This is a list of options available to handle communications while working remotely.  Use whichever approach meets your needs based on what you are trying to accomplish at that time.



Option 1: Retrieve voice messages from your office phone


Use the PhoneMail Reference Guide to reach your phone from off campus.  



Option 2: Forward your office phone number to your mobile phone


Late last week, we modified the configuration of our phone systems such that you can now forward your office phone to an off-campus phone number such as your mobile or home phone. We believe that this option meets the needs of individual staff members who feel that they need to be able to receive calls to their office numbers from home rather than periodically checking voicemail. Instructions for forwarding your phone are as follows and can be found in the quick reference guide located on the intranet


Note: Calls made from your cell phone, after you have setup forwarding, will reveal your personal cell phone number


1. Pick up the phone's handset (or press the line button to get dial tone)

2. Press: #91

3. Enter the phone number to which you want to forward calls. Dial the number just as you would if you were making a call to that number from your phone (for example: 8 1 312-555-1212)

4. Hang up your phone. You should see a blinking light next to your line button if you've correctly set up forwarding

5.  To deactivate forwarding, get a dial tone, press ##91 and hang up


Note:  Activating and deactivating forwarding of your extension can be done by you at the phone on your desk.  If you need assistance for us to do it remotely, please submit a Phone Request in the IT Support system.



Option 3: Set up a Google Voice account from a personal Gmail account


This may be a desired option if you make several outbound calls and prefer to mask your cell phone from those you are calling. See these instructions to set up Google Voice with your personal gmail account.


Note:  You can not set up a Google Voice number with your G Suite account. Also, you will not be able to make international calls with this option.



Option 4: Hosted voice system for call centers


We have several examples of small call centers on campus. These call centers are typically associated with main departmental numbers that have one or more staff members who answer calls on several incoming phone lines. Examples of these types of call centers are: CRIT help desk, Student Financial Services reception and the Admissions reception.  We are actively configuring a proof of concept for the CRIT help desk that, should it meet the needs of CRIT, can be deployed to a small handful of similar call centers. This is new technology for us, and there is a cost and lead time associated with deploying this solution. That said, this isn't the recommended solution for individuals.  Use of the hosted call center approach will be prioritized by the Remote Working & Business Continuity working group.



Option 5: Audio conference bridge


There are over 50 AT&T conference bridges set up for various departments across the museum, school and central administration.  They each have different toll-free dial-in numbers, access codes and host passwords.  Check with your department head to see if you have one to use.  There is no limit on participants and it is an ideal solution for audio only virtual meetings.


Instructions can be found in the Information Services area of the intranet.  To request a new conference bridge, please complete the Phone Request form by selecting “new audio conference service” or send an email to the IT Support system at  

For more information on touchtone commands visit the AT&T Global Audio Conferencing Quick Start Guide solutions page.


Option 6: Google Hangouts Meet


If you prefer to have the option of a video or audio call, and you might need to share your computer screen with other participants, a Google Meet is an easy option.  It’s as easy as proposing a meeting in Google Calendar.  Follow these instructions for setting up and participating in a Google Meet.



Option 7: Zoom


You can set up a free Zoom meeting and have the options of audio, video and screen sharing.  Google Meet has a limit of 250 participants through September 30, 2020, while Zoom can handle up to 100.  Please be cautious with the use of publicly available tools such as Zoom.  Here are some tips:

  • Require a password for both scheduled and instant meetings.

  • ***For large, public access calls, disable the setting that lets all participants share their screen.*** (This is less of an issue for small calls with trusted colleagues.)

  • Disable “Join Before Host” so people can’t cause trouble before you arrive.

  • Enabling “Co-Host” so you can assign others to help moderate.

  • Disable “File Transfer” so there’s no digital virus sharing.

  • Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” so booted attendees can’t slip back in.

  • Be wary of unsolicited Zoom invitations from groups you’ve never interacted with before.