Like many of you, I have been working from home since March last year, we are doing long hours at a screen and have had no time to stop for months. This has long since moved on from being just being a temporary situation, your rights working from home are just the same as those you have on campus, the university has a duty to ensure your conditions of work are safe and as a union we will protect those rights.

When’s the last time you looked at how and where you are working, right now, I am sure many of you are still working from kitchen tables or in cramped bedrooms, in poor light etc. Many of us are also working from laptops, have you all got keyboards, larger screens, a mouse? If not, you should request these. Your health goes beyond just your physical space, it’s also how you work, your hours, the demands on you from work and family, we are here to support you so do get in touch if there are any issues.

I hope that you will be able to take some practical advice, this lunchtime (yes, you should be taking time for lunch). Please try to do two things:

(1) Do the DSE self-assessment, and make sure that you are getting all the support you need to work safely and comfortably at home, that includes asking for office chairs, desks if you need these to be able to work in comfort.

(2) If you are, like myself, finding your eye sight is suffering, it’s vital you take all the advice about taking screen breaks, but also get your free eye test booked, so apply for your voucher today.  Finally, I saw the following link about setting yourself up to work from home and taking care of yourself, which you may also find very helpful, and also very readable.

Take care

Sharon, Branch President

The UCU coronavirus advice page is here.