Important information for IRB employees


Working remotely: mental health and ergonomic tips

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At home ergonomic tips

Working from home offers advantages and flexibility. Check out the Government of Canada’s recommendations for how to be successful while teleworking. Employees are encouraged to adjust and adapt their work space at home.

12 ergonomic tips to create a healthier, safer workspace at home

  • Use a cushion or pillow to reach the desired height of elbows at table height.
  • Roll a cushion or towel for lower back support to maintain the lumbar curve.
  • Support your feet with stacked books or a firm box.
  • Adjust the height of your laptop so your keyboard is at elbow height if standing and working at a counter.
  • Maintain good posture and ensure that the shoulders are relaxed at all times when sitting or standing.
  • Use headphones or earbuds when making calls or when taking part in online meetings to prevent unnatural posture.
  • Take breaks and stretch regularly at least once per hour.
  • Look away periodically from your screen to focus on distant objects.
  • Create shortcuts to files that you regularly work on.
  • Increase the speed on your mouse to reduce elbow and shoulder movements.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts instead of mouse.
  • Hold short meetings standing up.

For more information, check out this guide to avoid ergonomic hazards.

If you require additional equipment to work remotely

Requests for additional equipment will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Priority will be given to employees who are delivering critical services and those who the employer has a duty to accommodate. Employees are encouraged to speak to their manager for more information.

Related information

COVID-19 and your mental health @ work

Working remotely when you don’t normally: minding your mind

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, we understand many employees may feel some degree of uncertainty, anxiety, worry and stress as it disrupts our home life and way of working.


  • Keep a daily routine – create, sustain and maintain some structure in your day.
  • Do one thing that brings you joy, laughter or fun – dance, sing, exercise, walk your dog, just to name a few.
  • Take a step back and consider how to take advantage of unexpected flexibility in your daily routine.
  • Stay connected –reach out to your colleagues, teammates or friends in the #GC community but also talk to friends or family about your feelings and concerns.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.
  • Work-life balance: Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Offer help if you have capacity and work from home, if you can.​
  • Go to reliable sources for information, such as
  • Stay informed but follow news coverage about COVID-19 in moderation. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly.
  • Keep in touch with your team, especially if you’re off sick or unable to work for other reasons.
  • Practice physical distancing ​to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and protect your community.
  • Identify what is within your control and try to direct your energy towards what most worries you within your own control. 
  • Maintain healthy relationships and respect other people’s feelings and decisions.
  • Show support and empathy to those dealing with difficult situations.


  • Binge watch the news or TV​ all day long: create some healthy, daily routines to mind your mind.
  • Deny yourself help, if needed.
  • Work in a silo - be a team player, communicate effectively and collaborate.​

Resources and support

Mental health and wellness during COVID-19: Protect your mental health in the workplace. ​​

Employee Assistance Program
A toll-free employee assistance program is available 24/7 for all government employees and their immediate family members who feel they need support. Call at 1-800-268-7708 or 1-800-567-5803 (for persons with a hearing impairment).

GCMentalHealt​h: resources, services and support
Tips on how to take care of your mental health in these times of great uncertainty.

Regular updates, information, and resources available on social media.