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Coronavirus: working from home and other updates

Working from home

As the national efforts against the coronavirus COVID-19 continue, information is changing quickly and we are doing our best to keep our staff and student FAQs updated with the latest safety and campus information.

We have updated our staff FAQs to include guidance on topics including working from home and accessing buildings on campus.

The full FAQs are available online but to summarise, here is an overview of key updates.

Working remotely

Our Health & Safety colleagues recommend that your home workstation is set up the same way as your office workstation is, as far as reasonably practical. When using a computer or laptop, a suitable workstation should ideally consist of a stable chair, desk, and separate mouse and keyboard. Your desk should be as clear as possible, with adequate lighting and no trailing cables.

 If it's possible to take home equipment such as monitors and keyboards, please do so. You will near the approval of your head of School or Function, who will also ask you to log these items to help ease the eventual transition to normal working.

If this isn't possible, you can still create a home workstation with a bit of creative thinking.

  • Chair: Use a chair with a stable base and cushion to achieve good lumber support, and as needed, a cushion to sit on to adjust the seat base height.
  • Laptop riser: Use stacks of large books or box files to create a stable platform to mount open laptops, so that your eyeline can be level with the top of the screen.
  • Foot support: If you have young children, use a toddler step to create a footrest. Alternatively, use box files or similar, or cushions to achieve stable foot support. The aim is to prevent pressure on the thigh underside and to maintain a 90 degree angle around the hip.
  • Screen glare: Adjust window covers or change the temporary desk/table arrangement/location to avoid glare from sun light.

You may find it helpful to complete our DSE workplace training and apply it to your home set-up, as best as possible.

On electrical safety, visually check your equipment is in good condition, use one extension cable per mains socket. Avoid cuboid socket adaptors where possible as they can be more prone to overheating. Make sure there are no cables trailing across your desk or floor - especially if you have children at home!

Be sure to keep taking regular breaks and let your manager know if you're having any issues.

You can find further details in a dedicated guide, available to download (Word, 37KB). For examples of using home equipment, please see our handy visual guide.

Using a VPN

You don't need to use a VPN for services such as email, calendar, Teams and OneDrive.

However, you do need to use a VPN if you need to access services such as collaborative share drives, home drives, business systems administration, UoR Research Systems and remote desktop access. If you do need to use the VPN, please log out as soon as you have finished the activity that requires it. That helps manage access for other colleagues who may need it.

You can find  out more over at our Remote Working page.


For further information, please see our full staff FAQs

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