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Expert shares tips on working from home amid coronavirus concerns

It's important to stick to a standard routine and have office policies on how to work from home

FORT WORTH, Texas — From cruise ships to planes, schools and offices, the list of what people are carefully cleaning and trying to avoid continues to grow.

In the wake of more coronavirus news,major companies including Google, Twitter, JPMorgan, Facebook and Amazon have asked some or all employees to work from home.

Mika Cross works for FlexJobs, which connects those hiring and applying for remote jobs.

“I’m a remote worker and I have been my whole career and now I help organizations and employers,” Cross said.

The perk is skipping the congested commute. The downside is many don’t know how to start when they work from home.

“The employee also has to be responsible,” Cross said. “Are you going to be accessible, responsive? Do you need to request a change in your work schedule even if you’re working from home?”

Her biggest tips include:

  • Stick to a normal routine and don't sleep in
  • Set expectations of goals of what to accomplish both as an employee and a team
  • Communicate with coworkers frequently
  • Set aside a place to work at home

Cross said employers can practice by hosting virtual meetings at work to simulate what it would be like at home.

“Make sure that you’re leveraging that technology that you have and ensure that your policies and communication plan is well understood,” she said.

Many schools in the U.S. have canceled classes or expanded breaks. If students have to learn from home, WiFi could be an issue. Cities like Dallas and Fort Worth allow people to check out hot spots from libraries, but, even though Fort Worth has 255 units now, there’s a 10-12 week waitlist.

“If remote work is not part of your contingency plan and your business preparedness plan, I highly suggest looking at help,” Cross said.

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