Sept 2020
Public Records Officers Helpful Tips
Pro-Tips for Working From Home
We scoured the net and took into consideration our own preferences and came up with the following tips for working from home.
  • Establish a dedicated work space.
Are you working from your sofa? kitchen table? patio? Wherever you choose to work from during this time, it is often best to have a spot designated for work. Why is this important? It helps to separate work and home during a time when everything seems to happen in the same place. Having a good work/life balance can be accomplished when working from home by making sure you have boundaries around where work happens at home. Read More
  • Create a schedule that sets regular work hours.
When working from home it can seem like you are always working. We have found that without a set schedule of regular work hours you can lose track of time and work more than you intended. Your employer may thank you, but your family or pets, and ultimately your brain, will not feel the same way. Providing yourself with a set schedule allows you to set further boundaries to maintain a good work/life balance. You can choose to work on projects outside of those hours, but you won’t feel obligated and that can save you from yourself when you are an overachieving employee. Being mentally healthy and not over-working benefits everyone. Read More
  • Take breaks.
Making time to take a break from your screen(s) and work can make a difference in your experience and mood. Taking a break can provide the opportunity to see work with fresh eyes when you come back, and it can give you a chance to unwind and destress. Stress can have a major impact on work products and productivity. While taking a break may seem counterproductive to making progress, everyone can agree that burn out definitely derails progress. Your break can be anything that you want it to be. Some find that taking a moment to close your eyes and focus on breathing for a few minutes every hour helps them cope best, while others find that getting up from their computer and going for a walk allows them to shed their stress. What will you do on your break? Read More
  • Take sick days.
Before COVID and our constant work from home schedules, many used to work from home instead of taking sick days. With working from home as your normal approach to work, do not be afraid to take sick days. When being at home does not remove you from work, sometime you have to remove work from your day in order to allow yourself to focus on what you need to get better. See Comic

  • Socialize with colleagues.
Zoom meetings are often the only meetings now. There is no opportunity to meet a colleague in the hallway and chat about life. Socializing with colleagues before or after meetings can make a difference in your work from home experience. Working from home can sometimes feel distant from the world and isolated. Chatting with coworkers during the day can give you the opportunity to de-stress together, help others with their work/life balance while keeping your own in mind, and it can often lead to better communication that can actually help your work. Read More
  • Be positive
A positive attitude can often change your overall experience. When your new work from home environment does not live up to expectations or causes you stress, a positive attitude can be the tipping point for making it through. Think of small ways to boost your positive outlook and add in things to your day that will help you maintain or enhance your positive attitude as work progresses. Read More

  • Make it personal.
The best thing you can do is what works best for you! Take what you need or want from our tips and discard the rest.
Support WAPRO
Support WAPRO – Know your committee members!

Training and Development Committee Introduction
The goal of the committee is to access the information and training needs for public disclosure officers in the state of Washington.  This committee works to develop the curriculum and program content for WAPRO's Spring and Fall Conferences, regional trainings and any teleconferences, video conferences or webinars delivered by WAPRO.

Current Members
The committee director is Bonnie Voegele and she leads the committee in the selection of training topics and presenters for WAPRO conferences. The committee members listed above work together to propose timely and needed training topics to the WAPRO Board for approval. This can be a difficult task when considering the training needs of such a large group and trying to cover as many areas as possible and at different training levels.

WAPRO has members that have been around from the beginning and each year new members join so that they can learn how to navigate the world of the PRA. Training and development is a key reason that WAPRO exists and it brings together those working to provide the public with the foundation of transparent government – access to public records.

Do you have training ideas? Are you one of our reliable feedback givers at the end of each conference? If you have an interest in what is presented at the WAPRO conferences, this committee is a way that you can contribute your ideas to the WAPRO community as a whole. The committee members come from a wide range of public records work arenas and you would broaden the expertise represented. If you are interested in participating, please contact the WAPRO office at WAPRO needs you and the Training and Development Committee wants your help!
Documented Humor
By Courtney Ng, Communications Committee
Member Spotlight
Q’Deene Nagasawa
Title:  Public Records Officer | Paralegal

Agency: Sound Transit
Brief Bio: Q’Deene Nagasawa is a Paralegal/Public Records Officer for Sound Transit. She currently manages the Public Disclosure Office which is a division under Sound Transit’s Legal Department. She also works as a paralegal doing legal research, discovery and other special projects under the direction of Sound Transit’s General Counsel.

Interview questions:
How many years have you been a Public Records Officer (PRO)? 

I have been a PRO for over 7 years. I have been with Sound Transit for over 14 years and moved into the Public Records Officer position in our Legal Department in June 2013. 

What is one Public Records tip or best practice you have gleaned from your work that you would pass on to others in this field of work? 
Slow down--always review the original request before you respond.

How did you get involved with WAPRO?
The Public Records Officer preceding me here at Sound Transit urged me to join WAPRO as soon as I became involved with public records. I started attending the WAPRO Trainings. I immediately was drawn in as it is such a great forum to sit and talk with other PROs and staff that work on PDRs in all different roles and types of agencies. 

What do you consider the biggest public records challenge (either with the PRA or holding a position responsible for compliance with the PRA)? 
Currently the COVID-19 situation and the implementation of new tools and applications is one of the biggest public records challenges at this time. We are all experiencing different ways to communicate and work. Gathering records and training in this new environment is challenging. 

What is your favorite motto/quote?
Slow down and breathe : )

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Spending time with my family and golfing. Being outdoors and staying safe.
Exemption Resource
Active as of June 11, 2020, HSSB 1888 offers additional privacy exemptions to the PRA. Are you looking for information about HSSB 1888? The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) has a blog for addressing important topics and Sarah Doar, MRSC Legal Consultant, posted a helpful entry about HSSB 1888 and what it covers – New Privacy in Public Employment.