April 10, 2020
COVID Crisis Cutting Across… Everything
Governor's House takes part in #LightItBlue Campaign to express gratitude for healthcare workers and essential personnel during
COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo Source: @GovLarryHogan
The COVID-19 public health crisis continues to dominate news headlines and the world of public services. This week, the Comptroller issued his first estimate of the effects on state revenues – a sobering $2.8 billion in potential write-down from prior estimates. A third week of enormous growth in unemployment claims reinforced the impression that the crisis has both health and fiscal consequences. State analysts are reviewing the potential Maryland effects of federal emergency assistance, while federal policy leaders already publicly eye further efforts. Conduit Street continues to offer ongoing coverage of this unparalleled crisis.

Conduit Street Podcast Corner:
On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast , Alex Butler joins Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson to discuss the fate of the "bag ban" bill from the 2020 legislative session. We also discuss the surprising connection between the bill and the COVID-19 pandemic.

HB 209/ SB 313 - Plastic Bag Reduction Act , would have prohibited retailers from providing customers with certain plastic carryout bags and required retailers to collect 10 cents for every “durable bag” they provide. However, the bill would also have needlessly preempted incoming or already established bag ban programs in Baltimore City and Howard and Montgomery Counties and in practice prohibit any other county from establishing such a program.
Listen to any Conduit Street Podcast Episode: www.mdcounties.org/Podcast
Counties In Action
County Thanks Residents for Donating Cloth Masks to First Responders and Volunteers
Residents Thank Transit Workers Providing Transport for Essential Workers & Medical Appointments
Organizations in Talbot & Dorchester Counties Unite to Feed Frontline Employees & Support Local Business

Corporate Partner Corner

MACo's Platinum Corporate Partner World Wide Technology (WWT) , has released a series of tips to enable remote workers to be successful during the current shutdown and beyond.

For years, large enterprises have been seeing the rise of the remote worker. We tend to think of this trend in terms of culture. For instance, millennials and Generation Z prioritize the ability to work from home far greater than their baby boomer peers. Rarely, however, is remote work discussed in the context of business continuity. 

The coronavirus shows us that any knowledge worker — regardless of age, work-life preference or company position — must be able to do his or her job from home successfully.

By examining four pillars of remote work and their associated tools and strategies, we can begin to answer this question.


Meetings can’t come to a halt during a global crisis. In fact, they will spike.

Not only will suddenly remote employees need to be in a lot of meetings, but I believe that enabling video for these meetings is one of the best ways we can connect on a personal level even though personal contact is restricted.

Implementation tips
  • Encourage use of existing enterprise video conferencing investments.
  • Discourage use of departments purchasing video conferencing solutions on corporate credit cards.
  • Take advantage of enterprise-scale vendors like Webex and Zoom that are lifting restrictions on free versions of their products, and in the case of Webex, offering free 90-day licenses.
  • Invest in end-user adoption. You can buy meeting licenses, but if remote workers don’t know how to access features, they can easily become frustrated and disengaged from your video conferencing platform.

Team collaboration tools

When employees shift to working from home full time, the inability to turn to a colleague for advice or to bounce ideas back and forth can be isolating. It’s essential to give employees a team collaboration platform in which they can share their knowledge and collaborate as seamlessly as possible.

Implementation tips
  • Leverage enterprise buying agreements for the most cost-effective models.
  • Understand your organization’s security posture to avoid risk or data loss.
  • Discourage small teams from using free versions of software through personal accounts.
  • Tap into existing expertise. Chances are groups of employees have already embraced these tools. Allow them to coach peers who are just getting started.
  • Reduce the number of tools to limit confusion.
  • Understand how these tools act both in and outside of your organization. Some tools may not be as good as others when interacting with those outside of your business.

For more tips on helping your team work remotely, visit World Wide Technology's website .

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