Practicalities for the USI community

IT tools for home office

Vademecum for USI collaborators



This vademecum briefly summarizes the IT tools available for teleworking and provides some suggestions on how to work effectively and safely. The guide is addressed to USI employees in general; specific guides for teaching and learning are available on the USI websites ( and



The group of tools listed below allows you to telework in the majority of cases 



The easiest and safest method to reach the USI webmail is from the Web:


Skype for Business

This tool merges different features for communication and collaboration:

  • calls between USI and external employees over the public phone network
  • videocalls between users or groups of users
  • screen sharing (useful to work on documents)
  • internal chat (useful for fast communications that do not need to be tracked)

More info: documentation skype for business

Access to personal and shared folders through VPN

The virtual private network functionality grants access to the University's internal network and makes access to the data folders on USI's file servers (personal, team and project) available

USI Lugano and Mendrisio, IRB and IOR Bellinzona


Microsoft Office

The Microsoft Office Package (in the Office 365 2016 version) is available for installation on your personal computers for all USI collaborators:



The security of your computer is important, especially if you access USI data folders via VPN. The use of an antivirus is strongly recommended, especially for those who use the Windows operating system older than version 10:



Alternative IT tools for videoconferencing and collaboration 

There are alternatives to Skype for Business for videoconferencing and collaboration but not for phone-call:

File sharing

SWITCHdrive is a tool similar to DropBox. Since it is operated by SWITCH, it provides the advantage of maintaining data in Switzerland.:


Sending large files

The following service is available to send data to third parties that are larger than those that can usually be managed by e-mail:



Thanks to agreements with partners, various programs can be installed on private computers:

  • Microsoft Office (see above)



The rising use of personal computers for teleworking caused by the pandemic also increases the risks to which data and IT infrastructure are exposed. It is therefore important that the security of personal devices is taken care of.

 Some advice:

  • keep the operating system of your devices up to date, including applications
  • install a high reputation antivirus (see above)
  • keep the work environment separate from the personal/family environment (e.g. with two different users) 



The IT Service is as available to you at this time as previously via the communication channels listed below. We will be glad to hear from you (or even see you via videoconference tools)!





Updated on: 03/03/2021