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Ergonomics Home Microbreaks Ergo Postures Keyboard Shortcuts Laptop Ergo Telecommuter Tips Office Moves

Telecommuter Tips

Telecommuters may be exposed to ergonomic risk factors similar to those of office workers. Risk factors include, but are not limited to: repetitive movements, awkward postures, excessive force, and static postures.

SLAC Ergonomic Telecommuter Services 

An ergonomic specialist can help ensure offsite workspaces are safe by evaluating and providing recommendations to reduce or eliminate ergonomic risk factors. For ergonomic assistance, please contact the Occupational Health Department at x2281.

Ergonomic Tips for Telecommuters

Setting up your Workstation:

Course 291 - Ergonomics Training for the Office Worker – is a comprehensive online course that guides learners through a self-assessment of their workstation to help ensure proper setup.  Telecommuters are encouraged to take this course from all workstations used – including your home, offsite location, and your office at work. 

Using a Laptop Computer:

Compact laptop design with joined keyboard and monitor forces laptop users into awkward postures.  To address ergonomic risks: 

  • Use a separate keyboard and mouse for prolonged laptop use (>1 hour)
  • Position the keyboard and mouse to allow the shoulders to relax, elbows to be at the sides, and the hands to be at or slightly below elbow level.
  •  Place the laptop on a riser to position the monitor at an appropriate level

See the Guide to Laptop Ergonomics [pdf] for more information and refer to Ergonomically Correct Postures for additional information.


  •  One to two minute microbreaks every 20 to 30 minutes are recommended to reduce sustained awkward postures and repetitive motions.
  •  Breaks are emphasized when using a laptop or other ergonomically-compromised work stations. 
  •  Refer to the Stretching and Microbreaks page for more information.

Basic Setup:

Follow these basic equipment positioning recommendations when working on either a desktop or laptop:

  • Comfortable, adjustable chair: A good ergonomic chair will have adjustable features such as seat height, seat pan tilt, seat pan depth, and back support; and height adjustable arm rests
  • Work Surface: The keyboard and mouse are ideally positioned at a height just below or at seated elbow height. Options include finding a table with a height that matches your seated elbow height, sitting higher in the chair with a footrest or installing a keyboard tray if the desk height is too high.
  • Monitor: The top 3/4ths of the monitor is ideally adjusted to eye level. Options include use of a monitor stand, laptop riser, or monitor arm




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