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New Hires – Welcome on board. Glad you have joined us.

Cheryl Flowers, Lease Assistant, Capital Assets Management.
Jennifer Holbrook, Quality Specialist Lead, Information Services.
Gabrielle Hosek, Strategic Management Specialist, Capital Assets Management.
William Kelso, Procurement Outreach Lead, Central Purchasing.
Li Lai, PeopleSoft Administrator, Central Accounting and Reporting.
Jason Lawson,
Deputy General Counsel, Information Services.
Mark Mills, Quality Specialist, Information Services.
Rebecca Moore, Data Director, Information Services.
Resa Pace, Former Employee Enrollment Specialist, Employees Group Insurance Division. Shelley Zumwalt, Chief of Innovation, Administration.
Sarah Taft, Loss Prevention Specialist, Capital Assets Management.
Cody Thornton, Server Support Specialist, Information Services.

Retirements – Best of luck to you. You will be missed.

Stephen Grizzle, 15 years of service, Application Services Supervisor, Information Services.

Position Changes – Congratulations. Keep up the good work.

Hannah Butler, from Service Delivery Rep to Project Manager, Information Services.
Heidi Davis, from Service Desk Technician to Application Administrator, Information Services.
Melissa Goree, from PMO Support to Service Desk Technician, Information Services.
Robert Jeffery, from Human Resources Assistant to Human Resources Specialist, Human Capital Management.
Shelby McKinney, from Service Delivery Rep to Project Manager, Information Services.

Longevity – Thank you. You are much appreciated.

Charlyn Neal, 46 years of service.
Rodney Paul, 35 years of service.
Brian Kirkes, 30 years of service.
Cathy Stephens, 30 years of service.
John Musgrove, 20 years of service.
Dannie Dixon, 15 years of service.
Julie Dostal, 5 years of service.
Padmaja Relangi-Burdick, 5 years of service.

COVID-19-related health insurance benefits

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy! Health insurance benefits related to the coronavirus are continuously changing. We recommend you stay informed of your benefits as they relate to COVID-19. Plans are updating benefit information frequently. In the event you need to seek medical attention, the following links direct you to each plan's informational pages on COVID-19.

Jerry's tips for teleworking

Jerry Moore, chief information officer, shares the following tips he has learned over the years working remotely and working from home:

1. Get up at the same time as usual and dress in your work clothes, work shoes, etc.

2. Create a home office – one that’s separate and distinct from other home areas.

3. Set boundaries with your cohabitants that mimic your normal behaviors as much as possible. Let your loved ones know to keep interruptions to a minimum during your normal work hours. Small interactions are okay, just like taking a phone call at work.

4. Create a wind-down activity. Walk around your neighborhood, sit on your porch or even go for a short drive to end your workday.

5. Try to replicate your normal social interactions during the day. Have a virtual meetup with a co-worker over a cup of coffee.

6. Get up and out of your office – take a walk outside, but don’t take a break to do chores.

7. Find something you can finish and see progress on, e.g., a task list that can be checked off.

8. Share lessons learned with others. Check in with your teammates and experience a new normal together.

9. Reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed. 

Mental Health Resources

10. Take the weekends (and evenings) off – even if your computer chimes with a new email. It will be there during business hours tomorrow.

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OMES has unlocked Office 365 features

OMES has unlocked Office 365 features to increase productivity and collaboration while teleworking.

The most notable feature is that our Microsoft Teams environment now allows users to add guests outside of their organization to Teams. Guests must have their own O365 accounts or will need to create one to join a team. While guest access is limited in comparison to organizational access, this feature enables us to interact with community and industry partners.

O365 also allows secure access to email, files and other features without a VPN and state employees can download the O365 suite on up to five devices. Use of O365 is authorized on personal devices like home computers, laptops and cellphones, as long as two-factor authentication is active. This option will help alleviate the need for agencies to purchase additional laptops or VPN licenses.

Be mindful and ensure compliance with regulatory data, organizational policies and procedures when accessing data in O365 applications while using personal devices. If you download O365 on personal devices, please review the following recommendations:

  • Review the state’s Personal Device Standard to learn more about acceptable use.
  • Consult your agency leadership and counsel regarding the applicability of the standard and Open Records Act if using a personal device to access O365.
  • Refrain from downloading files from O365 to your personal device.
  • Find more details in this O365 Features Quick Start Guide and in the OMES Telework Toolkit.

