Lynxx Networks serves business customers from Mauston to La Crosse, and in every community in between. That accounts for 350 business customers along a 70-mile stretch of I-90. To help meet the needs of our existing customers, in addition to serving our growing customer base, Customer Technology Consultants Karla Krause and Katie Kopplin have joined Network Services Engineer, Chris Heffel, in serving Lynxx Networks business customers. Karla and Katie are already out visiting customers, but we wanted to officially introduce you to them.
Karla brings a big knowledge base of both the area and our company to her new role with the business team. She’s been a Customer Technology Consultant at Lynxx Networks for 15 years now, working with both residential and business customers during that time. She knows the ins and outs of customer service here at Lynxx Networks, and while she was born and raised in Michigan, she has been in the Tomah area for 24 years, and knows our service area well.
“The nice thing about having more people involved in the business department is the turn around time for business visits, plus getting proposals to customers will be quicker. If Chris isn’t available, there are two of us that can help.” – Karla
Born and raised in New Lisbon, Katie knows both the area and it’s businesses well. Plus, Katie is a small business owner herself; who better to work with business customers than someone who is in that same role? She’s been with Lynxx Networks for the last eight years, working with both residential and business customers as a Customer Technology Consultant, and is well positioned for this new role on our business team.
“(I’ve been) solely dedicated to working one-on-one with customers on a daily basis for the past eight years. (I) bring a new approach, different views and ideas to make everything work as a whole (for our business customers).” – Katie
There’s no debating it – screen usage is up in our pandemic environment. Screen time for kids and adults alike shot up in the spring of 2020 when safer at home orders were issued, and the trend continues as schools and workplaces have shifted to virtual offices and classrooms.
While technology is an amazing tool, as with anything, there’s a line between useful and too much of a good thing. It might be tempting to check social media or text messages during a work or school break, but Timothy Bjelland, Chief Medical Officer at Mile Bluff Medical Center, said with prolonged screen time, it is recommended to take a three-to-five minute break every two hours, and a more substantial break for physical activity every four hours.
“Whenever working in a low-activity environment, where most of the work is done online or from a sitting position, it is important to take regular breaks,” said Bjelland, adding that, “It has been well documented that it is medically helpful to get up and walk, to change positions, and to stand, flexing and extending your body and joints.”
So what activities are helpful during a screen break? Bjelland said that doing something as simple as getting up and walking – even if just for a few minutes – has health benefits. He added that performing range-of-motion movements, like head and arm circles, are also a good option.
“Even during short breaks, it is possible to be more active; this takes you away from having to bend forward to view a screen, and to have pressure on your lower back by staying in the same seated position for too long,” Bjelland said.
Tricia Klatt, Director of Community Outreach and Occupational Health/Business Development at Tomah Health added that it’s important to not to ignore the way hours of screen time affect other parts of the body – the eyes, for example.
“Virtual breaks are important to relieve any tensions or stress on the eyes or bad body posture,” she said. Eyes track differently when reading a written page than reading from a screen. Electronic reading can result in blurred vision, redness, dryness and irritation, along with weaker eye muscles that tire more easily. Klatt said over the course of a work or school day, it is healthy to do things like print off e-mails or assignments instead of reading them virtually; make a written to-do list to help move eyes away from a screen; or break up tasks to limit reading from a screen.
In addition to the physical benefits, Bjelland said virtual breaks are beneficial for one’s mental health as well. “We encourage people to be mindful, which is simply using your mind to focus on other activities, and just “being in the moment” – it helps to improve overall mood,” he said.
In a pandemic environment, where so many are working and schooling virtually, Bjelland said its especially important to pay attention to mental health right now, as the inability to leave the home environment can cause increased feelings of anxiety and frustration.
“Mental breaks allow you the time to focus on positive and productive thoughts about your life, family, and other important relationships,” he said.
After the work day, it is also beneficial to give the body at least two hours of screen-free time prior to bedtime. Setting screens aside for two hours before bedtime is helpful to the sleep cycle, as the blue light from TVs and other screens works to disrupt the natural sleep cycle. For older kids, try using a real alarm clock and keeping their phone out of the bedroom to help promote a healthy night of rest.
