Over the last few weeks, we have provided information on how to make sure you don’t fall for any Coronavirus Scams. You can read those articles here and here.
One way to keep a close eye on potential scams is to actively monitor the information on your credit report.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The purpose of the FCRA is to promote the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA for credit reporting companies.
As a response to COVID-19, all three credit reporting agencies are now offering free weekly online reports through April 2021.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a grand experiment with remote working. One of the problems is maintaining communication and collaboration among team members.
Email is a very cumbersome and unproductive way to communicate with team members. It is slow and hard to keep track of multiple conversations and conversation threads.
Several platforms have been created over the last few years that attempt to solve this problem.
One example is Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft has spent many resources over the last few years enhancing their Microsoft Teams collaboration platform. It is a tool your agency should consider adding. One reason is Teams are included as part of the Office 365 (recently renamed Microsoft 365) subscription.
One of the hardest things to get used to when you work from home is not having two 20-inch monitors connected to your computer. Transitioning to a single 14-inch laptop screen can be, shall we just say, limiting.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
If you have an iPad around the house – either an old one or one you can use during the day – then you can use it as a second monitor. It is not the same as your office setup, but it is helpful and better than nothing.
You will need a software program called Duet.
I have been working remotely for quite a while. Because of my extensive travel schedule (at least before this month!), I have learned how to get work done just about anywhere. While I do maintain a separate office a few blocks from my home, I have also been working from home more than ever for the last few weeks.
A large number of people are working from home for the first time and have discovered that the home can be full of distractions. Many are bombarded with the cacophony of TV, family members, pets, sirens, and so on — it’s way too easy to get distracted and lose your motivation.
Reducing Background Noise
To maintain my productivity, I use technology to block out unwanted noises. Krisp is a tool I have used for several months that helps reduce background noise. A version of the program is available for Windows, Macintosh, and iOS. I have it installed on my Windows laptop and my iOS mobile phone.
The app uses machine learning to identify and then silence various types of background noises you may hear at home. The program allows your voice and the voices of others to come through clearly.
Karen and I were asked to contribute the article below for a special coronavirus issue of WorkLife. The magazine is the work of the Workplace Mental Health Institute founded by my friends Emi Golding and Peter Diaz. I wrote the foreword to their excellent book Mental Wealth.
Leading in Crisis
In times of crisis and uncertainty, we all know that leaders must communicate – and communicate well.
Amazon has over 700,000 employees all over the world. On March 21, 2020, Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, sent a letter to all their employees.
So what did Jeff Bezos say to them and is there a “template” we can follow to communicate with our teams, employees, and followers?