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

Welcome to remote work life. We hope this information helps you adjust, connect, and do great work!

Tech Support

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

Departments are responsible for purchasing their own webcams, so you will need to talk to your supervisor or whoever is in charge of your department’s purchasing.

Here are the specifications we recommend:

  • Be compatible with Windows 10
  • Connection type should be USB
  • Have a built-in mic
  • The maximum resolution should be between: 720p/30fps – 1080p/30fps
  • Have a privacy cover
  • Include clip to hold webcam in place

Xantrion’s webcam vendor recommendation is Logitech and the recommend model is C920S, however most vendors are backordered due to increased demand.

After your regular email signature, please add the following:

As a result of the County Public Health Order to Stay At Home, the City of San Rafael will be offering only essential services and City offices will be closed to general walk-in customer service until further notice. For questions about City services, as well as updates and resources visit www.cityofsanrafael.org/coronavirus

While many of us are working remote – we are still working and responding to email during business hours. Please do not use out-of-office replies unless you are taking leave and truly not working.

  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

 

Emergency Operations Center

The Emergency Operations Center is activated and working remote. All shared documents (schedules, working files, guides, etc.) can be found in the EOC SharePoint. The EOC is using Microsoft Teams to conduct video meetings and have conversations within the various sections.

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.

Working from Home Securely

Now is a good time to think about the passwords you use. If you’re using simple passwords like “lovely” or “password1” it’s a good time to upgrade them to more secure passwords. Length is more important than complexity, though both have a role. Your password should be at least 14 characters long, and not an English word or your dog’s name. Consider using a phrase like a favorite song lyric, movie quote, or poem to create a password that’s long and complex but easy to remember.

Now, more than ever, resist the temptation to use unapproved tools or store data outside of company resources. If you need something you don’t have in order to get your job done, ask
Xantrion or escalate through your management chain. It’s entirely possible that you’ll discover systems that don’t work well when you’re not at the office. Now is the perfect time to let us know so you can work through those issues together.

Be alert for phishing emails. Criminals try to take advantage of fear and uncertainty by sending email that appears to be from authorities, or company officers, in an attempt to lure you into
clicking on malicious links, or providing your private information.

Never click an attachment you weren’t expecting, even if it appears to be from somebody you know. Always best to check back with that person to make sure the attachment is legitimate before you open it.

If you get an email asking you to sign into a site, open a new tab in your browser and type the URL in yourself (or access it via a trusted bookmark) rather than clicking a link in the email.

Pick a space that’s private. Select a place where people can’t “shoulder surf”; look over your shoulder at what’s on your screen.
If you can’t find a private place to work, consider getting a privacy filter. This is a shield, of sorts, that attaches to your screen and makes it difficult to read what’s on your screen unless you’re
right in front of it.

If you’re having conference calls or video meetings, be aware of whether other people might be able to eavesdrop, even inadvertently. Even if (sometimes especially if) you’re wearing
headphones. Other people may still be able to hear your voice when you speak. Make sure you’re using video meeting software with advanced security features like Microsoft Teams.

Don’t allow family members to use your work devices. If you have to walk away from your device to go to the kitchen or bathroom, lock your device to prevent others from seeing what you’re
working on.

Press Windows logo key + L on a Windows device, or Control + Command + Q on a Mac, to quickly lock your screen.

If you are using personal devices to work from home, we don’t have the same capabilities to make sure you are secure. Follow these basic steps to help ensure you are working from secure equipment.

  • Change your router’s default password. This will ensure that the configurations you make like enabling Wi-Fi encryption and setting a strong password will stay put.
  • Only use encrypted Wi-Fi for business. Wi-Fi encrypted with WPA-2 is more secure than Wi-Fi that is open for all to access. If you’re working from home, make sure your home Wi-Fi network is secured – all home routers support encryption. Learn more
  • Use a modern browser and make sure you’re running the latest version.
  • Make sure your device is up-to-date on security updates and that you have an antimalware program, like Windows Defender, actively running. Learn more
  • Whenever possible use the web version of your apps, such as Word, Outlook, or Excel. Another benefit to storing your files in a secure cloud location is that when you use the web version of apps your data stays on the server and isn’t downloaded to your local device. Learn more
  • Store your files in a secure cloud location rather than on a local drive or removable media. Secure cloud storage, such as SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, means that even if your physical device is lost or stolen, your data is still available to you and your company. Learn more

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.

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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