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The HR Forum

Guidance on mobile/hot desk set up

About to trial hot-desk set up in couple areas of the business and everyone is being given laptops. When asking about the other equipment (e.g. docking station, monitor, keyboard and mouse) I was advised that they're not needed. When I've looked at guidance on display screen equipment and work station set up, it recommends this equipment. The internal advice I've had is that this is only where you're 100% tied to your desk. This seems to conflict with what I've read and in terms of well-being, doesn't seem right. Has anyone got any additional guidance or references I could look at? 

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  • Hi Lynn

    At first glance it would appear that your organisation is assuming that the use of portable equipment and hot-desking allow them to ignore the DSE regs just because an employee uses a different desk each day.  You are absolutely correct when you say such equipment is recommended by the HSE to prevent fatigue and postural issues, does somebody think that they know better than the HSE?  You definitely need to carry out a DSE assessment for each user and provide any necessary equipment that is required by each individual (e.g. wrist supports and foot rests, although how this is then managed in a hot desk environment I am not sure).  Unfortunately the effects of poor posture and fatigue such as neck and back issues are not always immediately evident so any trial should be long enough to detect the onset of issues.

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg36.pdf ;


  • Hi Lynn

    I can only base this on my experience of working in hot desk environments, and yes typically you would just have a tether to put the laptop too, a bit like arrangements in Univeristy when you use the library.  But no docking station or monitor, keyboard and mouse.

    That said in my current business, we have exactly as you describe and docking stations with monitors, as we felt that crouching over a laptop was not great wellbeing wise.

    Some sensible advice here from UNISON


    Also I would want to ensure any individual requirements were met as different people with have different needs with respect to hot desking.

    It may be worth seeing if there are any H&S professionals who can advise on this further.

    Good Luck!


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