Remote Work Resources

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At UCSF, we understand the need to work from wherever you are. When you're traveling or working from home please follow these tips to stay secure, connected and productive. Looking for BCH Oakland Remote Work Resources?

How Do I Work Remotely?

To minimize the impact on UCSF's infrastructure and support resources, please use these options in this order.

  1. If you have a UCSF laptop, log into once before you bring it home and start using it. It is secured and ready for remote work.
  2. If you don't have a UCSF laptop, use your personal computerIn order of least complex to most complex setup, here are your options:
    • Option 1: Don't use VPN, and access your most commonly used applications on the web:
      • Email (requires Duo)
      • Box for cloud-based file sharing
      • Zoom for video and audio conferencing - please use computer audio if you have trouble dialing in
      • APeX Connect (requires Duo) for remote access to APeX
      • MyAccess - some applications require VPN
    • Option 2: Use Web VPN (requires Duo) if you need to access web applications restricted to the UCSF network. This includes:
      • MyAccess
      • HBS for time tracking
      • OnCore for clinical trial management
    • Option 3: If you need full access to the UCSF network, file shares/mapped drives and a broader set of specialized applications, use the Pulse Secure VPN client. This is the most complex setup but provides the broadest access.
      • Install Pulse Secure VPN
      • Install the IT Security Suite to use the Pulse Secure VPN client.
      • Your computer must be encrypted, and make sure your computer is backed up.
  3. Management staff only: Use this form to purchase laptop(s) for remote work. If you need a consultation on how to help your staff to work remotely please contact us immediately.
  4. Management staff only: As a last resort, if your staff want to take their UCSF desktop computer home and they know how to connect it to their home network then please make allowances for this option. Download a copy of our loaner tracking template to keep track of your department's devices that go home with staff.

Remote Work Tools

Managing your UCSF Phone and Voicemail

Block My Caller ID

To block your caller ID when making a call dial *67 then the number.
On an iPhone you can hide your caller ID. Go to SettingsPhone > Show my caller ID and turn off “Show My Caller ID”.
Cisco Phones and Voicemail

Enable Call Forwarding from your Cisco Phone

  1. Leave the phone on the hook (no dial tone) and press the FwdAll button.
  2. Enter the desired forwarding number (e.g., 9+1+area code+number) or press the Message/Voice Mail Button  to forward your calls to voice mail

Cancel Call Forwarding from your Cisco Phone

  1.  Leave the phone one the hook (no dial tone) and press the FwdOFF soft key

If you need to set up call forwarding and you are already remote please contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100 or chat with an agent at

Managing your Cisco Voicemail

You receive and can listen voicemails in your UCSF email. To change your greeting, manage, and delete voicemails, please refer to our Voicemail FAQs.

Siemens Phones and Voicemail

Enable Call forwarding from your Siemens Phone

  1. Get dial tone
  2. Press Forward button (or #91)
  3. Dial number to forward to (i.e., 9+1+area code+number)
  4. Hang up

Cancel Call Forwarding from your Siemens Phone

  1. Get dial tone
  2. Press Forward button (or ##91)
  3. Hang up

If you need to set up call forwarding and you are already remote please contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100 or chat with an agent at

Managing your Siemens Voicemail

To change your greeting, manage and delete voicemails please refer to the Siemens Xpressions voicemail user guide (PDF).

Hosting and Attending Remote Meetings (Zoom)

Zoom is a simple, all-in-one solution that lets you meet across desktops, mobile devices, and conference rooms. Zoom is free to UCSF faculty, staff and students, and the UCSF Zoom instance is approved for use with restricted data.

