Communications Tools

In order to effectively work from home, we understand staff need various communications tools. Below you’ll find guidance on how to receive calls, check your voicemail, and facilitate virtual meeting spaces. Feel free to use whichever approach meets your needs.


Below are several options for how you can continue to make and receive calls and voicemails while working remotely.
Retrieve Voice Messages from Your Office Phone
Use the PhoneMail Reference Guide to reach your phone from off campus.  
Forward Your Office Phone Number to Your Mobile Phone
To forward calls from your office phone to a personal cell phone, you must physically be at your office phone. Instructions for forwarding your phone are as follows and can be found in the quick reference guide located on the intranet. Please note, calls made from your cell phone, after you have set up forwarding, will reveal your personal cell phone number.
1. Get a dial tone.
2. Dial #91.
3. Dial 8-1 and then the outside phone number you want to receive your calls (e.g., 8-1-312-555-5555).
4. Hang up. You will see that your extension light is blinking, which indicates that it has been successfully forwarded.
To Un-forward the Phone:

1.  Get a dial tone. 
2. Dial ##91 to deactivate forwarding.
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.
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 cannot set up a Google Voice number with your G Suite account. Also, you will not be able to make international calls with this option.
Use a 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: the 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 and Business Continuity working group.


Below are several options for how you can facilitate virtual meetings for your team.
Use an Audio Conference Bridge
There are more than 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  
Use 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, 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.
Use 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 25 participants 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.)
  • Enable a “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.