Computer equipment guidelines and the Future of Work
At Rutgers, we want to ensure that all employees have access to the technology necessary to perform their job successfully regardless of work location.
As the university continues to develop guidelines, processes, and recommendations for the Future of Work, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is providing guidance about purchasing technology equipment, including computers, monitors, and other peripherals.
In situations where you anticipate employees will be working remotely, OIT recommends focusing on so-called “mobile first” solutions.
The following guidance is meant to assist you as you make choices from the equipment available in the Rutgers IT Computer Standards program.
Determine the required equipment
- “Mobile First”: The “mobile first” strategy shifts users toward laptop computers that are carried between work locations, with frequently-used locations equipped with additional hardware, such as docking stations, external monitors, keyboards, and mice. The employees will have the same familiar environment wherever they work and can connect from virtually anywhere. Hoteling space can be configured with the necessary peripherals for use by any employee without the need to worry about software or other special requirements.
- Multiple Desktops: The purchase of an additional desktop for use by remote employees allows hybrid workers to travel between work and home without having to carry a computer. The systems are generally more powerful, will last longer and typically result in the remote worker having a more permanent alternate work location.
- Remote Access: In some situations, remote access options may be used as part of the solution.
- Virtual Desktops: With a virtual desktop, the employee can use a personal computer, or one provided by the university, to access Rutgers resources. The user’s virtual workstation essentially exists as part of a larger server that is reachable from anywhere. Additional information is being developed about the availability of virtual desktops at Rutgers.
- Remote Desktop: With the Remote Desktop Protocol service, the employee is accessing a dedicated system in the employee’s campus office. This method has many of the benefits of virtual desktops but requires additional support, occupies a space in a campus office, and is reliant on uninterrupted power and networking to the physical computer.
Additional considerations and changes with remote or hybrid work
Base technology requirements: Additional equipment is typically needed for remote and hybrid workers. The required equipment may include a webcam and headset.
Printing, copying and scanning: Until more paper processes are digitized, employees who need these services when working remotely may need a multi-function device that can provide print, copy, and scanning services.
Faxing: An electronic fax service may be required by some staff members.
Warranties: Equipment purchases should include a warranty that considers the employee’s work modality. For example, fully remote and mobile equipment should include on-site service and advanced replacement where possible.