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Getting ready to work from home

The coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented threat to our health services. As part of the government and HSE response to slow the spread of the virus managers must identify who from their team can work from home.

Our colleagues working in front line services can't work from home. But to support them in the battle against this virus we must get ready for the possibility that we will be working from home soon.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OoCIO) and Human Resouces will support managers to get their teams ready to work from home.

Advice for managers: getting your team ready

As a manager, there are some steps you must take before your team is ready to work from home.

Assess your teams IT needs

Identify who from your team can work from home and the level of access they need to the HSE network. Prioritise team members who are doing essential work as part of the coronavirus response.

Order devices for your team

Your team may already have a mix of different devices depending on the level of access they need to do their job. After assessing who from your team can work from home, how they will do this, and the level of access they need, the next step is to order devices from OoCIO.

Ordering laptops

If your team has never worked from home then they will need a laptop. HSE laptops are encrypted which means they are secure because they can only be accessed using a password.

If you need less than 5 laptops order here Covid -19 Device Request Online Form

If you need more than 5 laptops email You will receive a form to complete about your team. Try and return this form as quickly as you can.

Ordering mobile devices

When your team are working from home they will need to connect to the HSE network. They may already have a laptop but they can't access the network without a mobile device.

Broadband at home

If a team member has broadband at home then ICT can arrange access for them without the need for a mobile device. This access is granted through a VPN account. OoCIO will arrange this directly with the team member.

If you need more than 5 mobile devices, email bulkorders to OoCIO will deal with your request based on priority and device availability.

If you need less than 5 mobile devices, email your region.

Regional contacts are:



South East


North East

North West


South – Cork University Hospital


Advice for staff

Your manager will take steps to get you the equipment you need to work from home.

OoCIO are procuring laptops to allow people to work from home and you will also need a mobile device to connect to the HSE network.

It may take time to get you the equipment you need. OoCIO are trying to manage the large increase in device requests recently. They are prioritising frontline services at the moment and are making every effort to fast-track coronavirus related requests.

In the meantime, you can take some steps to prepare for working from home.

Reset your password

OoCIO's National Service Desk cannot reset your password while you’re at home. So you must reset your password from the office network before you leave to work from home.

To reset your password

  • hold down CTRL, ALT and Delete together
  • Click on Change a password

Change your password to something that you will remember but that another person won't guess.

A strong password contains a mix of lower and uppercase letters, at least one number, and a symbol. Use a combination of words, for example, muckyboots and substitute some of the letters for numbers, symbols or capital letters, like this mUc&yBo0t5!.

Don't use the word 'Password', your address, date of birth or other information that someone could get from places like your social media accounts.

Once your password is reset you will not need to do this for 3 months.

Tidy up your mailbox

Your mailbox and sub-folders have to sync with the HSE email server several times a day to check for new emails and meeting requests. The larger your mailbox the longer this will take.

So it makes sense to clean up your mailbox and subfolders before you start to work from home.

Try not to use your inbox as a filing cabinet.

When working at home save documents to shared files

Because you are working from home it is important that you save your documents to your shared folder or drive. This will mean that these files are backed up each evening and kept secure.

Don't save files to your desktop, My Documents folder, or any folder you create locally on your laptop. Documents stored in these areas are not backed up.

Help and support

The national service desk is prioritising COVID-19 related queries. When you call the helpdesk press 1 and this will fast-track your call to an operator.

Office of the CIO
Phone: 0818 300 300

If you are in the West, Midwest or North West region you can Log a call via NSD Self Service portal

Vodafone helpdesk
Phone: 1800 808 888

Demo videos

Connecting your HSE laptop to the HSE network using your mobile phone
Connecting your HSE laptop to the HSE network using a MiFi device

Related content

Read HR policy on social distancing in the health sector
Information on minding your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

Related Content

Page last reviewed: 25/03/2020
Next review due: 25/03/2023