IST Knowledge BaseHybrid work and technology guidelines

Hybrid work and technology guidelines

Updated for Winter 2023

The guidelines below include general best practices for University of Waterloo employees working both in the office and remotely. Please also see Common requests for in-person IT support for a list of requests and suggested solutions.

In this article

Meeting guidelines 

Care must be exercised to manage and protect privacy during hybrid meetings or those that are held remotely. Whether you are the host or a participant, take note of these policies for enhancing confidentiality:


Meeting styles

  • When one or more participants are working from home, meetings may be held either online or in hybrid via M365 Teams or Zoom

  • When all participants are in the office, meetings may be held in-person

Meeting tips

  • Familiarize yourself with the meeting technology ahead of the meeting and reach out to IT support staff to have any questions or issues addressed ahead of time

  • Consider having someone help you chair the meeting to help track online and in-person participants/requests during a hybrid meeting

Augmenting rooms for hybrid meetings 

Hybrid meetings include both online and in-office participants. Meeting rooms with a large screen (data projector or “tv” type display) used with Microsoft Teams allow those in the meeting room to see the remote participants. If the room does not have speakers and/or room microphones, an individual in the room can use their laptop for both, depending upon room size. To further augment rooms for hybrid meetings, there are cost-effective, moveable solutions. Permanent (fixed) solutions are convenient but come at a higher cost. IST recommendations on augmenting rooms for hybrid meetings are available in the IST Knowledge Base.

Hybrid meeting best practices 

  • Ensure you are familiar with the conferencing platform prior to the meeting and how it will work with the technology in the room. 

  • Make a test call to test your mic, speakers, and camera. 

  • Remind participants to keep their audio on mute when not speaking. 

  • Encourage remote participants to enable their cameras whenever possible. 

  • Keep side conversations to a minimum. 

  • Encourage all participants to raise their hand and be called on before speaking. 

  • Respect your colleagues, whether they are joining in remotely or in person. 


Work equipment guidelines 

Department budget permitting, IST recommends University employees receive a laptop computer and one docking station instead of a desktop computer. While a laptop is not a requirement, it is recommended to provide flexibility while working from home and in the office. Additional benefits of using a laptop vs. a desktop include: 

  • IT sustainability - using a single work device has lower overall energy expenditure in comparison to using multiple devices for a remote desktop setup  

  • User workflow - in most cases, using a University-provided laptop eliminates the need to use a remote desktop as users can access software directly from their laptop 

If you have a University-owned desktop 

  • Your desktop should remain in the office. To connect to your desktop from an off-campus computer, first connect to the campus virtual private network (VPN), then connect to your machine using Remote Desktop

  • Desktop computers that have been taken home should be returned to the office once you begin working on campus regularly again

  • Computers that have been shut off (or managed Windows machines used at home without VPN) for 3+ months should be updated by your IT support staff before it is used for work to ensure proper functioning and security; contact your IT support staff for assistance. 

Secure computing practices 

Additional resources 

Need help?

Contact the IST Service Desk online or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.

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