FAQs for IT equipment and tools for hybrid work

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, many of you may have taken home equipment from the office (laptops, monitors and even desktops) and some may have borrowed laptops from IT Services. What is the expectation regarding IT equipment now that we have returned to campus, but are now working in a "hybrid mode" - some days in the office and others working remotely?

Questions & answers

Will I have to return the computer / equipment I borrowed?


If you borrowed a laptop from IT Services, aka an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) loaner, the default expectation is that this computer will become your main computer and we will need to recuperate other PCs you may have (as the rule is 1 PC per user). If you are an eligible admin staff member covered under 1A funding, you can request a Dell P2422HE (USB-C) monitor that will act as a docking station to connect your monitors, mouse, keyboard, and headset.

Desktops, monitors. etc.

Staff who were permitted to take home desktops, monitors, and other peripherals during the shutdown should have already returned their equipment by now. The safe return and reconnection of this equipment is the responsibility of the employee / local unit, though IT Services can assist with this if problems arise. See Connecting a laptop to monitor(s), docking station, and peripheral devices (login required).

Can I use my own personal computer on the days when I’m working from home?

If you have your own personal computer, that meets McGill’s minimum specifications, you may use it to conduct work activities from home. However, please ensure you follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure that your operating system is up to date. See supported operating systems.
  • Protect your computer and other devices with antivirus software.
  • Install Microsoft 365 apps (Word, PPT, Excel, etc.) on your personal or non-managed computer to facilitate working on documents stored in MS Teams, OneDrive and other Microsoft 365 cloud services.
  • Refer to Software available at McGill to know which software is available for use at McGill.  This article includes who is eligible to use it, how to get it and support information.
  • Do not sync McGill files from OneDrive or SharePoint to your personal device; access those files directly from the Microsoft 365 portal or from MS Teams.
  • Delete all McGill files from your computer and empty the Trash or Recycle bin once you are finished working with them. To comply with McGill's McGill’s Cloud Directive, files that contain Regulated and Protected Enterprise and Research Data may only be stored on McGill-managed devices (computers, tablets, Smartphones) or "Cloud Services for Enterprise Data" and “Cloud Services for Research Data” including OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint and D2.
  • Find more details about the use of personal devices to access McGill’s Administrative systems in the Secure Use of Administrative Systems Directive.

As virtual and hybrid meetings become more prevalent, will there be changes to our IT equipment (i.e., headsets, telephones, audio visual equipment)?

Telephones: mobile vs. landlines

McGill is currently undergoing a significant transformation with the Telephone Evolution project, replacing the traditional phone system with an Internet-based system powered by Cisco Webex. This initiative brings modern connectivity to your fingertips, enabling you to stay connected from anywhere – be it the office, home, or mobile device. With the new system, you can seamlessly make and receive calls across devices, ensuring you're always reachable in today's flexible work environment.

What is the best tool to use when holding virtual/hybrid meetings?

MS Teams is the recommended tool for communication and collaboration within McGill internal employees.

Is VPN required when accessing IT systems on campus?

In most cases, if you are logged into a computer on the campus network, you will not need a VPN connection to access McGill systems.

Have more questions?

Visit the IT Support site and submit a request.

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