Home office workplace

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The UT offers a hybrid way of working, combining office and remote working. This page helps you to set up a health and durable home office workplace

A healthy workplace

As UT, we find it important that you as our employee have a safe and healthy workplace at home, that enables you to work from the home in a sustainable way. In order to achieve this, it is important that your home office and the way you work from your home meets several requirements:

  • make sure there is proper ventilation and a pleasant temperature;
  • take breaks regularly and make sure you move around;
  • make sure your working posture is good and that your workplace is equipped and adjusted in the right way.

Check your current workplace and working posture (take the CANS test) to see if you need further supplies to create a healthy workplace. In order to facilitate you as well as possible in this respect, we have put together a standard range of home office suppliesthat you can order through selfservice.utwente.nl. You can choose from a number of supplies that you can recognise by the label ‘HOME WORKPLACE’. All supplies in bold fonts can be ordered for your home office workplace:

  • make sure you sit well and use an adjustable office chair;
  • if possible, adjust the height of your desk; if your desktop is too high by 3 cm or more, use a footstool and adjust the height of your seat accordingly;
  • your monitor must be an arm’s length away; the top of the screen must be right below eye level; you can use a monitor stand or a laptop stand to achieve this;
  • use a separate keyboard and a separate mouse;
  • if necessary, use a headset for video meetings in order to reduce the impact of background noise or if the quality of your microphone and/or speakers is insufficient;
  • for online tuition, you can order a separate microphone and a good camera.

Please take notice that all supplies remain property of UT at all times: they will be put at your disposal on loan for the period in which you have been contracted by UT. If you need additional supplies, please contact your superior; for additional advice, contact your HSE co-ordinator.

How to order

If you have decided which supplies you need, you can order these through selfservice.utwente.nl on the OFI-number of your department. The home office supplies that you can order from our basic range can be identified by the label ‘HOME WORKPLACE’. The time of delivery may vary per item; for each item, an estimated time of delivery is therefore indicated.

After placing an order, your manager will have to approve it. You will receive a message informing you. Orders placed after February 1, 2021 will be sent to the workplace at the UT.

Order your supplies
Open Selfservice Portal
Use the LISA Selfservice Portal to order home office supplies: desk chair, monitor, mouse, keyboard, headset etc.

ICT workplace support 

  • LISA provides some support for setting up a home office
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available for UT employees and students. Microsoft Office 365 is a Cloud service that consists of several applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint which can be used both in the Cloud as well as on your own device.
  • Teams is the successor to Skype for Business. You can use Teams to invite your colleagues to chat, meet, call and work together. This can all be done in one place, wherever you are. LISA has listed all the information about Teams for you.

TIPS for working (from home) in a healthy and sustainble way 

Of course, your home situation is slightly different from the occupational health and safety support that we normally offer at the UT. We ask you to be as flexible as possible and to follow the guidelines below as closely as possible in order to be able to work at home as healthy and sustainable as possible:

  • Tips and trics
    • Use a fixed time schedule to work;
    • Provide adequate lighting above your workplace;
    • Preferably sit in a place with the window on the side or behind you. It is extra tiring to look towards the daylight. If you suffer from light reflection on your screen, you can close the (net) curtains a bit;
    • If you have to make a lot of calls, preferably use earphones / headphones or the speaker function so that you have your hands free;
    • Do you have an office workplace at home? Then use it as you are used to in the office;
    • Do you have an office chair at a un-adjustable table? Then: 
      • Adjust the armrests of the chair for good, relaxed support of the arms. Make sure the shoulders are not pushed up.
      • Then raise the chair seat so that the armrests are at the same height as the table top
      • Put something under the feet so that the thighs are horizontal. This prevents pinching of the blood vessels at the edge of the seat;
      • Don't you have the above? Then try raising the chair if necessary. This so that when your forearms are on the table, you don't have to shrug the shoulders;
    • Rest the arms well on the table with the keyboard slightly further away. But keep the back straight and avoid leaning over.
    • Avoid typing with outstretched arms. This gives an increased tension in the arm, shoulder and neck muscles.
    • If possible, use a separate keyboard at the table and place the laptop on a platform (for example, a stack of books). This so that the top edge of the screen is slightly below eye level.
    • If you use a separate monitor, set it to the above height.
    • Place your monitor about an arm's length away.
    • When working on the laptop, without a separate keyboard, be extra alert to relax your shoulder and neck muscles and move extra, so that the muscles continue to flow.
    • Alternate sitting at the table every half hour with walking, moving or doing exercises. For example, walk around while making calls.
    • The golden rule for taking a break is minimal 5 minutes every hour.

