Brand Story - Build professional skills and healthy habits during the 2020 Get There Challenge Oct. 5-18
COVID-19, social unrest, and wildfires have caused unprecedented disruption to Oregon’s businesses and our daily work life throughout 2020. Get ahead with new mindsets and lessons learned by leveraging this year’s annual 2020 Get There Challenge, running Oct. 5 through Oct. 18. New this year, participants can unlock knowledge and skill-building achievements related to remote work and transportation options—many that can be done from home—to earn badges and points toward weekly and grand prize drawings.
“COVID-19 has revealed new possibilities for how work and business get done,” said Stephanie Millar, Get There program manager at the Oregon Department of Transportation. “One of the most notable standouts is remote work with hybridized operations becoming more a standard practice. The question is now how to do remote work better to boost productivity and performance. Greater remote work proficiency and adoption longer-term (post distancing) can reduce draining daily commute trips and help lessen traffic congestion on an even more sizable scale.”
Millar added, “Many remote workers and businesses are still on a learning curve and could be using better practices and tools to realize greater efficiency. Among the challenges are home office WiFi optimization and security, in addition to staying connected and digital collaboration. Get There and our experts can help.”
Get There is partnering with Comcast Business during this year’s Challenge as its top presenting sponsor to build awareness around how to maximize remote work performance. Included as part of the Get There Challenge is a WiFi optimization achievement, sponsored by Comcast Business, to help improve home office connectivity and productivity.
“Getting the strongest WiFi signal in your home is important as slow speeds can lower your work efficiency and overall productivity. Remote work—especially with kids doing school from home—can put a lot of demand on your home WiFi,” said Tom Hoesing, Director of Sales Engineering at Comcast Business—Oregon/SW Washington. “Video conferencing, accessing private network systems, and using cloud applications and digital tools all require reliable and fast WiFi.”
Hoesing added that optimizing your WiFi can be done following a few simple tips so you can get the most out of it:
• Check the position of your router or gateway—place it in an open, centralized location close to where you use your devices and away from tight spaces like corners.
• Don’t place your router or gateway too close to electronic devices, such as cordless phones, microwaves, or Bluetooth speakers, that can interfere with WiFi signals.
• WiFi is shared between all devices, so the more you have, the more speed you may need.
• Regularly update device software and restart your router or gateway. If you’re using an older device, then it might be time to get a new one.
• Try hardwiring the devices you use the most directly to your router or gateway using an Ethernet cable to get the fastest speeds.
• Use WiFi extenders (one of the weekly prizes sponsored by Comcast Business in the 2020 Get There Challenge) to eliminate spotty WiFi coverage and dead zones.
Along with WiFi optimization Comcast Business advises cybersecurity and data protection to be top priorities for remote workers and their organizations. Phishing attempts and cyberattacks have increased since the mass shift to remote work during the COVID-19 crisis, making proprietary information and data vulnerable.
“Cybersecurity tools like antivirus programs, setting up firewalls, and network security solutions can proactively prevent attacks,” said Hoesing. “However, state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools can be null and void without good security practices like setting up strong passwords and avoiding suspicious emails that contain malware.”
Ultimately, mastering remote work and empowering a distributed workforce necessitates finding the right digital tools that are reliable to stay productive and connected. All kinds of free and paid communication, collaboration, project management, and file and data sharing tools are available today offering different types of functionality and features.
“Video conferencing, online chat, and instant messaging tools keep teams connected and projects on track. Cloud applications enables remote workers to access secured private networks and shared files from almost anywhere,” said Hoesing. “Also, too, collaboration apps, like Microsoft Teams, Amazon Chime, and Slack, put remote teams in constant contact, reduce process cycles, and enhance productivity and innovation.”
The 2020 Get There Challenge, running between Oct. 5 and 18, boasts 20 different remote work and transportation option knowledge and skill-building achievements that participants can unlock to earn badges and points toward weekly and grand prize drawings. Among the prizes are WiFi extenders, Dutch Bros coffee, Hydro Flask bottles, and Oregon E-Bikes, Black Star Bags, and Ruffwear gift cards. Anyone age 18 or older who lives and/or works in Oregon can join the Get There Challenge at any time, Oct. 5-18, by visiting GetThereOregon.org.
Brand stories are paid content articles that allow Oregon Business advertisers to share news about their organizations and engage with readers on business and public policy issues. The stories are produced in house by the Oregon Business marketing department. For more information, contact associate publisher Courtney Kutzman.