I have a question about uninvited users of my desk that was set up for my ergonomic needs. I have a colleague who likes to use my ergonomically set up desk and my chair, with re-adjusting the settings to is own needs.

There is no shortage of the desk space, he just likes to socialize with others in the room. When I asked him politely to stop adjusting the settings, he replied that I just don't want him to use my desk space. Is there any law protecting ergo set up from Worker's comp? Any other advise is appreciated.

  • 3
    If you want legal or health and safety advice you should add a country tag and ask a lawyer or union representative to be certain. Jan 19, 2019 at 20:23
  • "it's not high school" just clearly and calmly tell him "Do not touch this chair again."
    – Fattie
    Jan 19, 2019 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


Ask him again to stop using your desk
(especially if it was specifically set up for you, even better if on behest of your doctor / prescription).

Tell him, that re-adjusting the settings to your needs disrupts your work and costs you X minutes everytime.

Insinuate or flat out say that management won't be happy about that as it adds up quickly.

You also may say that you'd be otherwise happy for him to use your desk but it is a real nuissance to you.

Also, do you have assigned desks or is it free choice / first come first served ?

If you have assigned desks, he has no place at yours.

If you want legal or health and safety advice you should ask a lawyer or union representative to be certain.

You could offer him to use your desk but change back the settings afterwards.
However I highly doubt that appeasement would work because you'd most likely still would have to adjust settings

If he remains uncooperative you need to escalate to management citing the time you lose.

  • 3
    disrupts your work and costs you X minutes everytime Good point but this guy doesn't care. This line should be used on the manager.
    – rath
    Jan 19, 2019 at 20:39
  • @rath true. After the second attempt (if it is only the second) with the explanations, OP should escalate to management. Jan 19, 2019 at 20:53

A consideration to keep in mind is that if your desk is required for you to do your work tasks, then their use of your desk is hindering your ability to live up to your obligations, I don't know the fine details of your work situation but you may want to take measures to ensure that you are not held liable for any missed work due to their behavior.

I've seen employees in other places who were granted reasonable accommodations for their conditions and were penalized due to lack of performance due to their co-workers behaving much the same way as posted above.

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