IT office equipment … ongoing

Unfortunately, this article needs to start with an apology: we here at Generation 2004 are deeply sorry and contrite for the unintended effects that our photography contest on the ‘Wild West of Teleworking’ seems to have had. But let us explain.

On 1 June 2021, DG HR published the details on the home office package for your (and our) home kitchen-table office: check your eligibility [1]. The IT package contains any combination of the following items:

  • Screen (might have additional USB ports)
  • keyboard (AZERTY, QWERTY or QWERTZ)
  • mouse (even if one already came with the laptop)
  • docking station (provides additional USB ports)
  • Webcam (you can close your laptop)
  • ergonomic chair

If you look at the image for this article, you might recognise what is missing, do you see it? Indeed, it seems that DG HR was as impressed as we were by the imaginative solutions found by you for setting up a somewhat decent workplace at home. However, in its crusade to cut costs, no matter what, the Commission seems to have decided that a DESK for you to work on is now considered a luxury item that you must purchase yourselves. Working time and hybrid working decision, Article 12(2) does make vague provision for those requiring specific kit:  ‘Specific needs of staff with disability on telework shall be catered for under the reasonable accommodation rules’ [2] (please let us know if this is you!)

That decision sets out a ‘new normal’ where we telework a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 4 days a week (though those who wish can request to work 100% at the office). This means that most of us will have to transport our laptops, how well does that work with your commute? [3] And how about bringing that same laptop with you on holiday?

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the Commission-issued headphones with microphone in that image: this (wired) headset can be requested via My IT Support (item: ‘Request telephony peripherals (Skype for Business)’).

Generation 2004 would like to remind DG HR of Council Directive 90/270/EEC on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment: this is a workstation:

‘workstation: an assembly comprising display screen equipment, which may be provided with a keyboard or input device and /or software determining the operator/machine interface, optional accessories, peripherals including the diskette drive, telephone, modem, printer, document holder, work chair and work desk or work surface, and the immediate work environment’

Again, please let us know how this affects you and your circumstances, we’re always glad to hear from you!


[1] If anyone from the JRC, Executive agencies or OLAF can let us know what IT kit is available there, we would like to hear about it, thanks!

From COVID-19: The latest on the digital certificate, vaccination and more comments:

The IT kit for Home and MITS (My IT Support) are not available for Executive agencies, OLAF and JRC: please contact your Information Resources Manager (IRM).

– a proposal for the home kit for JRC users that will be presented to the next Crisis Management Committee meeting to confirm the related budget availability.
– As soon this will be confirmed by our management we will announce it to the staff.
– the process to request the kit … probably … JRC HELPDESK, as it was done in the first phase of the lockdown, to distribute screens.

[2] Commission introduces fairer disability rules for staff: New guidelines eliminate personal contribution (Au Quotidien, 06.05.2020)

[3] Some laptops were provided without a kensington-style lock to anchor the laptop to furniture.  You can request one via My IT Support:

REQUEST TYPE [choose] Install NON-STANDARD peripherals for a user
Misc. (specify) [write] ‘laptop locking cable’

Justification*: [write] ‘No locking cable was provided with laptop and I will need one for the return to the office’

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