Working from home

Key points to consider when working from home

Ergonomic principles applied to home office set up

  • The same ergonomic principles that are expected when working on campus need to be applied at home. Correct work posture and duration of activities are important factors to consider when working from home.
  • For those wanting to check their set-up step by step in more detail please view the ‘Workstation set-up interactive tool’.

Breaks

  • It is important to maintain regular movement and not be sitting at your workstation for prolonged periods of time.
  • Regularly change your posture by standing for your Zoom meetings.
  • Refer to Ergonomics Guidelines for exercises.
  • Micro-breaks - install break-reminder on the computer, e.g. ‘Break Time Google Chrome extension’.
  • Incidental breaks - get up from the desk and walk around whilst speaking to colleagues on the phone, schedule 10 min breaks in between Zoom meetings to prevent 8 hours of back-to-back Zoom meetings

Lighting

  • Staff must ensure that they have adequate lighting for the tasks they are doing, but you are not expected to undertake light level measurements.
  • In a good home office set up, the desk should be situated near natural light and positioned to minimise glare.

Ventilation

  • Check that there is sufficient ventilation and that the thermal comfort is adequate.

Electrical safety

  • Complete a visual check of electrical cords and power outlets to ensure these are in good condition.
  • Electrical devices used for work need to be protected by a circuit breaker.

Slip/Trip hazards

  • Consider the placement of extension leads/cords, rugs etc to reduce tripping hazards.
  • Note that when working from home the whole house becomes the workplace so you need to be mindful of slip/trip hazards in and around the home.

Mental Health/Wellbeing

  • Take regular breaks and make sure that you look after your physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Check-in regularly with your supervisor to manage workload and to clarify expectations.
  • Maintain regular contact with colleagues.
  • Consider potential exposure to non-work related risks when working from home, e.g. family violence, working alone. Home may not be a safe work environment.

Emergency procedures

  • Ensure you have ready access to basic First Aid supplies.
  • Ensure you know how to get help in an emergency and are aware of your nearest medical centre.
  • Ensure you have operational smoke alarms.

Resources:

Officewise: A guide to health and safety in the office handbook

Minimising the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19): Working from home

Responding to family violence when employees work from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Please contact OH&S by email ohshelpline@monash.edu or phone 990 51016 if you require additional information or clarification.