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Home Office Setup Guide Frequently Asked Questions

Where existing equipment is not available to be moved offsite for remote work, purchasing additional equipment may be necessary. Most computer and computer peripheral items are available through GovConnection and Dell as the University preferred vendors. Peripherals with USB or HDMI connections cables are easiest to install. Purchases should be limited to those items necessary to perform job duties.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to discuss needs with their local IT support staff. If you are unsure about how to contact your local IT, you should contact customer support at 765-494-4000 and they can direct you.

Approval and procurement of items should follow the Home Office Setup Guide. IT orders should be placed through your purchasing contact or purchasing center through Ariba. Use of Purchasing Cards for IT related items is not allowable.

Where central stocks or supplies are available within a department or unit, remote employee are encouraged to utilize those supplies prior to procuring additional home office supplies. This may require occasional visits to campus in order to secure departmental office supplies. The purchase of new offices supplies should be limited to those items necessary to perform critical job duties. Employees should consult with their supervisor prior to requesting new purchases for office supplies.

Office supplies include general office and classroom supplies such as pens, staples, post it notes, etc. Office Depot is the University vendor for office supplies.

A browse only online catalog is available here:
The Password is case sensitive. DO NOT CHANGE THE PASSWORD, as it is used university wide.
Link: https://business.officedepot.com
User ID: PURDUEEMPLOYEE
Password: Browseonly1

Orders may not be placed from this site. The Ariba catalog must be used to place your order. Contact your purchasing contact or purchasing center to place the order in Ariba.

When searching the catalog be sure to look for items with the best value and contract icons to optimize savings. Use of Purchasing Cards for office supplies is not allowable.

If necessary, items may be shipped to a home address in Ariba to enable remote work. Procurement Services is monitoring all ship to home address orders.

Office supplies should be procured through Ariba using the Office Depot catalog to maximize savings to the University. IT supplies should be procured through Ariba using the Dell or GovConnection catalog to maximize savings to the University. In cases where required items are out of stock or unavailable, alternative methods of procuring may be allowable. Contact your business office before making the purchase to ensure allowability for reimbursement.

Purdue is exempt from sales tax and cannot reimburse employees for sale tax. The University sales tax exemption is found here: https://www.purdue.edu/business/mas/orgtax/supportingDocs/Form%20ST-105.pdf The University exemption should not be used for personal expenses.

Expenditures must meet the criteria outlined in the Home Office Setup Guide as allowable in order to be reimbursed.

The procurement of or reimbursement for home office printers for remote work use will be strongly discouraged. Departmental/shared printers can be accessed in many departments at no additional cost to the faculty and/or staff member. Where no alternative is viable, exceptions may be approved when a case can be made that printing is an absolute essential function of the job and requires access to a home printer.

Exceptions should only be approved when a home printer is necessary to complete required job duties. For exceptions, the Request for Copy/Print Device Questionnaire should be completed and forwarded to your business office and local IT for approval before submitting to central purchasing. Local IT staff can assess printing needs and provide recommendations for models.

If an employee has an exception for a home printer, toner and/or ink cartridges will be an allowable purchase through the Cannon IV catalog in Ariba.

Printers, toners, and ink cartridges should only be procured through Ariba and will not be reimbursable if procured through another vendor. The University will not approve purchases or reimbursements for toner and/or ink cartridges for personal devices. Purchasing cards should not be used for printers, toners and/or ink cartridges.

For day to day print jobs, individuals are encouraged to use campus printers and Multi-Functional Devices. For project type print needs such as large quantities of the same document, brochures, posters, etc., individuals should continue to use Xerox who remains open and available to assist with campus print needs.

University computers can print to any installed campus printers, just as if you are on campus. To set up a personal computer to print to a campus printer you will need to know the printer and print server names.

For instructions on “Connecting a Personal Computer to a University Network Printer” click here: https://www.itap.purdue.edu/csds/standards/Connect_HomePC_to_Campus_Printer.pdf

The Home Office Setup Guide in intended to cover commonly requested items for remote work. It is possible that an employee may require items not listed to perform job duties effectively. In those cases, employees are encouraged to consult with their supervisor and local IT staff if applicable. Exceptions may be granted with approval by the unit leader (Sr. Director, Dean, Head or designee) and the business office.

If an employee purchased allowable items prior to the issuance of these guidelines, an employee can be reimbursed if the following criteria is met:

  1. Documentation is provided explaining the business requirement for the purchase – denoting that this request is due to remote work. Items should be absolutely essential and necessary for completing job duties. 
  2. Every attempt was made to use existing Purdue University owned equipment or relocate existing equipment. Equipment purchases are limited to one set of equipment for the primary worksite, whether onsite or offsite, regardless of whether employee is remote, hybrid or onsite.
  3. Any equipment purchased is tracked through the Property Off Campus Form.
  4. Purchases should be reviewed with employee’s supervisor and approved by unit leader or designee (Sr. Director, Head or Dean).  Appropriate funding sources and availability of funds is identified within the department/unit.  Units are financially responsible for home office setup if deemed necessary for remote work.  Expenditures for home office setup for remote work is allowable on operating funds.  Expenditures are generally not chargeable to grants as outlined in the Cost Accounting Standards Guidelines

As outlined with the Home Office Setup Guide, it is expected that University resources will be limited to providing equipment and resources for an employee’s primary worksite only, either an onsite work office or offsite work office. Hybrid employees should opt for laptops when available to enable flexibility between work sites. Alternatives should be sought where possible to have local IT provide a loaner laptop when an employee needs to work at the non-primary worksite.

The following items are available on an exception basis only to provide home internet service or to enhance existing service.  Remote employees are encouraged to consult with local IT support.  If you don't know who your local IT support is, call the ITaP Customer Service Center at (765) 494-4000 and they can assist you. 