IT is getting increasing reports of customers getting a busy signal or no connection when dialing into Zoom meetings from their phones. This is due to high utilization of Zoom and cellular networks.  To avoid disruptions to your Zoom meetings try these tips:

  1. When using your desktop or laptop to join a Zoom meeting
    • In your meeting invitation, click the URL / link to the Zoom meeting
    • A dialog box will appear and in small print at the top of the box you’ll see “Phone Call” and “Computer Audio”;  Select “Computer Audio”
    • Click “Join with Computer Audio”
  2. If your computer doesn’t have speakers and/or a microphone:
    • Use the Zoom App on your smartphone (download from the App Store or Google Play Store). 
      • First time use-> click "Sign In"->  select SSO-> enter "ucsf" ->complete your login with MyAccess
    • Open the Zoom App and enter the zoom meeting number
    • Select “Call Using Internet Audio” .
  3. If you use a dial-in number:
    • Call in to meetings early, not on the hour or half hour.
    • From the list of numbers provided, dial-into the number in the middle or lowest on the list first.
    • If you are experiencing issues from your cell phone, try a land line.

We've put together a list of tips that show you How to Have a Zoom Meeting That Is (Almost) as Good as Being There. You should also review Zoom's very helpful instructions for Getting started with Personal Audio Conference.  Finally, we recommend using a headset (like the one that came with your mobile phone) when using Zoom.

Important Security Settings for Zoom

There are reports both internally at UCSF and in the media of increased attempts to interrupt Zoom meetings for nefarious purposes. UCSF IT is in direct contact with Zoom regarding reported privacy and security issues so we have solid facts and can take informed action. We are deploying the latest software updates and reviewing our enterprise Zoomsettings to ensure we continue to provide a HIPAA compliant service that is highly usable.

Safeguard the privacy of your meetings. Get acquainted with Zoom’s options so you can choose the appropriate configuration for your meetings. For sensitive meetings, consider applying all of the recommended security settings.


Duo is UCSF's multi-factor authentication service, and is required to access specific UCSF applications like VPN and APeX Connect. Duo is experiencing a huge increase in use as more people are working from home. If you have trouble using Duo push then enter a passcode from the Duo app.

Accessing your UCSF Applications via MyAccess

MyAccess is UCSF’s single-sign on service which enables you to access a variety of applications after logging in a single time. The MyAccess landing page shows you which applications require VPN and MFA (Duo), and allows you to save a list of your favorite applications.

Accessing the APeX Connect Portal

You can access APeX remotely via the APeX Connect Portal. The APeX Connect Portal requires Duo to log in.

Ergonomics Tips for Remote Work

For those who find themselves working from home more often, here are some tips to follow to stay healthy and safe while using a computer.

Keeper Password Vault

Keeper helps you store all of your UCSF passwords securely in one place. Enroll with your UCSF email account.


PubMed searches and open access journal articles do not require VPN. Remember to check PubMedCentral and UCSF's list of alternatives for non-VPN access to papers.

For paywalled journal access use rather than Pulse VPN.

Secure Box

Secure Box protects UCSF's restricted data on Box. Learn more about how we encrypt all files in your secure folder, and how we encrypt files containing restricted data anywhere on Box.

Self-service Password Reset

If you ever need to reset your password or unlock your account, use the UCSF password management tool. There is also a mobile app available.


Slack is a workstream collaboration tool which supports group communication and collaboration. Slack is organized into group communications spaces called channels, which are persistent and searchable. Slack is also integrated with other tools you use, like Box and Zoom, to make communicating and collaborating with your colleagues a breeze! Slack should not be used to share restricted data.

Telecommute Securely

When you are working away from UCSF there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your work, and UCSF.

Troubleshoot Your Home Internet Connection

Are you working from home and your internet connection driving you crazy? Terrible Zoom audio? Websites loading slowly? Please use these resources to troubleshoot the problem.

Get IT Help

IT Health Desk

The IT Health Desk provides walkup support at multiple UCSF locations across San Francisco. We can help you get your laptop ready for remote work.

IT Service Desk

If you need assistance working remotely please contact the IT Service Desk. The UCSF IT Service Desk provides IT support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.