The risk of intensively working with a monitor

Many physical complaints, such as tired eyes, and wrist, arm, shoulder and neck pain, are associated with intensive monitor work. The longer someone works without a break, the more the complaints increase. RSI stands for Repetitive Strain Injury and is the term generally used for physical injury as a result of repetitive strain. RSI is collective term for chronic conditions affecting the neck, shoulders, elbows and/or wrists. For more information about RSI, go to www.utwente.nl/rsi.

FAQ for employees

  • How do I know if I am sitting correctly?

    You can check if your office supplies have been adjusted correctly by using a CANS test. By using this test, you can find out what is required for a healthy workplace at home and what needs to be improved in your situation.

  • How do I optimally adjust my Be Proud office chair for the correct sitting position?

    Watch video: Adjust the correct sutting position

  • I have already bought home office supplies. Can I make declarations?

    If you have purchased home office supplies with the approval of your superior and the purchase took place before 3 September 2020, you may claim you expenses after conferring with your superior. The Board of Directors took a decision on 3 September 2020 which states that after that date, home office supplies may only be purchased using regulated procedures and that independently made purchases will not be reimbursed.

    Costs for  home office supplies that have been claimed by definition have been financed by UT; therefore, they will remain property of UT. Following the end of a contract period, they need to be handed over to UT.

  • Where can I collect my supplies?

    Items are delivered to UT by the supplier. You will receive a message informing you when and where the supplies can be collected at UT. They will be stored securely until that time.

  • Are the items for which I have claimed expenses my property?

    Home office supplies you have claimed have been financed by UT by definition. As a consequence, they will remain property of UT. Following the end of a contract period, they need to be handed over to UT. UT has an arrangement for e-waste, which allows employees to take over obsolete personal electronic devices, such as smartphones and PCs. After conferring with your superior, you can make a request for this purpose through LISA self service portal (menu: eWaste).

  • I have already collected office supplies from my UT office to install at my home office, e.g. my desk chair and monitor. Do I need to return these items, if I order new ones?

    Best contact your superior to make arrangements and to discuss in which manner your service or faculty wishes to handle this.

  • Can I order supplies that are not listed in the standard range of home office supplies?

    Under special circumstances, where standard supplies are not adequate or sufficient, your superior may contact the HSE co-ordinator of your unit to assess whether a tailored solution is called for and possible. The HSE co-ordinator will advise your superior on their findings.

  • I have trouble reading my monitor; what can I do?

    On this website repetitive strain injury, you can find information about the procedure for computer glasses and how to start this procedure. The costs will be covered by your own department. In  special cases where computer glasses are not sufficient, your superior may ask the HSE co-ordinator for help to see whether a tailored solution is called for and possible. The HSE co-ordinator will assess the situation and advise your superior on their findings.

  • I have trouble hearing; what can I do?

    Under special circumstances, where standard supplies are not adequate or sufficient, please contact your superior. They can ask the HSE co-ordinator for advice. The HSE co-ordinator will assess the situation and advise the superior on what is needed in your situation.

  • I see other supplies in the orders portal; can I order those as well?

    You will recognise home office supplies from the basic range by the label ‘HOME WORKPLACE’. Ordering other supplies is not allowed.

  • What do I do if my superior does not approve my order for supplies from the basic range?

    If you have ordered supplies labelled ‘HOME WORKPLACE’, it is important to ask your superior why no approval was given. If additional advice is required, please contact your HSE co-ordinator.

FAQ for managers

  • An employee wishes to order a sit/stand desk through UT. This is not part of the basic range of home office supplies. Which procedure needs to be followed?

    Under special circumstances, where standard supplies are not adequate or sufficient, you can, as a superior, contact your HSE co-ordinator for advice whether a tailored solution is called for and possible. The HSE co-ordinator will assess the situation and subsequently advise you.

  • How does financial processing of supplies ordered from the basic range (‘Home workplace’) take place?

    Once an employee has ordered the required home office supplies through the LISA Self-service Portal, the order will be sent to the person mandated for approval digitally. Usually, this is their superior and/or director. The process is similar to the process for ordering hardware and software through the Self-service Portal. After you approved the employee’s order, the order will be processed physically and financially.

    Financial processing will take place by charging the costs of home office supplies ordered at the cost centre of the employee. These costs will be recorded under grootboekrekening: 2321 Aanschaf inventaris/apparatuur of said cost centre. Because orders will be place at the self-service portal, the financial department will be able to trace by cost centre level which costs were made for home office supplies.

  • How can I support my team with staying healthy and avoiding high work pressure in ways other than by helping them set up a healthy workplace?

    As a superior you have a key role in creating an environment where your employees can carry out their work in a healthy and safe way. On the HR website, you can find a simple guide to various topics on, and possibilities for, keeping your employees healthy and recognising high work pressure.

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