RiceBelt Coronavirus Message

Free WiFI

Due to extended school closings, we have decided to open up free WIFI so that students will have the much needed access to the internet in order to complete their school work. We know this weather is making it hard to stay cooped up, so please use this service to download books to tablets as well to help ease the boredom. We urge you all to PLEASE remain in your vehicles and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene practices.

Weiner residents will be able to access the service at the Rice Festival building, while Waldenburg and Fisher residents will be able to gain access in their local City Hall parking lots. Please be respectful of these business and don’t loiter or congregate. These services are only being offered as long as everyone is capable of following the only rule we ask of you. STAY IN YOUR VEHICLES.

We care about keeping our community and everyone in it safe. We are urging you all to please follow the CDC guidelines to hopefully contain the COVID-19 virus.

We’re in this together.
We’re here for you.

We have hope that we will get through this time as quickly and peacefully as possible. Should you have any questions or concerns call 879-684-2288 and we will do our best to help you. Our office is closed to the public, but we are still here and willing to help!

An important message from Rice Belt:
As we collectively navigate the uncertainties of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the effects of this on our lives, businesses, and families, we want you to know that you can rely on Rice Belt’s commitment to service to keep you connected to what matters most.

While you focus on addressing the needs of your families, employees, and businesses, our teams will be working hard to ensure that your network, internet, and telephone services remain up and running at the level of service you have come to know and expect from Rice Belt.

Our commitment to you, and all customers, is one we take very seriously. As a company that supports critical infrastructure, such as 911 service, we have developed a solid plan to prioritize the continued operations of our network, while taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. Our teams remain confident in our ability to provide safe and reliable service to every customer.

We are here to answer questions and provide support should you have any additional needs, or specific concerns, during this time.

We are closely monitoring the coronavirus and are following the current guidance from leading government and health authorities to ensure we are taking the right actions to protect our customers, employees, and the communities that we serve. This includes a commitment from each of our employees to:
• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly
• Wear protective gear when in your home or business (gloves, foot coverings, masks if required)
• Avoid contact with potentially sick people
• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
• Stay home if they are feeling sick
• Check-in with supervisors each morning to discuss their current state of healthWe hope that you, your friends, colleagues, and family are all safe and remain well during this time.

As you continue to focus on taking care of your families and businesses, you can rest assured that Rice Belt has your connectivity needs covered – as we have since 1953.

Thank you for your business and continued loyalty.

10 Tips for Working from Home in a COVID-19 Environment

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.

  1. 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 important. While there’s 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.
  2. 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 into the office. Get showered and dressed (no one wants to see you in your PJs, regardless of how cute they are). Similarly, we recommend take short breaks and a lunch break like you would as though you were in the office. This structure will help you keep your normal rhythm and keep your day from getting away from you.
  3. 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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Be available and set expectations. Working from home means you should still be working during 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 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.
  6. Check in with each other. Working from home is not always easy on everyone and your team may be struggling with uncertainty, loneliness, their workload, or more. Now is the time to be a good neighbor—reach out and check in, and check on, your team.
  7. 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.
  8. Maintain your mental health. Working from home and social distancing can be hard. Maintaining your mental health is important for creativity, productivity, and your overall well-being. 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 of course, being (and demonstrating) gratefulness.
  9. 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 (or pets) 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:
    1. Outschool is offering classes for free for kids affected by the shutdown:
    2. 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!
    3. Check out this survival guide for being stuck at home with your kids.
    4. Disney+ added Frozen 2 to its lineup three months earlier than expected and is now available for streaming.
  10. 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 or that affect your organization. We recommend following sites like the CDC’s Coronavirus page or the World Health Organization’s page to stay aware.

We hope this time for you working from home is safe and productive. And once you’re done working for the day, check out this list of shows to binge watch while stuck inside.

Rice Belt building