COVID-19 and Telecommuting

Ergonomics Tips for Working at Home

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, many faculty and staff are now working remotely from home. When working from home, it is important to remember that the proper ergonomics design of your computer workstation is important no matter where your “office” may be.

We care about your health and safety while you complete your important work away from your usual work environment.  To help you have a good computer workstation set-up at home, please follow the ergonomics tips below:

Step 1

Take the interactive UCSC on-line ergonomics for computer users course, Ergonomic Assessment and Training Module, which will help you set up a user-friendly workstation. Also complete the Self-Assessment there on your home computer workstation.

UCSC online ergonomics training for computer users:

Enter your CruzID and Gold password to log into the UCSC Learning Center to access the Ergonomic Assessment and Training Module.  NOTE: If you have forgotten your CruzID Gold password or need to set that up you can do so at the ITS accounts webpage, or email ITS at help@ucsc.edu

Step 2

Review the following resources:

Step 3
  1. Based on the information identified in Steps 1 and 2, make recommended changes to your home workstation. 
  2. Discuss any needed items with your supervisor/manager prior to purchasing.  
  3. Check the list of Departmental Ergonomic Assessors (DEAs) above to see if your department or division has someone in that role. If so, check in with your DEA.
Step 4 On an as needed basis, if you still have unresolved issues with your workstation setup, virtual assessment of home workstations is available. These would be accomplished by phone, using photos you provide or via video chat.  To schedule an assessment, please contact the Campus Ergonomist at 459-5430.

Peripheral Equipment for Working at Home

There are a few simple ergonomics products that may improve your home workstation, particularly for those who are now using laptops more than ever.  For example, by elevating your laptop (by use of a laptop stand or simply a stack of books) to get the monitor to the correct height and then attaching an external keyboard and mouse, the ergonomics of your home workstation is greatly improved. Products for Home Computer Workstations in the list above in Step 2 includes keyboards, mice, footrests, laptop stands/risers, and other products.  

The UCSC Ergonomics Program is maintaining a supply of these products and may provide them as a result of a remote evaluation when needed. Other similar products not stocked by the campus program can be requested from the employee's department if they are recommended as a result of a remote ergonomic evaluation.

The Ergonomics Program is also adding a line of adjustable "sit/stand" desktop risers to its of list of items eligible for the ErgoCruz Matching Funds Program reimbursement. Visit the ErgoCruz webpage for more information on ErgoCruz and its matching funds program.

Once faculty and staff return to working in their campus offices, this equipment must be brought back to your department on campus. 

For other ergonomic needs not already mentioned above, please contact the Campus Ergonomist at 459-5430.