Working Remotely

Columbia University and the CBS Information Technology Group (ITG) offer many tools to enable faculty, staff and students to access resources from anywhere in the world. This site aggregates all those resources into one handy location.

Email from Anywhere (All)

You can always access your CBS email on the web via the Office365 portal available at https://mail.gsb.columbia.edu. All CBS-issued computers for faculty and staff, and student computers configured by ITG, have Outlook already setup so the best thing you can do while working remotely is to have your School laptops with you. (Faculty and staff who do not have a CBS-issued laptop, please see "Accessing On-Campus Desktop Computers" below.) Finally, you can download Outlook (see "Microsoft Office Suite" below) on any computer and set up your profile using your CBS email address.

Clarification for students: To log onto Office365, your username is UNI@gsb.columbia.edu (this is not a valid email address). Students need to use "UNI@gsb.columbia.edu" as the username to access their CBS email (FLastname21@gsb.columbia.edu) because Microsoft requires you to specify a domain after your username for access to their services.

Microsoft Office Suite (All)

All CBS-issued computers for faculty and staff, and student computers configured through ITG’s onboarding process, have Office already setup. If you would like to install Office365 on another computer, go to Office.com using this link and click "Install Office". The Office suite is also available as individual apps from the iOS App and Google Play Stores.

Clarification for students: To log onto Office365, your username is UNI@gsb.columbia.edu (this is not a valid email address). Students need to use "UNI@gsb.columbia.edu" as the username to access their CBS email (FLastname21@gsb.columbia.edu) because Microsoft requires you to specify a domain after your username for access to their services.

Scanning PDFs (All)

The MS Office suite includes the Lens app, available on both iOS and Android. This allows you to use your smartphone as a scanner, create a PDF, and then email it or save it to OneDrive.

File Sharing (All)

Please take a moment to browse ITG's site on Safe File Sharing.

PQRS Access (Faculty and Staff)

The CBS PQRS drives can all be accessed remotely, full information is available on ITG's Network Drive site. The two key pieces for remote access are that you must first connect to the University's Virtual Private Network (VPN), and this requires having Duo multi-factor authentication set up.

One Drive (All)

All faculty, staff and students who have a CBS email account also have access to OneDrive.  This is a tool, similar to Box or Dropbox, which allows you to save files to the cloud, synchronize them to a local computer, and to share them with others in the School. More information is available here, but please keep in mind a few key tips and check your settings carefully:

  • The default setting is "Anyone with the link can edit"; this essentially opens the document to the entire internet. ITG recommends against using this setting in the strongest terms, as information intended for the internet is better when placed on a web site.
  • "People in Columbia Business School with the link" means you should assume the document is shared with all of CBS. This content would also likely be better on an access controlled website.
  • The options for "Specific people" or "People with existing access" (such as for a file created in a folder previously shared out) are the highly recommended options as they allow the granting and retracting of access only to the people with whom you intend to share the document.
  • The "Other Settings" such as "Allow editing" and "Set expiration date" should also be carefully considered.

Please contact ITG if you have any questions or hesitations on how to best and most safely share your files.

Communication (All)

All Office365 installations have Skype for Business available, convenient for instant messaging and small group video conferencing needs alike.

Zoom Video Conferencing (Faculty and Staff)

ITG's MultiMedia Group has a wide variety of resources available, please see the Video Teaching & Conferencing site.

Electronic Library Resources (Students)

The Columbia University Library offers a wide array of E-Resources, and has a dedicated page about how to access them from off-site.

Research Grid (Faculty & PhD Students)

CBS Research Grid access is available remotely using VPN. Faculty can use either the CU or CBS VPN’s, but currently electronic/guest researchers need to use the CBS VPN.

Accessing On-Campus Desktop Computers (Faculty and Staff)

If you have a CBS-issued Windows desktop, we encourage you to leave it turned on.  All such computers have a setting that prevents the desktop from going to sleep if it’s on, and this assures that you can access it from anywhere via Remote Desktop should you need to work from home.  We recommend establishing a VPN connection before using Remote Desktop.  Remote Desktop clients are natively available on any Windows computers, and can be freely downloaded on any Mac, iOS or Android device.  Please contact ITG if you require assistance.

Safe Practices While Traveling (All)

As a general reminder, please remember that no University employee will ever ask you for your password! You can also review ITG's site of Travel Tips for Mobile Device Use.