During these unprecedented times, staff are being asked to work from home in line with UK Government guidance. We have pulled together some simple advice to help protect your health, safety and wellbeing while working from home. Read the guidance below or download the full PDF guide

For further information or assistance, please contact the Health & Safety Adviser at mkennedy1@qmu.ac.uk.

Workstation set up

Your workstation at home should, where possible, be as similar to your desk at work. As a minimum, you will need: 

  • A table / desk (an ironing board is a good alternative!)
  • Chair
  • Tablet, laptop or PC

DSE Guidance has some great hints and tips on adapting your workspace at home. 

Find an area with adequate space to set up a suitable working area. Ensure there is sufficient light, ventilation and no trailing cords. 

Check your electrical equipment is still safe to use. Do not overload sockets or daisy chain extension leads. Become familiar with all escape routes in case of a fire and ensure they are clear. 

If you have any concerns about your health, safety or wellbeing while working at home, please contact your line manager or the health and safety adviser to discuss. 

Training and other resources

The following links provide additional information to help you work from home: 

QMU Working from Home Guidelines 

Workstation Exercises

Guide to Healthy Laptop Use

Wellbeing

It is important to take regular breaks and maintain positive wellbeing when working. 

  • Take a micro-break (2-3 minutes) every 20 minutes
  • Take a break (5 minutes) every hour e.g. make a hot drink or walk around the room
  • Do simple workstation exercises
  • Keep hydrated and drink water
  • Enjoy healthy snacks and avoid sugary or fatty foods
  • Stay connected and maintain social connections with your team, family, friends and community

Keep regular contact with your line manager and team to let them know you are safe and well. Microsoft Teams is being used by many colleagues at QMU and WhatsApp is also a useful tool for groups to stay in touch. 

It is quite normal to feel anxious or stressed during this difficult time. QMU have a fantastic Employee Assistance Programme (intranet link) for free and confidential help. 

Reporting

Incidents, near misses and ill health should still be reported in the usual way. It is important you inform your line manager and HR team if you are self-isolating (with or without symptoms).

Online training session: Working Successfully from Home

You might like to access a one hour ‘Working Successfully from Home’ training session that is delivered online via Zoom by our training partners, Positive People. The session is presented by David Longstaff, who has delivered the Ease the Load session to staff in the past. The session will be most useful to those that are unfamiliar with working from home.

Sign up for a session

Just enter your details at the link and add PREPAIDQMU in the coupon code box. There are a number of dates available and more will be added. Please access Zoom via your browser rather than through the Horizon desktop in order for voice and video to work.

The session content includes:

  • the value of daily routines
  • dealing with distractions
  • juggling work and children
  • focusing on priorities
  • getting exercise
  • knowing when to stop work
  • overcoming guilt

New Staff Member @Home Induction Plan

While it is inevitable that our current circumstances will make it more challenging than usual for you to settle into your new role and for you to get to know your new colleagues, this @Home Induction Plan is designed by you and your line manager to enable you to carry out your role effectively and integrate you into the QMU community.

Supporting staff dealing with childcare and caring responsibilities

As staff continue to work from home, we recognise that it may be difficult for those with young children may find this especially challenging. To find out more about how QMU is supporting staff to deal with childcare and caring responsibilities when working at home, download this Caring Responsibilities at Home guide.

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