IT Resources to Support Remote Work | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

IT Resources to Support Remote Work

Last updated March 23, 2020

Leverage Pitt IT resources to work productively from any location. Contact the 24/7 IT Help Desk from anywhere, at any time, if you have questions or need assistance with any of the items listed below.

Ensure Instructional Continuity

The University Center for Teaching and Learning has compiled a list of resources to assist faculty in continuing instruction in the event of an extended disruption to standard University operations.

Use Zoom Video Conferencing for Remote Instruction

Zoom is an online and mobile meeting solution that combines real-time chat, content sharing, and video in an easy-to-use interface to enrich teaching and learning. It integrates with CourseWeb (Blackboard) and the University’s new Learning Management System (Canvas) to facilitate remote teaching and learning. Learn how to use Zoom on our hub page. Already have a Zoom account? Understand how to use an existing Zoom account with your Pitt Zoom account

Review Policies and Guidelines

Find What You Need—Fast

AskCathy ( is a one-stop resource to help you find the University services you need quickly and easily.

Register More than One Device for Multifactor Authentication

Do you use your desk phone to log in with multifactor authentication? Make sure to register another device (for example, your smartphone) so that you can still use multifactor authentication if you’re away from the office. To register another device, log in to, click Login and Security, click Add/Manage Pitt Passport device, click Add another device, and follow the steps.   

Conduct Virtual Meetings with Video, Voice, and Chat

  • Microsoft Teams is an online collaboration workspace that brings together instant messaging, threaded conversations, meetings, audio or video calls, desktop and file sharing, and more. It also works seamlessly with Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, OneDrive, SharePoint, and OneNote.
  • Skype for Business also enables you to combine online chat, virtual meetings, web conferencing, and desktop and file sharing.
  • You can also host an audio-only conference with Microsoft Office 365 Audio Conferencing. 

Access the Software You Need

  • The Pitt IT Virtual Lab enables students and faculty to access much of the same lab software and resources that you use while sitting in a Pitt IT Student Computing Lab on campus.
  • You can download and install Microsoft Office applications for Windows or Mac, at no cost, on up to five devices. If you prefer, you can also use online versions of Office from anywhere, on almost any device.
  • The Software Download Service provides access to a wide variety of free software that you can download at no cost, including Symantec Endpoint Protection and Malwarebytes.
  • Virtual Desktop enables staff to remotely access a set of software and resources from any location, using almost any computer or mobile device
  • Need to install University-related apps on mobile devices at home? Download them from the Pitt App Center.

Keep up with Email

You can access your Pitt email with an email client, through a web browser, or on your phone or tablet.

Check Voice Mail and Forward Calls

Digital or Analog Phones

Skype for Business Phones

  • If you have a Skype for Business phone, you can check voice mail from your email or from within the Skype for Business app.
  • You can also use call forwarding to simultaneously ring another phone number (such as your home or cell phone) whenever someone calls your work number. You can turn this feature on and off from anywhere with the Skype for Business app.

Move Your Files to the Cloud

Store your files in the cloud so that you can work on them from anywhere. OneDrive allows you to share files with others and co-edit documents together. It also integrates with Teams and other Microsoft Office 365 tools. Pitt Box is another cloud storage option.

Know When You Might Need PittNet VPN

PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) allows you to remotely access restricted network resources via a secure and authenticated method. It encrypts all network traffic and gives the appearance that you are on the local network, regardless of your geographic location.

When do I need to use PittNet VPN?

You do not need to use PittNet VPN to access University resources protected by Pitt Passport, such as Pitt email, My Pitt (, and AskCathy ( PittNet VPN is required only when you need to remotely connect to restricted University resources that otherwise only can be accessed from the University’s network, like departmental file servers and workstations located on campus. Learn more about when PittNet VPN is and is not needed for remote work... 

Sign and Send Documents Electronically

The University's eSignature (DocuSign) service enables faculty and staff to send documents for electronic signature from any device.