Work environment when working from home

Work is primarily to be conducted at the workplace. But you may have the opportunity to sometimes work from home, in dialogue with your manager. Working from home can, however, involve certain challenges to your work environment. This page provides advice on how to improve your work environment at home.

Login to see more information on this page.


Photo: Mostphotos

All employees have their main workplace at Umeå University. Main workplace means the place where the employee is employed according to the employment contract.

It is the employer, based on the needs of the business, who decides in which forms work from home or from another temporary workplace can/may be carried out. Before working from home or from another temporary workplace, a dialogue must be held between manager and employee.

Your responsibility for the work environment when working at home

The employee is responsible for:

  • keeping a a good physical work environment at the temporary workplace and equipping it appropriately, so that your tasks can be carried out in a satisfactory manner. The employee is responsible for the costs of, for example, a private telephone, internet connection, electricity or the like;
  • making sure there is a sufficient broadband connection for work to be carried out, as well as being able to connect securely to Umeå University's network;
  • having a recurring dialogue with your manager about working at home.

Your manager's responsibility for the work environment when working at home

Your manager must ensure that the work environment and the design of the workplace do not entail a risk of ill health or accidents. It is therefore important that the manager has a dialogue with the employee to make sure that the temporary workplace is working.

Read more about the work environment responsibility on the page Work environment.


Work environment advice when working from home

Improve your physical workplace at home

  • Choose a place at home where you can work uninterrupted. If possible, avoid working in your bedroom as this could have negative effects on your sleep.
  • Do what you can to ensure that your home workspace is as similar to your regular workplace at the University as possible. More information on how to set up a good workplace can be found on the page Ergonomics.
  • Try to alternate between different positions throughout the day – sitting, standing and walking.

Organise your work

  • Talk to your manager about what tasks are to be performed at the workplace and what tasks could be performed at home.
  • Decide together what meetings require physical presence at the workplace, what meetings can be held online, or if some meetings could be so-called hybrid meetings – meetings with simultaneous physical and online participants. More information on how to succeed with hybrid meetings can be found on Aurora.

Plan your work at home

  • Create a structure for your day. You can, for instance, plan your working hours, your tasks and break times in your Outlook calendar.
  • Take regular breaks. Plan both short and long breaks, and involve physical exercises or some form of movement. 
  • Physical activity is important, particularly since you miss out on the normal exercise you get from commuting. Take a daily walk and/or use your fitness hour.
  • Make sure you get time to recover by separating work from spare time. If possible – turn your notifications off so they do not disturb you when you are not working.

Work injuries and damages when working from home

Work injury insurance

Unlike working at the workplace, injuries at home need to be directly linked to the work you are conducting. This means that you must have injured yourself whilst performing your work tasks for the work injury insurance to apply. Examples of cases that could be covered is if you

  • trip over the power cord to your laptop;
  • are sat at your computer answering work-related emails;
  • are sat at your computer talking to a colleague/customer on the phone;
  • are walking around at home while taking a work-related phone call on your work phone;
  • are travelling between home and work for a work-related meeting;
  • are travelling to work to collect equipment, a phone or post; or
  • are having a walk-and-talk meeting as long as the employer has approved this.

However, the insurance does not cover other types of general accidents in the home. If you, for instance, hurt yourself when making a cup of coffee in the kitchen, it does not count as a workplace accident, even if it happens during established working hours.

I wish to report occupational injury, near miss and risk observation.

Read more about your insurance coverage on Aurora.

If work equipment causes damages

Your home insurance should cover any potential damage that a burning device could cause to your home, for instance. Your work computer and phone are included in the University's insurance coverage. However, the University's excess fees are very high, which means that computers and phones should be treated as uninsured property.

Occupational injury and incident

If you are injured at work or experience that an event is risky it is important that you notify your manager. There are also some other things to consider.

More information about working from home or remotely

Online teaching

Get started with online tools and get new ideas for setting up online and hybrid teaching.

Online and hybrid teaching

Online meetings

Find information about the tools and services you can use for meetings and online collaborations.

Online meetings and collaborations

Policy documents

Annelie Mellström