Telework Guidance for State Employees

Gov. Roy Cooper, on March 10, 2020, declared a state of emergency to strengthen North Carolina's response to the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. Based on the guidance of public health experts, all state government employees, temporary employees and contractors working with the state who live and/or work in Wake, Durham and Orange counties are being asked to telework to the greatest extent possible.

For Employees

For Employees

How should I communicate by telephone while working from home?

You might have a softphone (e.g., Jabber) on your laptop, or you can use your state-issued or state-reimbursed cellphone. If you are using a personal device for work, remember to ensure that it is patched to the manufacturer’s and industry best practice standards (e.g., updated to the latest operating system). If possible, you should also forward calls from your desk phone to your cellphone and make sure that your voicemail message is professional.

What type of internet connection will I need at home?

A high-speed internet connection is preferred. Remember, applications are slower to respond when working remotely via internet links versus being in the office. Access databases and file and print servers do not perform well across slower internet connections. Larger neighborhoods with shared infrastructure tend to have slower connections during peak hours. Streaming internet and TV can drastically slow a connection, so you might need to reduce other household use of your internet bandwidth while you are working remotely.

What user access do I need?

Users only needing Office 365 and/or OneDrive will not need to utilize VPN (virtual private network) access. The O365 suite of tools, which includes email, SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive can be accessed via a web browser. Users are encouraged to disconnect VPN connections when not needed.

Is VPN access required for the full workday?

This will depend upon your work assignments and projects, but if it isn’t, consider disconnecting the VPN until access is needed again.

What tools are available for remote work collaboration?

The Office 365 suite is available, including Microsoft Teams, and WebEx can be used for remote conferencing. When using video conferencing capabilities, be mindful of security settings and the type of information you might share.

Can I use a personal device to telework?

The N.C. Department of Information Technology does not recommend that using a personal device for telework, however, if you must, ensure the device is patched to the manufacturer’s and industry best practice standards (e.g., make sure it is updated to the latest operating system).

For Directors & IT Directors

For Directors & IT Directors

Does my agency currently have VPN groups established? If yes, where are they terminated?

Agencies other than the N.C. Department of Information Technology should ensure VPN termination equipment can handle larger bandwidth loads. Confirm personnel are placed in the correct VPN groups for access and security controls. Incorrect VPN groups can result in users not having the ability to function (e.g., if placed in the wrong group, a DBA might not be able to access databases).

What are the telephony needs?

If the teleworker does not have a softphone (e.g., Jabber) on their laptop, they can use their state-issued or state-reimbursed cellphone. Remember to ensure that personal devices are patched to the manufacturer’s and industry best practice standards (e.g., updated to the latest operating system).

It is recommended that all approved teleworkers establish call forwarding from their desk phones to their cellphones to ensure uninterrupted communications. Make sure their office phone is programmed to roll over to their cellphone. If their office phone is being rolled over to a non-state-issued cellphone, make sure voicemail greetings are professional.

What type of internet connection will a teleworker need at home?

Larger neighborhoods with shared infrastructure tend to have slower connections during peak hours. Streaming internet and TV can drastically slow a connection. Remember, applications are slower to respond across internet links versus being in the office. Access databases and file and print servers do not function or perform well across slower internet connections.

What user access is needed?

Users only needing Office 365 and/or OneDrive will not need to utilize VPN access. Office 365 tools like email, SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive can be accessed via a web browser.  Users are encouraged to disconnect VPN connections when the need is no longer present.

Is VPN access required the full workday?

This will be up to the teleworker’s work assignments and projects, but if it isn’t, teleworkers should consider disconnecting the VPN until access is needed again.

What tools are available for teleworking remote collaboration?

The Office 365 suite is available, including Microsoft Teams, and WebEx can be used for remote conferencing.

Can employees user personal devices to telework?

It is not recommended to use a personal device, however, if employees must, ensure the device is patched to the manufacturer’s and industry best practice standards (e.g., updated to the latest operating system).

Who do I contact if I have questions about teleworking?

Any questions concerning teleworking technologies should be directed to your business relationship ,anager in your IT department or call the NCDIT Service Desk at 919-754-6000.

Cybersecurity Tips

Cybersecurity Tips

  • Use only devices approved by your agency. Avoid using personal computers, tablets and cellphones – as well as those shared with others – to work.
  • Use VPN only when necessary. Virtual private networks, which provide secure direct connections to your organization’s computer network, might be necessary when accessing files, working with sensitive information or using certain websites. Only use access as needed and disconnect as soon as you’re done.
  • Think before you click. Avoid downloading or clicking on unknown links in emails. If you aren’t sure if you should, call the sender first.  Hackers often use fake websites to trick you into giving sensitive information or to install malware onto your device. Get more tips.
  • Be mindful of video conferencing. Reports of video hijacking are on the rise. Be mindful of security settings and the type of information you might share when hosting or attending a video conference.  Get more tips.
  • Guard your devices. If your agency allows you to work elsewhere from your home, never leave your laptop, tablet or cellphone – including any USB or external storage devices – unattended. Avoid entering passwords where others can see. Get more tips.
  • Connect only to trusted networks or your cellular Wi-Fi connection. Many public hotspots aren’t secure and might not protect your passwords, emails and work.
  • Create strong passwords. Be sure they include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Make them difficult enough that someone can’t guess them.
  • Encrypt your email. Some data and information might need to be encrypted before sending it electronically. This might also include information that you might otherwise share in a conversation if you were at the office.
  • Get help. If you need technical support, contact your agency’s help desk. Don’t try to fix technical issues yourself.