Keeping your device germ free | CDC suggestions for working in the office | Technology to support working remotely
The highest priority for Ray Morgan Company is the health and safety of our team members and customers. Ray Morgan Company will continue to follow the recommendations of government health officials.
Based on these recommendations, Ray Morgan Company is continuing to provide the full spectrum of service to our customers including on-site and help desk support.
Should any aspect of our service be impacted by the changing health environment and health official guidance, we will communicate these changes as quickly as possible.
We at the Ray Morgan Company are committed to supporting a safe work environment and ensuring the continuity of our operations even under the most challenging circumstances. The office copiers and printers are a hub of activity in any office. These devices are visited many times per day and touched by many staff members. Just a reminder to keep your output devices clean.
Keeping Your device Germ Free
To transparently communicate our response during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, HP has created the linked PDF to advise on how to keep your devices safe and working optimally. We want customers to have the information they need to effectively clean devices and to assist you in maintaining a healthy work environment.
Times like these remind us all what’s most important in our lives, and Ray Morgan Company is here to support you in any way we can. Like you, we are closely following guidance from public health authorities to mitigate risk. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Below, are the comments taken from the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) website March 15th, 2020 outlining the recommended strategies for employers to use now in their best effort to reduce the spread of the virus. We post this to help clients and their businesses navigate and balance the complexity of running a business during this difficult time.
CDC Suggestions for Working in the Office.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
- Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
- Separate sick employees:
- CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
- Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
- Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning:
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
- Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
- If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.
- Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
RMC Overview of the technology to support telecommuting
As the impacts of COVID-19 continue many organizations are starting to consider options for working remotely. As your partner, we wanted to proactively connect you with technology solutions that are available. Below are several options, please bear in mind that not every option is going to be the right fit for your organization. The correct solution depends on what employees will be working remotely, what applications they will need to use, and how they will be accessing it.
- Features – VPNs allow employees with laptops or other company owned devices to connect through the internet to the corporate network, allowing them to work just as if they were in the office.
- Pros – Mapped drives and other services work normally
- Cons – Some applications (especially database applications) do not perform well over a VPN connection. Requires that VPN software be installed and configured on end user’s device. Not a good option for user’s working with their personal device at home due to security risks.
- Cost – Per user licensing, cost depends on total users needed.
- Training - Contact vCIO
- Features – Good option for users using their personal device to access their work computer as if they were sitting in front of it
- Pros – All applications work normally,
- Cons – Depends on user’s home internet connection, requires installation of a small tool to make the connection. Not an option for an employee who takes their company laptop home (as they would have no place to remote into).
- Cost – Potentially some setup fees depending on quantity of users
- Training - Contact vCIO
Office365 Online – www.office.com *
- *This is only available to those organization with office 365 licensing. If you are unsure or want to learn more about this solution, ask your account manager or vCIO.
- Remotely access email, personal OneDrive and the organization’s SharePoint Online site. Additionally, users are able edit and co-author documents in browser versions of the apps they already know (Word, Excel, Outlook). Using Teams, users can communicate with coworkers via chat or even face to face through video conferencing
- Pros – Included in your subscription, does not require users to install anything on their home computer, and does not require a VPN
- Cons – Users will only be able to access documents that are already in OneDrive or SharePoint
- Cost – included in your Office 365 subscription
- Training - https://support.office.com/
- Teams: https://support.office.com/en-us/teams
Crexendo Cloud Voice over IP Phones*
- *This is only available to those organization with Crexendo phones from RMC. If you are unsure or want to learn more about this solution, ask your account manager or vCIO.
- Crexendo’s cloud-based infrastructure allows users to take home phones and plug them into a network jack. Once connected to the internet they can be used as if in the office. Crexendo also offers a mobile app to install on cell phones. This can allow for use of a business phoneline from home.
- Pros – Flexibility of use.
- Cons – Only available to Crexendo customers.
- Training - https://www.crexendo.com/resources/support/
When considering which of the above options is the best fit for your organization, please consider the following:
1. What do your employees need to access for work?
1. Is it just documents and email?
2. Is there a special application they use?
2. What equipment will your employees use to work (personal/corporate)?
1. Do you want to purchase any equipment for mobile users?
3. Do you have a remote worker acceptable use policy?
Additionally, our helpdesk staff is already prepared to work from home to assist users, however, please understand that we are unable to connect to or troubleshoot issues with personal devices.
Should you have additional concerns or want to have a strategic conversation concerning remote workforce technology please contact your account manager or vCIO.