Our Commitment to You
At Wilkes Communications, we are committed to the well-being of our customers, our employees, and our community. We continue to actively monitor developments related to coronavirus (COVID-19) we want to assure you that we are taking all necessary health and safety precautions in accordance with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and local and state health officials for both our customers and employees.
Our network and communications services are crucial to the communities we serve in not only keeping you informed but allowing the social distancing required to slow down the spread of the virus through the population. Our work is essential to protecting public health and we have plans in place to continue to provide these services for the communities where we live and work.
Maintaining Network Reliability
Our advanced communications network will ensure that our more than customers – including government offices, first responders, health care facilities, and businesses – maintain the connectivity they rely on. We will prioritize internet repair services for those who currently work, or are being asked to work, from home and for students who need to complete coursework.
We’re committed to serving our valued customers and ensuring they maintain reliable access to the online resources and information they want and need. To ease the strain in this challenging time, we have opened several WiFi hotspots in the communities we serve.
Customer and Employee Safety
We have made the necessary decision to close our lobbies to the public. We have technology that will allow us to continue to serve you and still provide you the exceptional service you expect. As always, we welcome your calls. Payments can be made by phone or by visiting our website. We will strive to provide the highest level of care and support possible while balancing the safety needs of our customers and employees.
Construction and installation appointments have resumed, with extra precautions to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers.
We understand that we play an extremely important role in our communities during situations like this, and we’re committed to doing our very best to support our customers, employees, and communities throughout this challenging time. Should you have greater connectivity needs to meet work from home requirements, please contact our office. We are committed to continually monitoring our overall bandwidth demands and, if the need arises, we will make all possible attempts to provide more bandwidth to meet increased demand.
We appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate this quickly changing situation. We wish for good health and safety for all.
Access to Wi-Fi hotspots for students, educators, and employees who may not have connectivity while at home
Tips for Working from Home
While some are more familiar with working from home, we recognize many of you may be new to working from home while we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. To help you be successful while working from home, we’ve compiled these tips to help you stay productive, set expectations, and have some fun.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness: You know what they say, cleanliness is next to godliness. Now more than ever, personal hygiene is important. Even though you are at home, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly is crucial. While there are many guides out there on proper handwashing techniques, these two are some of our favorites. Also, did you know, your cell phone has 10x more germs than a toilet seat? So, while you’re washing your hands, consider washing your phone, too. Here is a handy article on some ways to go about disinfecting your phone.
- Give yourself structure. Sure, working from can be awesome. Working in your PJs and all that. But that said, it is important to treat a work from home scenario as though you are working from your office. We recommend you wake up early and go through your routine as though you are preparing to go in. Get showered and dressed (no one wants to see you in your PJs, regardless of how cute they are). Similarly, we recommend taking your usual short breaks and lunch break like you would normally. This structure will help you keep your regular rhythm and keep your day from getting away from you.
- Have a dedicated workspace. Working from home allows you to have a more mobile office than you might be used to. Suddenly working from your bed, your kitchen table, or your couch all seems enticing. However, setting up a designated workspace will help you eliminate distractions and stay focused during your office hours. There’s nothing worse than working from your kitchen table with a pile of dirty dishes staring at you. Trust us.
- Have a reliable internet and phone connection. Being and staying connected while working from home is paramount. We recommend running an internet speed test to assure you are able to maintain productivity with a number of new devices being connected on your home network. If not, call your provider and see what they can do—many internet and phone providers are waiving data charges or running promotions to help you and your kids work productively from home.
- Be available and set expectations. Working from home means you should still be working your normal office hours, even if you aren’t in your normal office environment. Set expectations with your team around your availability and make it clear when and how people can best get ahold of you. Phone calls, text messages, instant messaging, emails, and video conferencing are powerful ways to stay connected with your team during this time. We recommend using a video conferencing tool like Zoom to stay connected in a “face-to-face” format (just don’t forget to mute your audio when you aren’t talking). An instant messaging tool like Slack is a great way to communicate with your team via direct instant messages or group messages.
