This website is for City employees.

All City facilities are currently closed for walk-in service.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for Staff Resources

Working Remotely

Tech support during this time will be available remote only, except for emergencies. Tech support is not able to fix hardware issues with personal computers or resolve home internet connection problems. While working remotely, please remember:

  • Do not store sensitive, confidential, or original data on your personal computer
  • Do not sync OneDrive with your personal computer

Common Questions

  1. Open a web browser and go to: https://portal.office.com 
  2. Enter your City Username: FirstL@cityofsanrafael.org (e.g. Luke Skywalker, user name lukes@cityofsanrafael.org), or badge number @ srpd.org 
  3. Enter the same password use on your desktop computer at work.
  4. A successful logon should look like this:
    • O365 login screen
  5. Click on the Outlook icon to open the Mail application. 
  6. Additional resources for helping with Outlook and other O365 products available here: https://support.office.com/en-us/office-training-center 

You need to know your phone extension and voicemail password. 

  1. From any phone, dial (415) 485-3456.
  2. Follow the voice prompt.

When you schedule a meeting in O365 Calendar, you can make it a conference call and/or video meeting by making it a “Teams” meeting. This will provide meeting participants with a link and/or a phone number to join the meeting remotely. Here are step-by-step instructions. Everyone has the ability to create a Teams meeting, but only some users have the ability to create a meeting with a phone number. If you think you need this function, talk to your supervisor.

Teams video meetings work best on your phone or computer if you download the application, but meeting participants don’t need it. If someone doesn’t have the Teams application, they can still participate by phone by dialing the number in the meeting invite or by opening the link in a web browser. You can invite anonymous people to a video meeting by sending them a link to the Teams meeting. They can join without the application through a web browser. More information about joining a Teams meeting 

Tips 

  • Download the desktop app for full functionality and features.
  • Doing this for the first time? Practice scheduling and participating in a video call with a colleague. Invite them for a virtual coffee tomorrow and see how this whole thing works. 
  • Don’t use Teams when on VPN or Remote Desktop; your camera and microphone won’t work.
  • Mute yourself when you’re not talking and there are a lot of people on a video call. Use non-verbal cues like thumbs up or raising your hand if you have a question. 
  • If using a computer, you’ll need a device with a camera and a microphone.
  • Use video whenever it’s possible. It helps you connect and reminds us that we’re humans! But, if you are having bandwidth or connection issues, turning off your video during the call will help.

For security purposes, we are requiring employees working from home to set up multifactor authentication (MFA) on a mobile device. This will protect the City network from cyberthreats.  

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security measure that verifies a user’s identity through multiple ways. When you sign onto the City network, you will receive a notification from your mobile device. Once you press the Verify button, your sign on will be complete. If you don’t confirm by pressing Verify, the sign on will be denied. This protects against someone using your sign on credentials to access the City network. Unless they have your phone too, our network stays safe. To enable this, we first need you to complete the Emergency Operations Wireless Policy waiver.

Here are the MFA set up instructions. If you need assistance, contact Xantrion at (510) 272-4701.

To support working from home, we are using a solution called Remote Desktop. This will allow you to access the City’s network drives and common software systems from your home computer. You will be able to use most, if not all, of the software you are used to including all the Microsoft products, Eden, Trakit, HdL, Quadrant, and more.

If you are an existing VPN user, please use Remote Desktop instead as it requires less bandwidth and is more secure. We will be turning off VPN access on Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m.

Here’s what you need to do:

First, for security reasons, you will need to set up multifactor authentication (MFA) on your mobile device. This will protect the City network from cyberthreats. Here are the set-up instructions. If you need assistance, contact Xantrion at (510) 272-4701.

Next, go to https://remote.cityofsanrafael.org to get access to Remote Desktop for Windows computers. Here are the set-up instructions for Windows computers.

If you need help – call (510) 272-4701 and a Xantrion technician will walk you through it.

A few notes:

  • Not all employees have access to Remote Desktop at this time. If you did not receive an email letting you know that you have access and think need it to perform your job, talk to your supervisor.
  • To use Remote Desktop, you will need a computer and internet access. Tech support is not able to fix hardware issues with personal computers or resolve home internet connection issues.
  • When using video conferencing like Teams, do not use Remote Desktop. Your camera and microphone will not work.

