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If you have found yourself working from home on a permanent basis, you will have found you needed to set up a workstation but this is not always practical – you may not intend to work from home for long periods and are just trying to work through a short term challenge such as the current Covid 19 crisis. And there’s space and it’s location to consider.

Here are our top tips for reducing the risks associated with working with an improvised workstation:


  1. Designate a work space – If it is possible try to create a space to work. Even if it is a corner of a room that you can make “Out of bounds” and lay out what you need to be able to work efficiently. In the ideal scenario this will be a separate room or somewhere quiet but this is not always possible.
  2. Get comfortable – If you are working from home for a short term then it is not always possible to set up a permanent workstation. Try to set the work area up so that you can maintain a good posture and avoid strains and back problems. Having a view to the outside and good ventilation also helps.
  3. Seating – Not everyone will have an office chair at home. If using a laptop try to get seated somewhere where you can have adequate back support and you can position your arms so that your shoulders are not hunched and you are not stretching your arms out for long periods of time.
  4. Lighting – Try to avoid positions where there is a lot of glare on the screen or lighting is either too bright or too dark.
  5. Keep moving – If it is possible see if you can vary the position that you work to prevent any strains and aches developing. Try working stood up for a while if it helps.
  6. Plan regular breaks from the screen – This can be doing other work or remembering to stop and relax, take a walk, do some stretching or just have those regular cuppa’s.
  7. Discuss issues – If you are suffering from eye strain, aches and pains or fatigue then talk about it to someone. Your line manager, your family or a professional.
  8. Plan – Plan to avoid the development of these issues through either setting up a more suitable workspace or limiting the time spent where any discomfort might develop.