Keep movement in your day with these ideas:
- Range-of-motion movements:
Head circles: make sure to go both forward and backward.
Arm circles: arch the back change the position to the feet, and move arms in large circles both forward and backward.
- Drink more water. Not only is water good for the body, but it gets you up and moving when nature calls.
- Swap your dining room or office chair for a stability ball.
- If you’re at home, make an effort to move around the house at least once an hour or go take a walk around the block.
It’s cranberry harvest season in Wisconsin! Lynxx Networks staff had the opportunity to get in a bog at our customer, Valley Corporation, in a PR piece for the NTCA – Rural Broadband Association.
Valley Corporation is an Ocean Spray grower located just outside of Valley Junction. Established in 1891, the farm is owned and operated by the Grygleski family, who are third-generation growers.
With Lynxx Networks’ fiber-optic Internet powering Valley Corporation, over the growing season, these farmers can remotely monitor the temperature of their plants and control irrigation pumps, saving time, labor, and fuel costs.
Well grown berries make for a good harvest. When the local cranberry growers on our network have a good harvest season, thanks, in part, to our network, nothing makes us happier.
As we move into fall, families continue to face the challenges presented by the pandemic. Parents are still working remotely, and at the same time, are tasked with the difficulties of virtual learning to ensure their children have a successful educational experience.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with remote work. The remote workforce trend is likely to stay even post-pandemic as employers realize their staff can maintain productivity when not in the traditional office environment. In many occasions, there has been a drastic improvement in employee productivity without the need to travel to and from the office. Business leaders and managers recognize this is a benefit that staff has been asking for, and now they can confidently provide.
However, despite the benefits to organizations and the workforce, remote work still needs to be carefully managed. The recent increase in remote workers also increases the attack surface for bad actors looking to commit cybercrimes. The advent of the Internet of things (smart appliances), smart phones, and mobile computing are also contributing to the growing attack surface. IT professionals need to be on the offense to ensure their company’s cybersecurity strategies include detailed policies and procedures that align technology with business objectives.
In a March 9, 2020 article, CSO Online Magazine estimated that 94% of malware is delivered via e-mail. When bad actors want to gain access to your organization’s environment, they take the path of least resistance. Ransomware is easily distributed in corporate networks when end users unknowingly click on bad links embedded in e-mails, or open malicious attached documents. They also provide cyber criminals with valuable credentials and access to information from individuals victimized by a phishing attack. How do we combat these exploits?
“One aspect of cybersecurity that is often overlooked is end-user security awareness training. End users can be an effective line of final defense if they are aware of the potential dangers looming in their inbox.”
One aspect of cybersecurity that is often overlooked is end user security awareness training. End users can be an effective line of final defense if they are aware of the potential dangers looming in their inbox. Educating end users is a very effective way to reduce your exposure to these types of attacks, but sadly most organizations do nothing about it.
3RT Networks partners with KnowBe4 to help your business with the end user training process. KnowBe4 is a cloud-based solution that allows HR and IT professionals to conduct simulated phishing attacks within your environment. The simulated email campaigns are coupled with the world’s largest library of security awareness training content, including interactive modules, videos, posters, and newsletters. Training campaigns with scheduled reminders for end users can be fully automated. The platform also has extensive reporting capabilities to track the progress of end users and validate the return on your investment.
If you would like to have a conversation with our professional staff to understand what is possible for your business, please call or e-mail. We will be happy to schedule a virtual meeting to investigate your needs and requirements.
Lynxx Networks is building a customer testimonial page on our web site and needs the help of our business customers to help bring the page to life.
Our marketing staff is looking for business customers who can provide a reference for our company. We’re not asking for much of your time – just a few minutes to fill out and submit an online reference form. Visit Lynxx Business Testimonials and scroll down to the online form.
Customer testimonials will be used in conjunction with a business’ logo on our web site. Thank you in advance for your help with this project and the support of Lynxx Networks.