Xantrion can assist with forwarding calls from your desk line to another number. You can email them or call (510) 272-4701.

Microsoft has resources online to help you use Teams.

We also have a San Rafael-specific tutorial for using Microsoft Teams to conduct meetings.

This video goes over :

  1. How to install and access Teams
  2. How to set up a Teams meeting
  3. How to Join a Teams meeting
  4. Meeting etiquette and tips
  5. Chatting
  6. Teams conversations in Channels

 

Cybersecurity

Reports of cybersecurity threats have increased due to COVID-19. This includes phishing emails that try to get you to click on links related to coronavirus vaccines, medical equipment and supplies, and investment opportunities. These attempts are targeting people working remotely using phrases like “Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you’re safe.” Some threats include messages claiming to provide VPN and remote desktop software, and others impersonate government agencies.

Please be hypervigilant during this time. Do not click on links from unknown people and only download or install software from Xantrion.

As part of our remote work program, we will be requiring users to set up multifactor authentication for added security. During remote work set-up you will be provided with instructions. To set this up, you will need to complete the Emergency Operations Wireless Policy waiver.

Remote Work Culture

Zak working from home

“Social distancing is not disconnecting.” – Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Health Officer

Working remotely can present a big change to your team dynamic. While working from home, you may be trying new things for the first time like conference calls, video meetings, and collaborative technology tools. In addition to new technology, it’s also a different way of working with each other. Here are some tips for building an effective remote work culture.

Pro Tips for Working in Distributed Teams

  • Start each day with a video call with your team. Have each person briefly say what they did yesterday, what they are doing today, and if anything is blocking them.
  • Turn your video on; it will help you connect with each other and is also conducive to using non-verbal cues like thumbs up if you are muted.
  • Let your team know when you available and unavailable by keeping your calendar up-to-date.
  • Start meetings on time out of respect to the punctual.
  • Create agendas in collaborative documents that everyone has access to. Allow people to add things to the agenda and take notes in it.
  • THINK before you send emails. Check the “to” and “cc” lines to make sure they are right. Update the subject line to keep it relevant.
  • Make time for social connections. Have virtual coffee with a colleague in the morning! Schedule a weekly social call with your team.

Adapted from: Quickly Shifting to Distributed Teams in Government webinar

Tips for effective remote meetings

  • Prepare an agenda (including meeting goals) and share it in advance. Remind everyone the purpose of the meeting.
  • Invite the right number of people. The more people in a remote meeting, the harder it is to manage.
  • If you are not talking – please for the love of the universe, mute yourself.
  • Ask everyone to introduce themselves on the call. If it’s not a video call, remember they can’t see each other.
  • It’s OK to allow for a little small talk at the start. As we work remotely, it’s hard to feel connected to each other.
  • Encourage participation and engagement but facilitate so only one person speaks at a time.
  • After the meeting, send a follow-up with any action items and who they are assigned to.

Adapted from: 16 Secrets of Engaging Remote Meetings

Virtual Work Skills

Here are some things to think about and discuss with your colleagues to ensure successful remote collaboration.

  • Agree on how you will communicate for different types of things. For example, email works well for simple, non-urgent matters but it’s better to use a Microsoft Teams video meeting when something is complex and you want to share your screen. Texting is good for an urgent request, but overuse can be overwhelming.
  • Agree on best times to connect and establish regular check-ins, using a Microsoft Teams video meeting if possible.
  • Agree on how to share and collaborate on documents. Using O365 you can share documents and work in them together concurrently. This can be more efficient than saving and sending files over email.
  • Be responsive, take initiative, and communicate periodically with updates. Do your best to not let requests fall through the cracks as that can erode trust. If you can’t do something that’s being asked of you, communicate that.
  • Ask people how they are doing and don’t forget there is a social element to work, too. Connect by video when possible and remember we are still all humans!

Adapted from: The Virtual Work Skills You Need (Harvard Business Review)

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