COVID-19 Homeworking DSE Guidance 

Guidance for managers and employees (including PGT,PhD and PGR students and does not include undergraduates).

It is recognised that, by following Government guidance, the majority of staff and students are working from home.

These exceptional circumstances may mean, that for some, the DSE set up is not the same as the normal working environment.

It is good practice for those working at home to follow the guidance provided and also complete a COVID-19 - Home_Working_Self-Assessment_Form__May 2020.  These documents have useful advice and information about setting up a home workstation and helps to identify any additional needs. 

In most instances the majority of adjustments can be made by applying inventiveness and flexibility to adjust a working setup to suit your needs, this will include taking more frequent, breaks throughout the working day to maintain physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This may have an adverse effect on an individual’s perception of productivity; however wellbeing is of paramount importance. 

For those staff with reasonable adjustments in place, with specialist DSE or work equipment,every effort will be made to deliver these items to your home (for Penryn staff only for collection from the Penryn campus by prior arrangement via the Cornwall Director of College Operations). Where this is not possible (e.g. the equipment is not portable (too large), you live more that 30 miles from an Exeter Campus (for Penryn staff only you do not have your own transport to collect), Managers will work with you to establish a plan. This plan will either involve a review of your working arrangements/workload or a plan to order equipment to be delivered to your home.

If identified through self-assessment that additional equipment is required, managers may be able to arrange delivery to your home via your College/Service.  Everyone needs to be mindful that some equipment may not be available either due to depleted University stock or items are not available to purchase direct from suppliers. Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 timescales, the priority will be to set up safer ways of working without the need to procure new equipment as this may take several weeks to arrive.

If, having completed a self-assessment, you experience significant difficulties in setting up your home workstation please contact either the Health & Safety Team or Occupational Health to arrange a one-to-one telephone assessment (via Teams) if required.


The homeworking self-assessment is a checklist for staff and students to use to ensure that workstations are set up to the best of their ability, to reduce the risk of pain and ill health that can be associated with the use of Display Screen Equipment (DSE). Everyone is required to carry out a homeworking self-assessment to ascertain whether assistance is required.

It must be recognised and acknowledged that despite having equipment and technology to enable homeworking a perfect working setup (as on campus) may not be achievable.

If, having completed a COVID-19 - Home_Working_Self-Assessment_Form__May 2020, you experience significant difficulties in setting up your homework station please contact either the Health & Safety team or Occupational Health to arrange a one to one telephone assessment (via Microsoft Teams). 

 After the workstation set-up guidance has been followed and the COVID-19 - Home_Working_Self-Assessment_Form__May 2020‌ checklist has been completed additional equipment may be required.

Noted below are instructions on how to acquire equipment on loan direct from the University's stock or purchase equipment from suppliers to be sent directly to your home address.

NB: All requests made by staff or students to loan equipment for home use must be approved by the line Manager/Supervisor. Where purchase is required College/Service key contacts need to be informed to facilitate the process. The Health & Safety Team or Occupational Health will be able to provide advice and guidance with reference to purchasing appropriate equipment for more specialised requirements. 


Transportation (from Campuses) or Delivery (direct from Suppliers):

Occupational Health

More information on wellbeing whilst working from home can be found on the Occupational Health web page linked below

Breaks and exercises

It is recommended that DSE Users have regular interruptions from screen work to prevent the onset of eye strain, and musculoskeletal pain. Therefore, periods of 5 minutes of alternative work activity every hour should be organised during the working day. This could include a change of task from DSE use to other tasks and taking time out to exercise.

* When viewing the Desk Exercises (Sally Gunnell videos), hover the mouse over the image of Sally Gunnell on each slide and the video will activate and a play bar will appear below the image for you to see Sally demonstrating the exercise described in the adjacent text.

Other hints and tips

Specsavers are open for essential and urgent eye care appointments only see Specsavers website. Vouchers have an expiry date that starts to count down from the date that they are issued. Unless you have an urgent or essential appointment please do not request a routine sight test voucher so that you have the full time period (12 months) to redeem the voucher when Specsavers resume their routine eye sight test appointment service.

Eye care vouchers for Urgent and Essential appointments will be issued within 48 hours of the request being submitted to the Health & Safety mailbox ( Voucher requests received on Friday will be processed the following Monday (or Tuesday after a Bank Holiday).


Occupational Health have working from home advice and support for colleagues including those with disabilities, vulnerabilities and mental health concerns 


The Positive Working Environment (PWE) group at the University has created some helpful and engaging guides to help with the transition to working from home:

•   Home Working SWAY 
•   Leading teams SWAY 
•   Keeping Healthy Yammer 
•   Disability guidance 
•   Specific Guidance for Parents/Guardians and Carers  


Looking for some fitness inspiration? A group has been created on our University of Exeter Sport Facebook Page where you will need to request to join the group in order see and interact with our daily posts.Head to our Health & Fitness Facebook page to access a weekly timetable of activities and tutorials. Our fantastic fitness staff are leading live workouts including Pilates, Bite-size Ballet, Metcon, Yoga and many more. They will also be posting specific tutorials on strength and conditioning, core work, how to run a faster 5K, ‘pre-habilitation’ work and a whole range of fitness inspired videos.