Remote Working During COVID-19

This special site provides answers and guidance about remote working during the Safe and Stable Standby status at Berkeley Lab

Get to this site quickly:


Laboratory leadership has approved new policies and procedures for teleworkers. The new information is being updated on, which will replace this site ( over the coming week.

Get Ready

Before you go, make a plan! You should think about the work you plan to perform from home and the technology you may require. Talk to your supervisor about what work you'll be doing remotely and make sure you can access the files and applications you need.

  • What computer will you use? Do you have a Lab-issued computer that you can use at home? See "Find Your Device" below.

  • Do you need VPN access for applications or files only available inside the Lab?

  • Do you need to be reachable using your office phone extension?

  • Do you have access to software that you need?

  • Do you need to remotely connect to your work computer?

  • Do you need to access a certain set of files and where are those files?

  • Are there meetings that you'll need to attend remotely?

Read on for tips on how to address these questions.

Find Your Device

While much of the Lab community is accustomed to working remotely, this may be a new situation for some. There are several options to consider, and it is essential that you plan ahead and have a system ready before you begin working remotely. If you plan to use a personally owned device at home, be sure to consider what happens if other members of your household are also at home and need access to that computer.

  • If you have a Lab-issued laptop, you should plan to use it.

  • If you have a Lab-issued desktop computer, you may be able to temporarily relocate it to your home, along with your monitor and other peripherals (Supervisor approval and Division Property Rep Notification Required)

  • If you don’t have a Lab-issued system that can be used from home, be advised that personally owned devices can be used for most lab work. Check with your supervisor to review whether this is a suitable option for your particular situation (exceptions: those who work with PII, export controlled information, identifiable human subjects data, and proprietary information with special contractual obligations - these require supervisor approval and consultation with

  • If you urgently need a laptop for telecommuting, IT may be able to get you a basic laptop (via recharge to a PID). Given supply chain disruptions and overall demand, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet all needs, so please try to prioritize these requests. Your division leadership has information on how to make these requests.

  • Initial policy and ordering methods for peripherals and ergonomic accessories including monitors, printers, accessories, and furniture is available here.

  • Information for Hiring Managers of new employees is available here.

Get To Your Work

The majority of Lab services are already easily accessible from any place on the Internet, with no special configuration required. You can access Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, and the rest of the Google Suite with no special setup. You can access many other Lab web applications, such as Zoom, Training, and LETS without special configurations. However, there are a few cases where you will need additional technology in place to work from home. The most common cases are using applications that are only accessible from the Lab network (such as FMS) or accessing files on a shared drive, or accessing software or data on your work computer.

TIP: Think you might need access to your desktop at work but you've never configured remote access before? Make things easy by using Chrome Remote Desktop.

Keep Up With Your Team

Remote work has many advantages, but it can be hard to keep up with the members of your team. Luckily, IT has a variety of tools to help you stay connected.

  • Use Zoom for Audio and Video Conferences (you can also use Hangouts:Meet)

  • Stay in Touch With Your Team With Hangouts:Chat (like #slack).

  • Learn More About Collaborating With Google Drive

  • Learn More about Best Practices for Remote Meetings (coming soon)

Get Your Work Done

You might need...

Stay Safe

Whether you're using a computer that hasn't been turned on for awhile, or using a personal device for work for the first time, we want you to say secure and safe.

Cyber Security Guidelines for Personally Owned Devices

  • The most important thing you can do for cyber security is make sure your devices, both operating system and applications, are updated and using the current version.

  • Review the Lab's Minimum Security requirements and make sure you are meeting these requirements on any device you use for Lab work.

  • Sophos Antivirus is available for home computers at

Stay Alert for Phishing (including COVID-19 themed phishing)

  • Attackers take advantage of current events to make phishing more relevant and attractive, we expect this to happen with COVID-19.

  • Continue to report suspicious emails to

Use Good Ergonomic Practices

  • It's a good time to review your ergonomic situation at home. Take a moment to visit and evaluate your telecommute environment.

Get Help

The entire IT team will be working through the curtailment to support you wherever you are and with whatever device you're using.