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Ramping up to fall semester: Learn how to do your part as we return to campus, and get the latest COVID-19 updates.Campus ReadyCOVID-19 Updates

Working Remotely

COVID-19: The UC Merced EH&S Ergonomics Program is unable to conduct onsite evaluations of employee home workstations as part of the Stay at Home Order. To support staff working at home, Remote Work Tips fact sheets are available.

If you are experiencing discomfort associated with working remotely after attempting the suggestions below, please notify your supervisor and complete an evaluation request form. Once the completed form has been received and reviewed for accuracy and completeness, you will be contacted by EH&S Ergonomics Program staff to discuss your case. Supervisors can contact Ergonomics Program staff at ergocat@ucmerced.edu for help and assistance.


                 

Remote Work Tips

HOW TO USE REMOTE WORK TIPS FACT SHEETS

Remote office work can present unique challenges to working ergonomically. These Remote Work Tips provide in-depth suggestions on how to improve your home work station. Such suggestions include setting up your desk, adjusting your chair, and proper placement of your computer and accessories.

You do not have to make sweeping changes all at once; incremental change allows you to “test out” those changes and decide if more adjustments to your home office set up are necessary. Preventing strain and discomfort that may occur as a result of a poorly designed work station set up is essential to reducing eye, neck, back, and hip/leg pain associated with working at a computer for long periods of time. Do not forget to take regular stretch breaks! These breaks allow your muscle groups to relax and reduce nerve pain associated with muscle fatigue.

Setting up a home office for the first time can be challenging, but by reviewing these fact sheets and making a few changes over time, you will have an optimized computer workstation that reduces strain on the body and improves comfort while working. 

Remote Work TIps
          Laptop Setup             Dining Table & Couch
Standing Stations Working In Bed
Working In The Car Towel Lumbar Support
Working On The Floor Video Conferencing
Stretch Breaks Preventing Eye Discomfort
*Fact Sheets courtesy of UCLA, modified for UC Merced*

Training

Employees can access the Ergo-CAT online training via the UC Learning Center for additional information about reducing risks associated with the development of musculoskeletal disorders.


Equipment

Employees may take their laptop, power cord, and storage devices to their remote location, provided they have inventoried these items per the Telecommuting Guidelines. If it is absolutely imperative to your job function for you to take UC-owned peripherals home to fulfill your job duties:

a. You must have approval from your department manager before taking peripherals home
b. The employee must log each peripheral in the Authorization to Use University Property at an Off-Campus Location, which must be signed by the department manager and submitted along with the Telecommuting Agreement Form to Human Resources at hr@ucmerced.edu
c. Peripherals that may be used at home if it is imperative include:
            i. Monitor
            ii. Keyboard
            iii. Docking station
            iv. Mouse
            v. Headset
            vi. Webcam (non-integrated)
d. The same guidance applies if it is imperative for your job function to take home a UC-owned desktop computer
 
University equipment in the employee's off-site workspace is subject to the same inventory control and disposal procedures as that in the primary work site, as all equipment, records, and materials provided by the University remains the property of the University. The employee is responsible for bringing equipment to the primary work site for inspection, maintenance and repair. The employee is responsible for protecting University-owned equipment, records, and materials from unauthorized or accidental access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. This includes electronic records as well as hard copy documentation. If any incidents of loss, damage, or unauthorized access occur, the employee must report the occurence to their supervisor at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT DO I DO IF I RECEIVED EQUIPMENT AS PART OF AN ACCOMMODATION AND DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO IT AT HOME?

Contact your supervisor, disability management consultant, and/or claims manager to clarify your needs and responsibilities while temporarily working from home. Open communication with your department is key to ensuring your safety and protecting University resources during this time.

DO I NEED A TELECOMMUTE AGREEMENT?

Contact your supervisor to determine the above. You may also reference the Telecommute Guidelines.

I AM STILL HAVING CHALLENGES WORKING AT HOME; WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Notify your supervisor immediately and request help and assistance. You may complete a request for assessment and email ergocat@ucmerced.edu. Staff will contact you to discuss your case.

WILL MY DEPARTMENT PAY FOR EQUIPMENT FOR ME TO USE AT HOME?

Contact your supervisor. Each department will decide how to proceed with providing equipment as part of their Business Continuity Plan.