Coronavirus: working from home
Last updated: 06/07/2020
Where you have the capability to work from home then you must do so. Many of you are already set up and working from home and doing your best to help us continue providing key services to customers, while staying in touch and remaining engaged and motivated.
Much of this has been possible due to the fantastic efforts of our ICT team. Please continue to follow their advice around accessing technology from home, and please remember to let ICT know of any equipment you have taken home with you.
The closure of our offices means that more people are now working from home.
Members of the Leadership Team are now discussing our ongoing projects and revised priorities to ensure we can continue to deliver key services and remain productive.
This will require flexibility, resilience and a real team effort, with some colleagues likely to be required to carry out different duties to support our most critical services.
It will continue to be a challenging time and we will all need to keep an open mind and show enthusiasm for any new tasks we may be required to do.
We will need to absolutely own these new responsibilities, working together and helping each other to the best of our abilities.
Our ICT systems
If you should have to work from home, please download this document for instructions on how to access work emails from your home/personal computer.
- Please note the only supported browsers for this are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge Chronium.
- Change your passwords when prompted
- Passwords are limited to 42 days before expiring. A password older than 42 days will not grant access until you speak to IT Support Desk.
- It is also good practice to ensure you are resetting you work computer passwords promptly when advised to do so. This will ensure you will still be able to access your work laptop while working away from the office.
Resetting your password
- To reset your password, log in to any Longhurst Group computer and hit CTRL+ALT+DEL on your keyboard
- The fourth option in this menu is 'Change a password'. Select this and replace as required. Please ensure your new password meets the minimum requirement e.g. MyDog1995
If you have any questions about accessing emails from home or changing your password, please contact the ICT Support Team.
Keeping information safe while working from home
Although so much is going on at the moment and the way we are working has changed significantly, it is more important than ever that we remain mindful of customer and colleague data.
Scammers, people who may be contacting you on the phone or online, will see this current situation as an opportunity to catch people out, so please take every precaution you can. If something doesn’t look or feel right, then it probably isn’t.
Here are some simple steps that you can take while working from home:
- Lock your computer when you are away from it. Information still needs to be kept confidential
- Do not send work-related information or other people's personal information to your own personal device.
- If you can, put your laptop away in a locked cupboard/cabinet when the house is empty.
- Minimise the volume of files and paper records that you are keeping at home.
- Where you have to have paper records, please lock them away or put them somewhere safe if at all possible.
- Bring all work equipment and documents into your home, and don’t leave them in your vehicle.
- Be mindful of very sensitive/confidential conversations that may need to be had and keep these private, especially if this involves someone’s current health circumstances.
- If you receive an email that you don’t trust, please flag it immediately with ICT to check. Do not respond to the sender until you know that it's safe.
Remember that despite the current situation, rules around data protection still apply, so think about what you may be asked to share and whether we can do so. If in any doubt, please contact Di Raphael or Rachel Challinor.
ICT support for those working from home
During March, our ICT Team has been in touch with Managers and Heads of Service to understand their team’s requirements and to mobilise as many people as possible to work from home.
The initial phase of this work has been completed. If you have any further requirements, please contact the ICT team in the usual way – by completing a hardware request form on the ICT Portal.
As there are only a limited number of laptops that can be deployed, requests will be assessed on a weekly basis (each Wednesday) and the ICT Team will contact you individually to discuss further, so that allocation of the remaining stock can be prioritised.
Further equipment is on order and this will be available for deployment in the coming weeks.
Company laptop users
If you require any additional computer equipment, such as a monitor or a mouse, or if you have already taken some of these items home, please complete this form.
To support some of the colleagues currently unable to work from home, a checklist is being made available, via line managers, to determine the suitability of colleagues’ home devices to enable them to comfortably work from home.
If your device is deemed suitable, please download these guidance notes on how to access Citrix. You will be unable to use Skype, so please use a mobile phone if you need to make a call.
Where possible, please use a work mobile phone if you have one to make calls to other mobile phones rather than going through Skype.
When making calls via Skype, please ensure you are selecting ‘Skype call’ from the drop down menu, rather than a colleague’s work or mobile number. This allows us to keep more lines free.
Please ensure you are updating your location on Skype to make colleagues aware of where you are working from. This can be done on the main Skype screen underneath your name, by selecting the drop down menu, typing your location and selecting for others to be able to view.
Our ICT Service Desk has been receiving a lot of requests for various video-conferencing/webinar solutions to be installed on company devices.
We already have Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams which have the ability to video-conference (if you have a webcam) and to share screens.
If you logged on to your work laptop in one of our offices on Tuesday, 17 March you will have a new version of VPN installed. This means you will no longer need to manually connect to VPN when working away from the office, it will connect automatically.
If you weren’t in one of our offices on Tuesday, 17 March, you will need to manually connect to our VPN.
Follow the process you usually would for doing this, guidance notes can be found here, but if you have any problems, please contact the ICT Service Desk.
If your password expires while working away from the office, it can only be reset by our ICT Team. Passwords have now been changed to expire after 90 days rather than the usual 30 days.
Please access Office 365 through the internet, the tab will open automatically when you open the internet using Chrome, along with a tab for SharePoint.
If you don’t use Chrome, you can access Office 365 here. You can log in to Office 365 online using your computer log-in details. If you would like access to your work emails on your mobile phone, please click here for instructions.
Broadband capacity at home
You may find your laptop is running slower than usual from home, this could be down to other people in your household using the internet for streaming, downloading or gaming.
ICT projects and requests
Please note all project work, work requests and other non-essential requests will be looked at when time allows.
The ICT team have created a range of helpful hints and tips to help colleagues to access the technology and systems they need from home.
Working from home ICT factsheets
Click below to download a range of useful guidance documents prepared by our ICT team to help you get set up working from home.
You will need access to SharePoint and a Longhurst Group log-in to view and download these resources.
If you need a copy of these documents to provided on email, even to a non-work email address, please contact the Communications team.
ICT operation will run from 8am to 5.15pm but support calls can be logged at any time through the ICT portal and will be picked up.
However, in emergencies, the team will be able to take support calls between 5.15pm to 8pm.
Further support with CCTV will be provided, on a rota basis, for care and support locations from next weekend.
Working from home - training and guidance
Working from home has meant a lot of us have had to set up our own workspaces, use a range of different programs which we may have used before, and generally adjust to ‘remote’ working.
The whole ICT team is working together to help make this transition as easy and stress free as possible for you all. We understand there may be colleagues who may still be finding this all a bit overwhelming but please don't worry – after all, we’re all new to this!
If you do feel you would like any additional guidance, the ICT Training team is here to help. Even if it is the smallest bit of guidance, we will always try our very best to help.
If you would like additional guidance or even a recap on a certain programme, please complete our online form or email us on the links below.