  • Only using these systems via a secure internet network (not a public network)
  • If you have any further questions you can check out our Security Policy here.

Expectations management

Better manage expectations when working remotely by:

    • Explaining work arrangement on Microsoft Office 365 calendar (set your work hours) and add to email signature
    • Set a deadline with stakeholders
    • Make it easy to contact you so you can stay connected. Including have an out-of-office message (click here) that explains how best to contact you when not in the office and opening Skype for Business (click here) when working online to enable people to drop in and chat (via notes or video), whether on site or not.


OneHelp is here to assist and support you on or off site.

Phone > 9850 HELP (4357)

Email >

Online >

For any problems with home internet, phone or computer, please speak to your home provider directly.

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