Keep Working

This site contains information and resources for ACES faculty and staff on maintaining their work responsibilities during an emergency, such as in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Recent Updates

Password-Protect Zoom Sessions - Instructions and March 27 email from ACES IT with information.

ACES Virtual Backgrounds for Zoom - ACES images to use as your digital background. View the upload instructions



How to Prepare:

  • Gather equipment - Take your laptop, charger/powerbrick, headset, mouse, 2FA key fob (if you have one) and any essential equipment and documentation you may need to perform your work duties.
  • Review essentials checklist - Tech Services “Key University Activities” checklist Make sure you verify your 2FA setup and know how to use the Campus VPN software.
  • Refresh your online meeting skills - Watch one of the pre-recorded Skype for Business training sessions and/or watch one of the pre-recorded Zoom training sessions and print out the Zoom cheat sheet to take home.


From your remote/home workspace

You Should Be Able To:

  • Log in – Outlook (email), Skype for Business (phone, video conferencing and instant Messaging), Box (shared cloud storage), and Cisco AnyConnect VPN if you use applications that require VPN connection (e.g., TEM, Banner, S: drive).
  • Attend meetings - Participate in meetings that would typically be conducted in person via Skype or Zoom.
  • Get support - If you have questions or need assistance, IT team members will be available via email at, via phone at 217-244-0477, via web at
  • Stay informed - Monitor your email, the University COVID-19 website, and the College of ACES COVID-19 website.


Working with Desktops or Laptops:

  • Non-work Equipment – If you have a laptop or desktop at home you are comfortable with and can complete all of your assigned duties with, you are not required to take equipment. If you have a stable internet connection, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Office suite, you should be able to function minimally. NOTE! If you use your own equipment, IT will not be able to use remote assistance or software installation/updates tools to resolve problems.
  • Limits to Help Desk – If you take a desktop or use your own equipment, please be aware that IT help desk will be severely limited in certain scenarios and we may need your help in creative solutions. We can’t come to your house and plug things in, move wires, or generally assist the way we do in the offices.


General Working from Home Tips:

  • NPR’s  8 Tips For Working From Home - #1 Get your technology in order. Pretty much says it all.
  • Coffee Time- While tech can’t really help with drinking the dark brown elixir, if you need some virtual downtime with your colleagues, we can help you setup an impromptu café-style chat room using Skype for Business. Remember in any IM you can add more people to a conversation by clicking the “people” icon in the upper right part of an already open conversation. Add, chat, vent, share, feel better.
  • Two Steps Forward, One Step Back – It’s not going to work perfectly the first time or every time. Working from home has many challenges, so if your battery dies, or your mic stops working, or your internet goes out in the middle of the day, take a deep breath, take a 15 minute break, and give it one more try.





It will be difficult for ACES IT to support tools and services we do not already deliver or support. Faculty, staff, and instructors should be cautious about seeking new tools that have not been vetted for accessibility, security, or suitability to purpose.