Advice for staff on working at home due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Top Tips for staff working at home

In these current exceptional circumstances around Coronavirus (Covid19) when the Government is asking everyone to stay at home where they possibly can, here are some guidelines to help you work from home.

Check for unexpected hazards

Offices and other workplaces are usually set up to ensure work can be carried out there safely. At home, with family and others around, things may not be quite so straightforward. Make a mental note of possible hazards - trailing laptop wires etc – and try to remove or reduce these risks as much as possible.

If you do have a work-related accident at home, please contact your line manager who can report it following their usual systems or by completing an incident report at https://www.vantage-sentinel.com/LeedsUni/.

Set up your ‘workstation’

Suddenly your living room may have become your ‘office space’ and we know it won’t always be easy to arrange a workstation at home under these conditions. Here are a few tips to help you make your new workspace comfortable and to allow you to work safely: 

  • Before turning your equipment on, quickly check plugs, leads and outer covers are undamaged and there are no burn marks or stains which might suggest overheating.
  • Use the 3 Diagrams at the bottom of this webpage as guidance for how to align your computer/ laptop - you may not be able to set things up exactly as described, but if you follow the key points, you’ll be off to a good start.
  • When using a laptop, please place it on a firm surface (or a docking station if you have one) rather than a sofa edge or pillow. Try to use a full-sized keyboard and mouse if possible and angle the screen to minimise any reflections.
  • Wellbeing, Safety and Health are available to offer advice by emailing safety@leeds.ac.uk

Take a break

Remember that it’s really important to take regular breaks regularly to avoid fatigue.

  • At work you’d probably take natural breaks to attend meetings, deliver teaching, collect printing, make a drink, have discussions with colleagues/ students etc.
  • At home, it might be tempting to work for longer periods but it’s really important to take frequent breaks.

We also recognise that you may be juggling your time trying to work while children or other family members are also at home. It is important that you take time to u maintain the right work/life balance and set clear hours for work -including when you are not going to take calls/answer emails. Please speak to your line manager if you are finding this difficult to balance.

Keep in touch

  • In these troubling times it’s more important than ever to keep in touch with your colleagues, teammates and managers. Many of us will share similar worries, concerns or experiences, as we get used to this new situation and talking to people may help you feel more connected.
  • Please keep in touch with key people in your area as well as any direct reports / managers in your School/ Service.
  • If anything is worrying you, discuss it with your line manager/ supervisor as soon as possible.

Watch your wellbeing

Working from home on an ongoing basis can be surprisingly tricky – especially if you’re at home on your own all the time, or if you have family or other commitments you don’t usually have to deal with at work.

Being away from your colleagues and usual support mechanisms can be very hard so please don’t go it alone.

The Staff Counselling and Psychological Support service is set up to provide advice, information and counselling by email, phone and the secure platform Zoom. Please do get in touch by email at staffcounselling@leeds.ac.uk or phone 0113 3433694 and leave a message

Information is also available from Staff Counselling and Psychological Support including strategies and tools for dealing with anxieties around the current situation with extra online resources also available. The new Wellbeing pages will also link together information, support and advice to support your wellbeing – keep checking back to see the latest!

Keep up-to-date with the University approach

Any changes and developments around the University’s approach to the current situation can be found here https://coronavirus.leeds.ac.uk/.

If you have specific questions around health and safety please contact:

· Health and Safety Services on – safety@leeds.ac.uk

· Occupational Health on – occupationalhealth@leeds.ac.uk

Diagram 1: laptop use with a mini keyboard

DSE Diagram of a person using a laptop when sat at a desk

Diagram 2: laptop use with a standard keyboard

Diagram 2 of a person sitting at a desk with a laptop and using a standard keyboard


Diagram 3: DSE Helpful Hints if you have this equipment at home

Diagram 3 of a person sitting at a desk with desk mounted monitor and keyboard and mouse

It may be possible to set up your PC in the same way as your office one. It may be useful to refresh your memory of the general principles and complete this training again but please don’t complete the assessment section - https://leedsuni.britsafelearning.com/login/index.php