Introduction

During one of the ‘Remote Work Focus Group’ meetings, concerns were raised about the use of personal cell phones for OCG business.   While it’s undeniable that cell phones can make remote work easier, their use may not be ideal from a work/life balance or privacy standpoint.  Below are some alternatives, options and ideas around remote work communications.

Cisco Jabber

Jabber Softphone is a desktop application that you can use to make and receive phone calls and texts from your computer using your existing office phone number.  This enables those working remotely to call non-affiliates outside of the University without having a physical phone or sharing a personal phone number.  This software is available from and supported by campus OIT.  https://oit.colorado.edu/services/voice-communications/telephone-service/cisco-jabber-softphone

Notes:

  • Because Jabber is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service it may not work with some systems.
  • Not for use when discussing Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or Export Controls.  See below.

Microsoft Teams

You can make ‘Audio Calls’ from Teams.  This is especially useful for communicating with CU Boulder staff and faculty because their contact information is available with a simple search.  The software is free and typically already installed on Windows computers.  Text chatting is super easy.  The software is supported by campus OIT.

Notes:

  • This is probably not the best choice for communicating with someone outside the CU Boulder campus.
  • Calling a phone number is not yet possible with Teams.
  • Not for use when discussing CUI or Export Controls.  See below.

Zoom

You can make ‘Audio Calls’ from Zoom – just turn off your camera.  The software is free and ubiquitous.  Simply start a new meeting and send the link to your attendee(s).

Notes:

  • This is a great choice for communicating with just about anyone. 
  • See the general notes below about using Zoom with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
  • Not for use when discussing CUI or Export Controls.  See below.

Personal Cell Phone Tips

The below are not recommendations, but options if you choose to use your personal cell phone for OCG business.

General Notes and Caveats

Use a land line, cell phone or in-person meetings for:

  • Conversations concerning details related to controlled unclassified information (e.g. the actual data, anything marked CUI by government, whatever is controlled).  Do not use Teams or Zoom.
  • Conversations concerning details related to export control issues (what, who, technology).  Do not use Teams or Zoom.
  • Google Voice should not be used for any work communication because of security concerns, per Scott Maize in CU Boulder’s Research Cybersecurity.