Helpful tools to make working from home easier

With the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolving, Brock University is continuing to work to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the local community. One way Brock is helping to limit the spread of the virus is endorsing remote working.

Here are some helpful tools to ensure a smooth transition as the Brock community adjusts to this new way of working.

Office 365

To ensure the University is doing its part to mitigate risk, students, faculty, and staff are asked to practice social distancing during this period. Office 365, which is available for everyone in the Brock community, is a crucial group of tools that enables users to effectively communicate and collaborate without working face-to-face.

Office 365 is a cloud based service that provides online and desktop versions of Microsoft Office along with collaboration applications like SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams (formerly Skype for Business). 

Login steps and training modules are available through the Brock University Information Technology website. On this page, FAQs, training videos and support are all available.

To ensure employees are properly set up for remote working, all employees are being asked to move important documents and files to OneDrive so that they are accessible through Office 365.

Microsoft Teams 

A crucial tool within the Office 365 bundle is Microsoft Teams. Teams, similar to most video chat tools, is an open, digital workplace platform that combines chats, meetings, notes and attachments. The app fully incorporates Office 365 applications, meaning the user’s contacts and calendar items are all accessible through the app.

To use Teams most effectively, download the desktop app and follow these instructional videos on how to set up meetings, connect with colleagues, and upload and share files.

Teams is one of the most effective tools available to the Brock community to continue to collaborate and have virtual face-to-face interactions to work with colleagues or classmates.

Lifesize Cloud

As an alternative to Microsoft Teams, Lifesize Cloud is also available for conference calls and video calls. This collaboration tool enables faculty to hold virtual office hours with students and allows colleagues and classmates to have virtual meetings. 

Lifesize is available for download or as a browser-based site on any Mac, PC or mobile device. For more information and steps on how to activate Lifesize, visit


Where possible, Brock is being as flexible as possible, while still ensuring effective operations when creating alternate work arrangements, including the creation of temporary telecommuting arrangements.

Telecommuting is the arrangement whereby an employee fulfills their job responsibility at a remote location for one or more days per week. This arrangement does not change the employee’s basic terms and conditions of their job.

Brock is encouraging employees to work from home computers if possible, as there isn’t a large number of laptops readily available to take home. To ensure proper privacy, contact the Help Desk to secure home devices.  

Employees are responsible for creating a safe, secure and comfortable remote workspace. Contact (Health, Safety and Wellness) with any questions on how to create the best remote workspace.

Brock employees must be reachable by phone, text or email during normal work hours. The normal departmental procedures apply for seeking approval for overtime, requesting vacation or other absences and reporting illnesses.

For more information on telecommunications, see Brock’s Guide to Temporary Telecommuting Work Arrangements.  

Voicemail updates

To ensure quick and proper communication, staff and faculty are asked to update their Brock voicemails. Instructions on how to change your voicemail remotely can be found on the Brock University Information Technology website. 

Please note that it isn’t possible to forward a Brock phone number outside of the University. In an updated voicemail message, please give your email as an alternative method of communication.

For any questions, contact the Brock ITS Help Desk.

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