If you have questions, please contact the OMES Service Desk or try our new chat feature on the OMES webpage where you can chat directly with a Service Desk representative.

OMES Service Desk is available anytime, 24/7.

405-521-HELP or toll-free at 866-521-2444


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Chat with IS in real time

Live chat

OMES wants to keep you safe and informed. For recent updates on COVID-19 and helpful resources, follow OMES on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Visit our webpage to find our new Information Services live chat feature and have your IS-related questions answered in real time.

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Coming soon: 2020 OMES Branding Guide

Public Affairs has partnered with the State Brand Marketing Team to update OMES guidelines for the Oklahoma brand unveiled earlier this year. The guide will provide standards for our logo, colors, business cards, letterheads, writing style and much more. Learn how to effectively represent the visual identity of OMES and the State of Oklahoma. If you have specific questions about our brand and how to use it, email branding@omes.ok.gov.

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OMES Human Resources phones

If you or someone you know needs to contact OMES Human Resources, you can still call their listed work phone number. OMES employee landline phones have calls forwarded so you can reach them while teleworking.

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Share the view

We asked OMES employees to share the views from their home offices and they did not disappoint.

Share the view -1Share the viewShare the view - 3Share the view - 4

OMES Teleworking Q&A

Although we’re each experiencing telework in a unique way, many OMES employees share similar difficulties and mentalities across all divisions. If sheltering in place has left you feeling isolated or uncertain about any aspect of working from home, rest assured you’re not alone. Despite the changes and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all continued serving Oklahomans and fulfilling the duty of state government. This is how we do it and what we think about it, in our own words.

What challenges has your division/department faced and how have you overcome them?

Nick Long, Purchasing/Finance: I have not faced any challenges. I was looking forward to the opportunity to telework and was prepared to make the switch. I hope teleworking can continue long after COVID-19 is under control.

Eric Taylor, EGID Member Services: Getting set up remotely was challenging, especially when computers do not link. A quick call from IT indicated the reason my computer did not connect was because of a power outage at the office. You can’t link with a computer if it isn’t on!

David Sinclair, EGID Member Accounts: We rely heavily on teamwork and adapting to purely digital communication while maintaining that sense of teamwork took some getting used to. We came up with procedures as needed and changed them when necessary. Everyone buckled down and did it the best they could. We definitely got a crash course in [Microsoft] Teams.

What do you miss most since teleworking?

Cindy Holloway, CAM: Not having the ability to run and look at problems or issues to better understand what is requested. Email or work orders don’t always convey the full story.

Melanie Lawrence, EGID Member Accounts: I miss my co-workers and the camaraderie. I count several of them as friends. You cannot replace face-to-face interaction and time together. I also actually miss my long commute. I spend that time listening to the radio and mentally ramping up for the day and then winding down at the end of the day.

Shane Lambert, IT Strategist for Department of Transportation: Actually going out to lunch with co-workers. Maybe we should start virtual picnics?

How has teleworking affected your division’s/department’s ability to accomplish jobs?

LaDonna Newsom, CAM: No.

Martie Johnson, EGID Member Services: Our team has tackled every obstacle that we have been tasked with. We have set a plan in place and are making it work to the best of our ability.

Holly Williams, Purchasing/Finance: My supervisor has always encouraged our team to use our independence and critical thinking, which has better prepared us for the challenges of teleworking. We are still very productive and able to complete work in a timely manner. I believe we are equally productive through teleworking.

What can other OMES teleworkers do to make your job easier?

Liz Brandon, HCM: It would be great to have some sort of collective support/norms around the challenges of parenting and homeschooling. I am not sure how to juggle my meetings and my daughter’s school meetings, and any support – whether top down or simply peer-to-peer – would be great.

Cindy Holloway, CAM: The hardest part of working from home hasn’t been about the job but is about the situation. I battle with guilt for putting contractors’ lives on the line while I am working safely at home.

Justin Simonton, Accounts Payable/Finance: I have yet to encounter a situation that requires a change in the work habits of other OMES teleworkers.

What keys to success have helped you work from home?

LaDonna Newsom, CAM: Taking breaks and doing something physical.

Laura McCrackan, Reporting/Finance: Create a morning routine even if it is different from the previous norm.

Anish Peringol: Close off your work environment from other distractions and inform your family of your boundaries.

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