By August 9, 2012 Read More →

Staying cool when you work at home

Hot and bothered whilst you work at home?

Staying cool when you work at homeAccording to the weather forecast we’re in for a mini heatwave over the next few days before the rain returns next week.

We home workers can’t help being a pretty cool bunch, obviously, but how do you stay comfortable when you work from home, the temperature soars and you don’t have the benefit of office air conditioning?

Clothes – thankfully when you work at home you don’t have any dress code to conform to, so you can dress for comfort instead of sweltering in a suit. So it’s vests, shorts and flip-flops, with perhaps a shirt on standby in case of a Skype call. You can’t go wrong with natural fibres and I love my summer linens – yes, they crease, but that’s part of the appeal, isn’t it?

When and where to work at home
– just as I follow the sun through the house in winter, I stick to the shade in summer, and since my home office faces north and only gets a sliver of direct sun very early in the morning, I don’t even have to move. I keep windows open throughout the house to encourage a breeze, and one of the many benefits of living in the mill is the ever-present sound of the river.

Keep the curtains or blinds closed when the sun is up, and work early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is less strong. You might find you can focus more easily at these times when there’s less danger of being interrupted. And it means you can adopt the delightful custom of an afternoon siesta.

Food and drink – drink plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated. Malcolm Davies of YardPods® lives in California and told me about his trick of putting just a berry or leaf into a glass of water to add a subtle and refreshing flavour. I’ve been doing this with a sliver of lemon and noticed I drink much less water on the days I run out of lemons! It’s best to cut down on your coffee habit on hot days too.

As a child I was bemused about why they eat spicy food in the warmer parts of the world. I now understand that the theory is that spices increase perspiration, which cools the body as it evaporates, but I can’t say I’m drawn to spicy food in hot weather. Instead I like plenty of salads and fruit, which are good because of the high water content. I notice I never even think about eating chocolate in hot weather. Trouble is, ice cream does enter my consciousness…

So if you work at home how do you stay cool at the keyboard on those rare occasions when it heats up?

Posted in: Home offices

6 Comments on "Staying cool when you work at home"

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  1. We have blinds on the south facing windows this year and it’s made such a difference. They come down in the early afternoon and keep the worst of the sun out.

    On hot days, I move around the house. I get up earlier, and move to where it’s coolest, as well as stopping mis afternoon and picking up again for a short time early evening.

  2. Judy says:

    Great minds and all that!

  3. Louise Barnes-Johnston says:

    As my office window faces East, the sun has thankfully moved away before the heat of the day.

    Like you, I find I drink much more water on hot days and, when I fancy a coffee, make an iced version in a tall glass!

  4. Emma Windsor says:

    I am lucky like you that my office is North facing. It does still get warm so I have ditched the high heels 🙂