- Check-in with each other. Working from home is not always easy on everyone and your team may be struggling with uncertainty, loneliness, workload, or more. Now is the time to be a good neighbor—reach out and check in with your team.
- Get a good playlist. Matching your playlist to your task at hand can be a great way to get motivated, stay focused, and conquer your task list. We recommend Metallica and Mozart.
- Maintain your mental health. Working from home and social distancing can be hard. Maintaining your mental health is important for creativity, productivity, and overall wellbeing. Check out this list of ways to support your mental health during COVID-19. We like the idea of getting out in nature, reaching out to venerable neighbors, and being grateful.
- Plan activities for your kids. If you are like us in Oregon, schools are temporarily shut down as a means to slow the spread of COVID-19. Working from home with littles can be challenging. We recommend planning activities to keep your kids entertained so you can remain productive. Here are a few resources to check out: a. Outschool is offering classes for free for kids affected by the shutdown: b. If you have kids or grandkids in kindergarten – 8th grade at home, this is an excellent free math resource during the pandemic. Thanks, Dreambox Learning! c. Check out this survival guide for being stuck at home with your kids. d. Or this INDY’SCHILD article on 70 fun things to do with your kid while we are all stuck at home! e. Disney+ added Frozen 2 to its lineup three months earlier than expected and is now available for streaming.
- Stay educated. There is a LOT of information out there and it can be hard to follow what is happening. Staying informed is crucial to your health and safety so we recommend checking in (and sharing, when appropriate) resources with your team on new developments in your area. We recommend following sites like the CDC’s Coronavirus page or the World Health Organization’s page to stay aware.
Making the Transition to Remote Learning
Free WiFi Hospots
Optimize Your Internet Connection
Check out these tips to optimize your internet and the get the most of your internet connection: View here
Creative Ways to Use the Internet
Chef Michael Symon is offering daily dinner tutorials via the Food Network Kitchen’s Facebook page. Each video also features a link to the recipe. https://www.facebook.com/FoodNetworkKitchen
Musical groups are streaming live “virtual” shows. NPR compiled this list, sorted by date and then genre. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown
Artist at Heart Paint Party is using Facebook Live daily at 12 pm to teach free art classes. Previous daily videos are stored under “Videos.” https://www.facebook.com/ArtistAtHeartPaintParty/
People are watching Netflix content together through Netflix Party. The service syncs up the streaming playback at different locations and includes group chat so you can comment as if you’re in the room together. https://www.netflixparty.com/
Museums and parks are offering free virtual tours. Southern Living compiled a guide. https://www.southernliving.com/syndication/museums-with-virtual-tours
Many gyms and other fitness outlets are offering free online classes and daily physical challenges. Planet Fitness is offering free classes on Facebook Live at 7 pm for anyone. https://www.facebook.com/planetfitness.
Popular Streaming Options
- Netflix. The first is still one of the most popular. Netflix provides movies and TV series to stream, with content varying over time. Netflix is also known for its original content, including popular shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Stranger Things. Netflix costs between $8.99-$15.99 per month.
- Hulu. Hulu focuses on the latest broadcast television episodes, as well as their own original content. Hulu costs between $5.99-$12.99 per month. Hulu also offers a service that lets you stream about 60 channels of live TV, and costs $54.99 per month.
- YouTube TV. As long as we’re talking about live TV… YouTube offers one of the most comprehensive streaming services for live television. It offers more than 70 channels of content, including local channels that vary depending on your location. YouTube TV costs $49.99 per month.
- Sling TV. Sling TV is another offering that lets you watch live TV. Sling has two separate packages—Sling Orange (30+ channels, $20) and Sling Blue (45+ channels, $30)—with different channel lineups.
- Amazon Prime Video. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video offers movies and TV shows, as well as some original content. The service comes free for users who already have Amazon Prime, or $8.99 per month if you just want the video service.
Designing At Home Remote Learning Spaces
As schools around the world respond to COVID-19, it’s important to set up a space for remote learning. This keeps all kids in a routine, even when they’re not in school. Learn more here