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Before you do anything, read our best practices for making distributed teams work.

How do I…

Set up my computer?

TTS employees receive a MacBook and an iPhone from GSA, though you may not receive your work phone on your first day.

On your first day at work you should configure things so that your two-factor authentication (2FA) codes—which you’ll occasionally need to connect to GSA’s virtual private network (VPN)—are delivered to your cell phone. If you don’t receive your work cell phone on day one, you’ll need to use your personal phone. If you do not configure 2FA you will not be able to access your email from outside of federal buildings.

See the Equipment page for more about how to set up 2FA so you can receive GSA 2FA codes on your cell phone.

Get a one-time password?

To get a one time password (OTP, required for logging in to some systems), you can either:

Listen to and participate in the weekly Tuesday all-hands meeting?

We use a videocall for our all-hands meetings. Instructions are in the calendar event details.

Visit another GSA building?

Your badge should work in other GSA buildings. Kathryn Connolly can submit paperwork to get permission for you to enter the NYC, Chicago, or D.C. buildings, which will take a few days. After you receive an email confirmation, visit the security office in that new building to activate your card.

Connect to the GSA network remotely?

See Logging in & Networks for details.

Get my laptop repaired?

First, go to #teamops for advice. They will likely either ask you to take it to an Apple Store (TTS will pay for the repairs), or ship it back to TTS (we’ll ship you a new laptop).

Tether to my GSA phone?

Apple’s instructions are here.

What supplies do distributed employees receive?

GSA provides remote workers with a laptop and phone but does not provide monitors, desk chairs, or office products.

What advice do your distributed colleagues have?

From Peter Karman and Becky Sweger:

Keeping in touch

Work-life balance

From Julia Elman:

MEET EVERYONE! The TTS team is filled with amazingly kind and talented people. Don’t be shy, and get to know everyone! Learn about what projects are going on, see what interests you, and go for it.”

Schedule virtual teas with your colleagues via Google Hangout, just to say hello. “You can also Hangout with colleagues and work on projects — sometimes it’s just nice to see or hear someone,” she says.

From Greg Boone:

Stay active! Ride a bike or go for a walk every day. I try to hit the trails for about 40 minutes over lunch. It cuts into my sit-down-and-eat lunchtime but it’s worth it to get away from my desk and refresh my view.

Get or convert an existing piece of furniture into a stand up desk. Even if you don’t use it all day, every day, having an alternative work surface can be really refreshing. Also, if you have a newish iMac at home, you can use the Thunderbolt port to turn it into a second monitor.