Method Minute 

Guide to working from home

July 27, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that followed have accelerated the work from home (WFH) movement. As many businesses have begun to participate in the experiment, workers are now finding themselves reevaluating their living spaces, and making room for a home office.

While the new work flexibility is exciting and convenient, there are certain boundaries and setups that should be established to maintain your productivity and protect your mental and physical health. Below are some practical steps to assist in the process, links to additional information, and a self-assessment checklist to review the ergonomics of your new remote workstation.

Tips   Checklist   Quick links



Guide to working
from home

Establish a dedicated workspace

Working from home can easily blur the lines between where work life ends, and home life begins. To stay productive and balanced, the two need to be clearly separated to reduce distractions and interruptions, while allowing the mind to properly adjust. Having a dedicated physical space can also remind other occupants when you are “at work.” Consider the following best practices to define your workspace:

Have the right equipment and furniture

Having the right tools makes any job easier, improves productivity, and reduces ergonomic exposures. During the transition to WFH make sure your equipment at the home office will be comfortable, supportive, and functionable. More specific examples of how to evaluate the workspace for comfort and performance are provided in the self-assessment checklist.

Practice electricity safety

It is also important to remember common electrical safety tips to prevent hazards, and protect devices and equipment from overloads, surges, or fires. When reviewing your home office for electrical safety, follow these tips:

Keep a schedule

One of the biggest advantages of WFH is eliminating the time spent on your morning routine, and the daily commute. However, if not properly utilized the new free time can become a disadvantage, leading to later start times and a reduction in overall productivity. During the transition, it is best to continue keeping a daily schedule by considering the following:

Take breaks

An important part of any work schedule is making time for breaks that allow your mind and body to reset. When taking a break, focus on something or visit someplace that is different from your work. Any one or more of the following tips will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance:


Your name:

The office chair

  Yes No N/A Suggestions
1. Can your chair support the posture outlined below?       Obtain a fully adjustable chair
2. When seated, are your feet comfortably on the floor?       Lower the chair
Use a footrest
3. Is your lower back supported when seated?       Adjust chair back
Obtain proper chair
Obtain lumbar roll
4. Is there pressure on the back of your knees when you are seated?       Adjust seat pan
Add a back support
5. Do your armrests allow you to get close to your workstation?       Adjust armrests
Remove armrests

Keyboard & Mouse

  Yes No N/A Suggestions
6. Are your keyboard, mouse, and work surface at your elbow height?       Raise / lower workstation
Raise or lower keyboard
Raise or lower chair
7. Is the keyboard close to the front edge of the desk allowing space for the wrist to rest on the desk surface?       Move keyboard to correct position
8. When using your keyboard and mouse, are your wrists straight and your upper arms relaxed?
(The keyboard should be flat and not propped up on keyboard legs as an angled keyboard may place the wrist in an awkward posture when keying.)
      Re-check chair, raise or lower as needed
Check posture
Check keyboard and mouse height
9. Is your mouse at the same level and as close as possible to your keyboard?       Move mouse closer to keyboard
Obtain larger keyboard tray if necessary
10. Is the mouse comfortable to use?       Investigate alternate mouse options


  Yes No N/A Suggestions
11. If using a laptop computer for prolonged periods of time, consider using a full-sized external keyboard and mouse, and a docking station with full sized monitor or a laptop stand       Obtain appropriate laptop accessories

Work surface

  Yes No N/A Suggestions
12. Is your monitor positioned directly in front of you?       Reposition monitor
13. Is your monitor positioned at least an arm’s length away?
Note: the monitor’s location is dependent on the size of the monitor, the font, screen resolution and the individual user, e.g. vision/use of bifocal spectacles, etc.
      Reposition monitor
Seek an alternative monitor if necessary, e.g. flat screen that uses less space
14. Is your monitor height slightly below eye level?       Adjust monitor height
Add or remove monitor stand
15. Is your monitor and work surface free from glare?       Windows at side of monitor
Adjust overhead lighting
Cover windows
Obtain antiglare screen
16. Do you have appropriate light for reading or writing documents?       Obtain desk lamp
Place on left if right-handed
Place on right if left-handed
17. Are frequently used items located within the usual work area and items which are only used occasionally in the occasional work area?       Rearrange workstation


  Yes No N/A Suggestions
18. Do you take regular eye breaks from looking at your monitor?       Refocus on picture on wall every 30 minutes


  Yes No N/A Suggestions
19. Is there a sloped desk surface or angle board for reading and writing tasks if required?       Obtain document holder
20. Is there a document holder either beside the screen or between the screen and keyboard if required?       Obtain an angle board
21. Are you using a headset or speakerphone if you are writing or keying while talking on the phone?       Obtain a headset if using the phone and keyboard