Helping Faculty and Staff Connect at Home
As many of our staff and faculty members transition to online teaching and remote work, setting up an efficient teleworking space can be challenging. Below are a few resources to help optimize your work-at-home environment.
Desktop Support: Your desktop support team is the first point of contact for help with your devices and connectivity. If you’re not sure who to contact, email [email protected] or call (310) 267-HELP (4357).
IT Service Mobile Program: In order to help fellow Bruins teach and work from home, IT Services’ Mobile Program offers services to departments in support of faculty and staff. To assist with internet connection, the Mobile Program offers:
- MiFi devices: The Mobile Program offers portable hotspots that can help you get online if you don’t have adequate home internet service
- Hotspot service: If you have your phone service through the Mobile Program, it can be enabled as a hotspot.
If you have a personal mobile plan, you can call your carrier to see if hotspot functionality can be enabled for your device.
Access applications from home: Make sure you can sign in to all the applications and programs needed to do your job smoothly such as Box, Office 365, Google Apps, Webex Teams, and Zoom. See our Working Remotely webpage for more information. Need to log in to VPN first? See our VPN knowledge base for help.
More support: If instructors and students are not able to get support from their departments, please see Remote Resources and General Information for Library Users for more information.
Get the Most out of Your Connection
Is your internet sluggish when working at home? Spotty connectivity can be caused by a variety of issues including basic internet plans that cannot handle the load of everyone connecting at once, outdated routers, or dead zones within your dwelling that can’t be reached. A few tips for better connection include:
- Plug in your device if you can: A wired connection (i.e., plugging your computer directly into the internet router using a network cable) maximizes the internet bandwidth compared to a Wi-Fi connection.
- Check your internet speed: If webpages are taking a long time to load, go to speedtest.net and check your internet’s upload and download speeds. While having a fast download speed is much more important to the average user, good upload speeds are important if you're sharing large files. Your internet's upload speed is generally around one tenth of the download speed. See the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Speed Guide to view typical online activities and the needed Megabitss per second (Mbps). Examples include:
Minimum Download Speed (Mbps)
|Zoom||1 - 6|
|General browsing and email||1|
|Google Office extensions||.25|
|VoIP calls||less than 0.5|
You can easily check to see what programs are using up bandwidth. On Windows, open up the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and click on the Network column to sort by network usage. On a Mac, open Spotlight (Command+Space) and type "Activity Monitor."
- Central router placement: For optimal connection, place the router in an open area near the middle of your home, as far away from walls as possible. Central placement will minimize interference from appliances as well as reduce the risk that the Wi-Fi signal will reach outside your house making it vulnerable to unwanted users.
- More resources: Articles such as 12 Tips to Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection and 8 Tips for Setting Up a Strong Internet Connection can provide additional ideas on how to increase your home’s internet speed.
If your internet connection continues to lag, you might consider investing in a mesh router or seeing if Fiber internet is available in your area, both of which will help you get a faster connection. Please be advised, however, we do not suggest making any drastic changes to your home setup at this time unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Tools for Working Remotely
- Planning for Academic Continuity
- VPN Knowledge Base
- COVID-19 Bruin Resources & Tools
- Secure Your Zoom Settings
- CCLE’s Resources for Teaching Remotely
- Remote Resources and General Information for Library Users
- UCLA Ergonomics Telecommute Tip Series
- Counseling Resources for Faculty and Staff
- Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Speed Guide
- UCLA Computer Store
- UCLA Health Guide to Remote Work
- UCLA Health Guide to Remote Teaching