Creating your home workspace

Remote working necessitates a dedicated space that clearly separates your work from your home environment. Even if you can’t dedicate a whole room as your home office, create a space that communicates to you–and the rest of your family–that while you are there, you are at work. It can be anything from a transformed closet to a corner of your living room that has a desk, chair, and computer monitor. Whatever it is, setting space aside helps prevent you from blurring the lines between work and personal life and to maintain a good work-life balance. Here are some considerations for selecting a remote workspace.

  • Pick a room in your house that is quiet, out of the flow of traffic, and that is comfortable to work in for long periods of time.
  • Select a stable internet provider with enough bandwidth to support the work you do.  
  • Customize your workspace for efficiency, which will help with productivity.
  • Keep your workspace clean and uncluttered with non-work-related items.
  • Consider investing in a comfortable, ergonomic desk chair and appropriate lighting for your work area.
  • Talk with your supervisor about ways they can help you be more efficient, such as possibly temporarily bringing equipment home from your campus workspace (like you’re your computer, monitors and headset). Ensure that you keep an inventory of equipment you take home on file with your supervisor.
  • Create an OIT Service Desk ticket requesting that your work phone be set up on Jabber so that you can receive calls through your computer as though at your campus desk.  
  • Share your schedule and expectations for working from home with family members that are also home during the day.

Document Security

Some information (electronic and hard copy) used in an employee’s work may be deemed confidential by the university. All university security safeguards and document retention policies must be adhered to at the same level as when physically located in a campus office to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure, loss or damage. Employees working remotely must acknowledge that in situations of possible litigation, all pertinent electronic information must be preserved. Although unlikely, the employee must be prepared to provide personally-owned equipment used in performing work duties, in accordance with their department's electronic document policy, if the possibility of stored electronic information exists on non-university-owned equipment.


Safety Considerations

Even though you are working remotely, we still want to ensure you are safe. This includes having a workspace that is free of trip hazards and can safely manage the added electrical load brought on by using multiple computing devices for an extended period of time. Keep the following safety considerations in mind when configuring your workspace.

  • Plugging in multiple computers, laptops, large computer screens/TV’s and printers all require a substantial amount of electricity, necessitating sufficient power outlets and stable electrical wiring to support your new workspace.
  • Ensure power cords are concealed and do not pose a trip hazard, and that file boxes and other work-related equipment are not stored in your walking path.
  • Minimize eye strain by ensuring you have proper lighting and seating in your workspace.
  • Protect your body by ensuring that your workspace is set up ergonomically. The National Institutes of Health provides a self-assessment checklist to help ensure that your workstation is safe. Reach out to your supervisor to discuss for assistance with equipment to help with ergonomic safety.

And don’t forget to stand up, stretch, and walk around periodically! Mayo Clinic provides a guide to office stretches to help keep you from stiffening up.   


Getting equipment from campus

The events of 2020 necessitated that many CU students, faculty and staff work and learn remotely rather than on campus. It is more important than ever that we stay connected for a safe, efficient and productive remote work space. As we expect to continue to do all that we can remotely, be sure you have all the technology you need to successfully work from your remote location. 

 

In addition to a computer, you will likely need a cellphone, external computer monitor(s), high-quality speakers, web camera, and microphone or headset for conference and video calls, and possibly a screen protector to reduce eye strain. OIT provides a list of minimum technology requirements for working from home. 

 

OIT advises against using personal equipment unless it is properly patched and secure. Check with your supervisor before using personal computing devises to work with university information. There may be legal and/or security concerns when storing university information on personal devices.

 

Need to bring your equipment home?

Be sure you have talked with your supervisor for approval to remove equipment from your campus office location. Once on campus, please note that each department has created a recordkeeping system for office equipment so, plan to provide the following information to your department:

  • Equipment Type
  • Make
  • Model
  • Serial Number

 

More information about taking your work computer home and properly disconnecting, remoting in to your office computer, and options for purchasing a computer to work from home is available on the technology information page. In addition, be sure to check OIT’s software webpage for software and applications available for free or at a discounted rate to faculty, staff and students!

 

Important reminder: Both campuses have detailed instructions for how to return to campus if you need to pick up equipment from your work location. Every staff, faculty and student must complete the SkillSoft training “COVID-19 Return to Campus” before coming to campus as well as completing the health attestation app and checking in at the designated health check-in station locations. For detailed instructions, refer to the Denver campus Safe Return to Campus: Fall 2020 website or the Anschutz Medical Campus Return to Campus Planning in the COVID-19 Era website.