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Updated FAQ: How do I set up my work area?

12 Aug 2020

Frequently asked questions are updated regularly

This advice is correct at the time of publication of this news article.

If you have health concerns then you should refer to the NHS website as recommended by Public Health England. For other queries regarding the current situation, email

Updated answer to How do I set up my work area?

Depending on personal circumstances, your workstation set up may look very different from your normal office set up, but the aim is for you to be as comfortable as possible. Try to find an area with adequate space to create a suitable working zone. When setting up your working zone it is important to:

  • Find an area with adequate space;
  • Ensure there is sufficient light, ventilation and no trailing leads;
  • Include, where possible: a table/desk/surface; chair; laptop or PC; other equipment e.g. mouse, keyboard.

Given this situation, you are encouraged to think of alternative ways to make your work set up at home comfortable. This might include using:

  • Small boxes as a footrest;
  • Cushions to adjust the seat height and provide lumbar support;
  • Books or box files to raise screen/monitor height.

It is particularly important to take regular breaks.

  • Take regular micro-breaks (2-3 minutes) every 20 minutes;
  • Take a slightly longer break (5 minutes) every hour;
  • You may find it beneficial to occasionally undertake some simple stretches, such as those suggested by the NHS.

There is information on StaffNet about setting up your workstation and the display screen equipment poster for guidance for more details. Check your electrical equipment is safe to use. Do not overload sockets or join extension leads together. Use a correctly fused extension lead, not longer than 15 metres where possible and ensure the cable is completely unwound to avoid overheating.

For more information visit the Health and Safety Executive.

More information