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Home office equipment/furnishings

Updated 3/1/21

Telecommuting employees are not typically eligible for home office equipment. However, in light of COVID-19, eligible employees who are required to work from home during the pandemic may be eligible to purchase or be reimbursed for basic necessary ergonomic equipment recommended by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). However, such equipment will only be approved after completion of all the steps required in the Computer Workstation Ergonomics Matching Funds Program, including completion of an ergonomic assessment from EH&S.

Effective date

September 1, 2020 - mid-June 2021, or as long as telecommuting is approved during the pandemic.


Regular benefits-eligible employees (including faculty, academic and non-academic staff), non-benefits eligible staff (including postdocs, student hourly workers, and contingent employees) who are approved by their department to temporarily telecommute as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SLAC employees: Policies may differ from those stated here due to our regulatory environment; please view the policies posted in the SLAC Intranet.

What is covered

  • Eligible employees may receive reimbursement or have the department purchase basic work-from-home office equipment that was previously not reimbursable under the standard Telecommuting Agreement and Computer Workstation Ergonomics Matching Fund Program.

  • The interim policy was designed to work in conjunction with the existing Computer Workstation Ergonomics Matching Fund Program and expand the benefits provided to include at home equipment. Under this policy any at home ergonomic equipment needed (as determined by EH&S following an ergo assessment) is approved up to $250.

  • With this addition of the interim policy, the existing program that covers ergonomic equipment needs is now expanded to include both equipment for use while telecommuting (at home) and equipment needed at the Stanford worksite.

How to obtain approved home office equipment

In order to qualify for this benefit, individuals must either complete Ergonomics Training EHS-3400 in STARS at their home workstation to help ensure proper setup, or complete the online self-assessment form.

After completion of either the Ergonomics Training or online self-assessment, please take the following steps:

  • If possible, work with your supervisor to identify equipment that can be retrieved from your workstation on-campus. This includes, external keyboard, mouse, free standing monitors, monitor risers, docking stations, headsets, web cameras, foot rest, and chairs. Please observe utmost caution and care in lifting and transporting equipment from the office to your home to prevent any injuries. Furniture such as desks, file storage cabinets or any other heavy equipment is not permitted to be taken from the workplace. All equipment taken home from work is Stanford-owned and must be returned when temporary telecommuting ends.
  • If you are unable to retrieve some or all of the needed basic equipment from work, please schedule a remote ergonomic assessment to receive recommendations from EH&S.
  • EH&S ergonomic recommendations shall be reviewed by the supervisor, who will follow departmental expense procedures and either purchase or provide reimbursement for EH&S recommended ergonomic equipment from the basic equipment list, up to a maximum of $250.
  • Any EH&S recommended equipment exceeding $250, requires approval from the Dean/Vice Provost/Vice President or their delegate.
  • If you completed a remote ergonomic assessment and self-purchased equipment between March 17, 2020, and July 31, 2020, based on the recommendations provided by EH&S, you may be eligible for a partial reimbursement pending department approval (not to exceed $250). Any reimbursement would require receipts for purchased items.
  • All home office equipment purchased or reimbursed by Stanford becomes Stanford-owned property, and must be tracked by the department and returned by the employee when temporary telecommuting ends, or as soon as possible following the date employment ends, whichever is sooner.
  • When equipment is returned, if the department does not have use for the equipment, the Department Property Administrator (DPA) should initiate an excess property request for potential sale by Surplus Property (Administrative Guide 5.2.4 Surplus Property Sales). The employee may be able to purchase the excess equipment at the current fair market value of the item in this situation.

Policy limits

  • Equipment purchased during temporary telecommuting is limited to a basic workstation setup. This policy is not intended to cover specialized ergonomic equipment, such as sit/stand desks or equipment outside the pre-approved list. Any specialized ergonomic equipment needed outside of the pre-approved list, will be considered a workplace accommodation. Please consult with your local HR Manager and/ or contact the Workers’ Compensation department for assistance with requests outside of this policy.  You should follow workers’ compensation incident reporting process if you have a work-related injury that requires specialized ergonomic needs.

Policy exceptions

Any exceptions to eligibility for this policy must be approved by the Vice President for Human Resources. Any approvals for reimbursements for home office equipment outside of the limits of this policy must be approved by the appropriate Dean, Vice Provost, or Vice President.