Ergonomics and Remote Work

Ergonomic Telecommuting Tip:

Using an external mouse and keyboard is recommended at minimum when working off a laptop to avoid awkward wrist and upper extremity postures due to the compact design of laptop keyboards, and allows for the laptop screen to be elevated for ergonomic viewing posture.

Notice: Telework Guidance for Supervisors/Managers:

Please follow the links below for current guidance and resources on managing ergonomics at home:

Ergonomics at home - manager's update

FAQ - Purchasing Home office equipment

5 do's & don'ts for telework setups - From Managers weekly

Recommendations & Tips for Remote Work

Whether working onsite or telecommuting, proper workstation ergonomics are important for safety and well-being. All staff should take care to properly set up and adjust their workstation to allow neutral ergonomic postures to the extent possible. Laptops are often the primary work tool for remote work, but pose postural concerns if used without external devices for extended periods of time.

See below for general ergonomic guidance, recommendations and downloadable tip sheets:  

  • Take frequent periodic short duration breaks as opposed to infrequent longer breaks.
  • Use water/snack and stretch breaks to avoid long periods of stationary posture.
  • Don't forget to take visual breaks as well to reduce eye strain (Ex: 20-20-20 Rule).

CtrlWORK Ergo Break Software

An option available to improve break compliance is using our licensed CtrlWORK stretch break software program. Included below are instructions to install the software. *Important Note: We have a limited number of licenses; please only download on one computer per user.


Please follow the steps below to properly install the CtrlWORK Break Software as a new user:

  1. Call IT: 415-514-4100
  2. Open the link and have IT follow the steps to download and install the software:
  3. If prompted to reactivate the license, download the new license key here and save it to your computer. Do not rename the file differently from its “data.key” name and remember where you saved it!
  4. Once saved, select "Activate" in the bottom left corner of the activation prompt and open the saved data.key file. CtrlWORK should now be active.


Please follow the steps below to reactivate the CtrlWORK Break Software if you are prompted to do so:

  1. Click this link to download the reactivation key file (data.key). Save it to your desktop or other location of your choice. Do not rename the file differently from its “data.key” name and remember where you saved it!
  2. Open the CtrlWORK Break Software program (if the program is no longer on your computer, it can be re-downloaded here).
  3. Once opened, you will receive a prompt stating the license has expired. Select “Activate” in the bottom left corner and open the saved data.key file. CtrlWORK should now be active.


The link below leads to the most current downloadable user guide for the CtrlWORK stretch break software program:

The user guide has information regarding accessing the user settings to customize the CtrlWORK break software.

Downloadable instruction handout:

Ctrlwork Ergo Break software installation & activation


* Note: For guidance on approved and recommended ergonomic accessories that you can decide on purchasing for use at home, please see our linked resource guides:

FAQ - Purchasing Home office equipment

home office equipment & Furniture guide

Workstation accessories catalog - TelecommutinG (Updated on 12/15/20)

Tip Sheets:

remote work tip sheet

remote work Tips - Laptop Only

Safety Alert - Relocating Chairs home

Minimizing Zoom Fatigue

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