By December 21, 2011 Read More →

Staying warm in the winter home office

Home working wardrobe - winterMuch to my joy, the winter so far here in the SW of England has been wonderfully mild, and today is so warm, windy and dry I’ve just put some washing out. I’ve worked in a number of home offices over the years and picked up some tricks for staying warm while working from home:

Draughtproofing – last year we were living in a house with Victorian single-glazed windows and it was freezing. I kept some curtains closed all day, but this is too depressing for a room you spend a lot of time in. The house we’re in now has secondary glazing and it makes a noticeable difference.

If you can’t install secondary or double glazing, fill gaps between sashes and cracks in woodwork with draughtproofing foam. A home working friend tells me that the temporary secondary glazing kits you install yourself using tape and plastic film smoothed out with a hairdryer are also very effective.

Fill gaps around doors (not forgetting keyholes!), pipework and electrical fittings. Block up gaps in floorboards where cold air will come whistling through.

Follow the sun – copy the cat, the ultimate comfort-loving animal, and make sure you’re always working in a patch of sunlight. In our current house, my home office faces north and gets no sun at all, whereas A’s is on the opposite side of the house and on clear days is bathed in sun all morning. I sometimes take my laptop in there when he’s out. Not only is it warmer but working in sunshine provides such a psychological lift.

Thanks to wifi I’ve also been working in the sitting room window to take advantage, not only of the sun, but also the woodburner, which we both love. I find that working away from my usual spot also helps productivity, which gives me a warm internal glow!

Localised heating – home workers are often reluctant to keep the heating on all day when the rest of the family is out, and these days the cost is often prohibitive anyway. Once your home office is draught-free, bring in a space heater to keep you warm all day without busting the budget. Oil-filled radiators are highly recommended by a home working friend and apparently cost only pennies a day to run.

I’m hoping this winter will stay mild, but many home workers are guaranteed months of snow and ice – how do you heat your home office as economically and greenly as possible to stay warm over the winter?

Posted in: Routine

9 Comments on "Staying warm in the winter home office"

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  1. Katy says:

    Or I could make you some thermal roman blinds! I don’t know what I’m going to do with my workshop this winter as its getting really cold – it will be my first winter making them in earnest & the fan heater just won’t be enough. I’ve picked up a mass of bubble wrap for the roof glazing but its a tricky task. The woodburner (you can see the flue in the corner) has fallen apart & I have my work table over it!

  2. judy says:

    Tricky – sounds like you’ll be getting the thermals out. Undies, that is, not blinds! I am devoted to woodburners. Can you fix it?

  3. Julie says:

    The best tip I heard recently is not to get cold in the first place. It sounds obvious, but it’s much easier to keep warm than it is to warm up once you’re cold. So rather than holding out until you’re really chilly to put the heater on, being pre-emptive is much more efficient and more comfortable.

    • judy says:

      Thanks, Julie, that gives me the ideal opportunity to mention the Napsack, which I couldn’t resist pinning to my Pinterest board! I’m just a bit concerned about the lack of arms – I suppose you’d have to wear long fingerless gloves to keep those typing fingers warm!