Communication

Real-time Communication Options

When you can’t meet face-to-face with your colleagues due to the effect of telecommuting, thought should be given to how you can maintain communication lines beyond calling on the phone. This is especially crucial when needing to communicate with a group. Some options include:

Meeting Remotely with BlueJeans

The ability to attend meetings remotely is critical for telecommuters. Whether you are the one telecommuting, or you are organizing a meeting that includes telecommuters, thought should be given to how everyone can participate effectively.

BlueJeans is an easy-to-use, cloud-based conferencing service that offers audio, video, and screen sharing. It works on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, browser), and can be encrypted for a higher level of security than other options like Google Hangouts Meet. It is open to all U-M students, faculty, and staff. 

Some specific issues to think about when planning to use BlueJeans include:

Meeting Remotely with Zoom

Zoom is another cloud-based videoconferencing service at the University that can be used for simple online meetings. It provides group messaging, screen sharing, and the option for recording meetings. It works on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS), and is open to all U-M students, faculty, and staff. Note: Zoom’s Webinar feature is only available to faculty members by default. If you are a student or staff member and need to use webinars, you can request access.

Refer to the ITS website for more tips on performing other common tasks in Zoom.

Secure Your Zoom Meetings!

Universities across the country are reporting instances of “Zoombombing,” where malicious people enter an unsecured Zoom meeting and use the screen-sharing feature to share inappropriate and disruptive content. Zoom provides a number of settings and features that meeting hosts can use to protect their meeting participants, and their privacy. The College encourages hosts to limit sharing of meeting links, and manage screen-sharing or other participant options to ensure a positive experience for all. ITS and U-M Safe Computing also provide guidance for securing your Zoom meetings:

Forwarding Office Phone Numbers

Please do not forward your University phone to a personal or home telephone number. This feature is reserved for critical operations. Instead, keep your MCommunity profile updated with your preferred contact methods.

For forwarding, the following steps should work for most University phones:

  • Standard Phones:
    • Dial *96 (you should hear a stutter tone)
    • Enter 9 + 1 + area code + number
    • Hang up
  • VOIP (Cisco) Phones:
    • Press the “CFwdAll” button (may be labeled differently)
    • Enter 9 + 1 + area code + number
    • Hang up

Updating Your MCommunity Profile

It is important to keep your MCommunity profile updated with your preferred contact methods, or if you are not working.