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Working safely at home

This guide looks at health and safety issues you might need to consider when working from home.

Setting up your workstation

Unless you have the same equipment at home as you have at work, you may struggle to set up your computer to provide an ergonomically ideal workstation. Even if you do have the same equipment, it's important to make sure it's adjusted to meet your needs while you are working.

For information on the ideal workstation set up, please review our guidance leaflet.

Where necessary, there may be temporary fixes you can come up with to improve your home set-up. For example:

  • using a large book or two to raise your monitor

  • taking your work mouse and keyboard home if they are more ergonomic than your home one

  • using a laptop rise and a separate keyboard and mouse with a laptop

  • taking your footrest home if you need to use one

  • placing a cushion or pillow on your chair to get a more ergonomic arm position

If you don't have access to a laptop riser or a separate keyboard and mouse, watch this short video for tips on modifying your home workstation to safely use a laptop.

If you have a specialist chair for work, you may find that you cannot sit as comfortably at home unless you have provided yourself with a suitable chair. In this case, make yourself as comfortable as you can, and ensure you take plenty of breaks from computer work.

Electrical safety checks when working from home

Find out how to check the electrical equipment you use while working from home.

Workstation assessments

All people who are designated computer users are required to carry out a risk assessment of their workstation (typically, this means people who use computers daily, for more than one hour).

Carry out an online workstation self-assessment for your home computer. Try to obtain as many 'yes' answers as you can.

Read the workstation assessment guidance leaflet.

If you are having difficulties and need advice, you can contact the Safety, Health and Employee Wellbeing Team for advice.

Take a (screen) break and do some exercise

If you have difficulties achieving an ideal workstation set up, you will need to take more frequent breaks and get up and move around more often than you would in the office.

Even if you do have a good workstation set up, you may find that you spend even more time sitting than you would normally do on campus. It is vital that you periodically get up and walk around to increase the blood flow in your legs. You should also take the opportunity to look out of the window at a distant view to rest your eyes.

Read our guide on rapidly assessing the risks of using different IT equipment in different environments to help you identify the minimum frequency for taking screen breaks.

These core stretches can also help to maintain blood and lymph flow throughout your body. As with any exercise, only do it within your limits and listen to your body.

Accessing University systems

The University has put together a range of resources you can use to access your email, files and work software. For information on these, visit the DDaT TopDesk resources.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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