Internet Service (MiFi) Device  

ITaP Telecommunications offers a MiFi service using a branded wireless router device that acts as mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that allows multiple end users and mobile devices to share a 3G or 4G mobile broadband internet connection, and to create an ad hoc network, i.e. a mobile hotspot.

  • Verizon MiFi with unlimited data (capped at 22GB); one-time $10 processing fee and $34/month 
  • AT&T MiFi with unlimited data (capped at 22GB); one-time $10 processing fee and $34/month 
  • AT&T MiFi with unlimited data (no cap); one-time $10 processing fee and $45/month 

MiFi devices will only be allowable for remote employees on an exception basis with unit leader or designee approval.  Devices should only be requested when access to existing high-speed internet is limited or connectivity is poor due to physical location and access to a mobile hotspot device would enable remote work.  A MiFi device may not enable or improve connectivity so it’s important to first perform a speed test. 

To help determine if a MiFi will improve your connectivity, test from a mobile device with a cellular plan. 

  • Disconnect the device from your home WiFi if connected 
  • Visit https://www.speedtest.net/ to test your Internet speed from a browser on your mobile device 
  • Compare results to the steps laid out above for testing your home network internet speeds 
  • If your cellular results are equal to or less than your home Wi-Fi speeds, a MiFi will not improve connectivity 

Process to obtain a MiFi device:

  • Employee should provide adequate justification to support the need to have access to a University owned MiFi device. Request should be forwarded to the employee supervisor for review and approval.  Final approval is required by the unit leader or designee (Dean, Head or Sr. Director) with clear understanding of the unit’s financial responsibility.
  • Business office representative should submit Risque request to acquire a mobile hotspot device through the Telephone Office.  MiFi devices will be paid by the unit so account information should be provided.   

Internet speed refers to the speed which data or content travels from the Internet to your home computer.  Visit https://www.speedtest.net/ to test your Internet speed. 

  • Minimum 15Mbps download home network speed for basic operational work.
  • Ideally 50Mbps to 60Mbps download home network speed for enhanced operational work.
  • 60Mbps to 70Mbps download home network speed for videoconferencing work.
  • Turn off video in virtual meetings when not needed, or for low bandwidth.
  • Ideally 10Mbps upload home network speed for enhanced operational work.
  • Services that may affect your home internet speeds include other people connecting devices (especially gaming systems), if you connect to the VPN for secure access (using VPN only when needed will help minimize impact) and features and configurations of your home service (issues may need to be addressed by your service provider)

In some cases, a Wi-Fi extender offers a simple solution to minimize or eliminate wireless dead spots. Whether you call them Wi-Fi extenders, signal boosters, or wireless repeaters, they all do the same thing: provide stronger Wi-Fi signal where you need it. Some Wi-Fi extenders offer Ethernet out ports to allow a wired connection to your computer.  This expense would not be allowable as a direct University purchase and/or employee reimbursement.

Technology Tips:  

  • You will have the best connection when your computer is connected directly to the router provided by your ISP. 
  • Other devices using the home Wi-Fi may impact your computer’s connectivity. 
  • ITaP offers tools and tips to help faculty and staff choose the right technology for the Home Office. Read more at https://www.itap.purdue.edu/newsroom/200320_itapfaqforcoviddays.html 

Wireless adapters are electronic devices that allow computers that without built-in wireless capabilities to connect to the internet and to other computers without using cables or wires. The use of a USB Wi-Fi adapter may be a reasonably low-cost solution to enabling wireless access for your desktop at home without the use of cables or wires.

Contact your local IT support to ensure this would enable access and for model recommendations. This would be an allowable purchase and/or reimbursement to enable remote work.

Remote staff are encouraged to reach out to their local IT staff and consult on their preferred method to get IT support for home equipment. In most cases, remote staff will be required to drop off equipment on campus when IT staff need to work on physical IT equipment. It is likely that depending on the area of IT support, there could be differing guidelines for safety precautions. Guidelines could also vary on what IT related items are supported. Remote staff would be responsible for transporting equipment to and from campus for support.

Purdue employees may take advantage of discounted Purdue pricing through Office Depot for personal expenses.  For University business related expenditures, the Ariba catalog should be utilized. 

Office Depot offers an Employee Purchase Program (EPP). The steps to utilize the EPP are listed below.

  1. Self-register including adding a credit card to your personalized account at https://community.officedepot.com/GPOHome?id=2893700
  2. Begin shopping at either an Office Depot *retail store or online

NOTE Purchases at the retail store will receive the discount only if the purchase is made with the credit card registered on the user account.

  1. After shopping, select checkout when finished
  2. Input the address you would like the product shipped
  3. Complete the checkout process and submit the order
  4. Your orders will be billed to your personal credit card and shipped next business day to the address you specify in the order.

Voicemail can be accessed from off campus and your campus phone calls can be set to forward to a mobile or other non-Purdue phone. Set your phone and voicemail options by visiting the self-care portal at http://myphone.voip.purdue.edu. The VPN (webvpn2.purdue.edu) is required to reach the self-care portal from off campus. 

Cisco® Jabber is a soft phone client for use on your workstation (PC or MAC) or mobile device (Android, iOS, or Tablet); downloads for mobile devices are available in their respective app store. You appear to receive and make calls from your desk phone when using the application on your mobile device. Additionally, you can send and receive instant messages from your mobile device while using Jabber. Cisco ® Jabber is for use by Purdue Staff who have a Purdue University telephone assigned to them. To learn more about Jabber visit https://www.itap.purdue.edu/telecommunications/voice/jabber.html