Computer Laboratory

Information for new arrivals

Procedures for reception staff


There are 3 switchboard phones in reception for taking and transferring calls.

To take a call:
If the phone itself rings, just pick up the receiver, however, if another phone in the reception area rings, pick up the receiver and press the reception button.

When answering the phone, let the caller know they have reached the Computer Laboratory.

To tranfer a call:

  • Press the Conf and Transfer button
  • Dial the required extension (see the staff phone list)
  • If the extension is answered:
    • Annouce the callers name and press Conf and Transfer again to transfer the call.
  • If there is no answer to the extension:
    • Press the arrow symbol button (bottom left, usually flashing) to return to the caller

If an outside caller rings an extension, but it is not answered, it will automatically transfer to reception after a few rings.
Please take a message and either leave in the appropriate pigeonhole, or give the message personally if it is urgent.

Room booking

You need to be on the room booking system, so that bookings can be entered into the booking database, to avoid clashes.
Rooms are generally only booked by departmental members and is done for free. For more information visit the reception page.

If you are not on the room booking system, contact the system administrators.

Writing letters

You will need to set up a letterhead, or at least be able to find and use one that already exists.
To find letterhead templates you should find a deptadmin icon on the desktop.
If not, you can find them by clicking on Start, Run and type the following:


You can create your own letter head and save it here.
If you have any queries, please ask a colleague in reception.

Email signatures

To create an email signature in your emails, follow the Outlook signatures FAQ.

Your signature should include the following information:

Who you are: i.e. Reception
Reception telephone number
Reception email address

Access card and keys for staff and students

You will need to apply for an access card for new students and staff from Computing Services, and also inform Robin Fairbairns. For more information, please ask for assistance from a colleague in your office.

When the access card has arrived, contact sys-admin to request phone, desk and office details. (This does not apply for short-term visitors).

Keys and cards are issued to students when they arrive.
The keys are kept in the reception safe.
Please ask a colleague how you get access to the safe if you need to distribute keys.

Phone list

The phone list contains all students and staff, but not visitors, unless they are long term visitors who are allocated a telephone.

The policy is:

  • Reception requests a phone when they have issued the access card and office keys.
  • Sys-admin set up the phone and then email that number to reception
  • Reception add these details to the phone list

The reverse happens when reception are informed that a student or staff member is leaving, to ensure an up-to-date phonelist.


Royal mail is delivered every morning.
You will need to sort the post into the pigeonholes (allocated to staff and PhD students) when it arrives.

If you receive any post which needs a signature, sign for it and then send an email to advise the recipient that their mail has arrived and is in reception.
DO NOT leave post which has been signed for in a pigeonhole.

The University mailing service (UMS) has collections twice a day (around 11:00 am and 4: 00 pm).

Franking machine

The franking machine is used for all post, rather than the use of stamps.
Staff and students who do not have their own stamps can have their post franked, but it must be paid for at time of franking.

There is a post weighing machine which calculates 1st and 2nd class post, and post for overseas. Ensure that you charge correctly for packets and large letters so they comply with new Royal Mail sizing guides.

The information which is printed on the labels needs to be changed daily.

You will need to check there is sufficent credit. If credit is low, request a cheque from accounts and post to Royal Mail. Leave for a few days to allow time for it to arrive, and then add the credit to the machine.

Ask a colleague in your office for more help if required


The pigeonholes are arranged as follows:

Column 1 - Roles and responsibilities:
Accounts, Alumni Association, Building Maintenance, Head of Department, Library, Reception, Stores, Student Administration

Columns 2 – 14 Named pigeonholes for all staff

Columns 15 – 20

Alphabetical by initial of surname, for research students and visitors

  • Aa–Am
  • An–Az
  • Ba–Bh
  • Bi–Bq
  • Br–Bz
  • Ca–Ch
  • Ci–Cq
  • Cr–Cz
  • etc.


The Reception webpage lists the office opening times.

Coffee breaks are at 10:30 and 15:30
Lunch break is 13:00 to 14:00
(except Thursday, when it is between 12:15 and 13:15).

Unmanned office

Make sure the notice is up to inform visitors to either go to the Student Administration window, use the phone, or ring the bell.

Reception facilities

Within Reception the following facilites exist for Lab staff and student to use:

  • Fax machine
  • Laminator
  • Scanner
  • Guillotine
  • Large paper punch
  • Binding machine – binding-machine instructions for the library, which are basically the same processes
  • Bike tool box (a bigger and more complete toolbox is located in the in the bike store opposite reception)


You should only need to handle money when people are paying for postage for personal letters, or if people are purchasing maps. If unsure, ask a colleague.


The reception database is used to store information concering staff, students and visitors to the lab.
Inputing this information then generates other tasks, such as the issuing of keys and access cards.

Keeping the database up-to-date is important as it is the tool used to find relevant information concerning information about people here at the lab, such as:

  • Their status i.e. new, course completed, contract staff, full or part time staff
  • Office number
  • Visitor host details
  • Start and departure dates

You will need specific training on the database. Please ask a colleague if this has not already been arranged for you.