By July 18, 2013 Read More →

Keeping cool when you work from home

How home workers are keeping cool by changing their routine

Keeping cool when you work from homeLast week I was reading a discussion thread about weekends on the Homeworking UK Linkedin group.

Roger Clayson, a Manchester solicitor, commented that in this hot weather he has been trying to do as much work as possible in the mornings as he finds it difficult to work during the afternoon.

I realised that in the four years I’ve been running the blog, I’ve never had cause to ask home workers if their routine changes in warm weather!

So I went back to Homeworking UK and asked its members. From their replies, it seems many of us adapt our home working routine to take advantage of cooler mornings and evenings.

Jonathan Ward is a horticulturalist who has been featured in our Unusual Home Working Jobs series. He moves any photography work to the ends of the day when the light is less harsh. Living by the sea in Sussex he can also pop to the beach to make phone calls!

Phil Emerson, a Web applications developer, has breakfast in his Lancaster garden which energises him until his next break and makes him more productive.

Steven Potter is a trainer who lives in the Lake District, and finds himself tempted outside in this weather, in which case he catches up in the evening.

Maya Middlemiss, MD of a participant recruitment service, just puts on the air con and carries on, but she lives in Spain so no doubt is more acclimatised to the heat than us pale UK residents!

Mel Riley is a counsellor in Wolverhampton and has been seeing some of her clients outside in the shade. She is going to start taking her laptop to a hotel lobby to write – for the price of a soft drink she gets free parking, toilets, wifi and hours of air con.

Rosie Slosek is an accountant in London and also runs the Homeworking UK group. Her interview last year about setting boundaries when you live and work in the same place was one of the most popular posts of the year.

Rosie says her routine changes completely in a heatwave as she can’t do work needing focus in the hottest part of the day. So she uses mornings and evenings if it’s cooler. She works much longer hours between September to mid-February so it balances out.

The longer this hot weather goes on, the more I’m thinking I’ll do the same. Brainpower seems to go out the window in the afternoons and yesterday I had my first siesta for months.

It might be easier keeping cool if you have children – a VA I know tells me she pops out to the garden regularly to cool her feet in the paddling pool!

How are you keeping cool? Please share any tips for the benefit of overheated home workers everywhere 🙂

Posted in: Home offices

6 Comments on "Keeping cool when you work from home"

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  1. Yes, if someone could pass the desk paddling pool and an ice cream, that would be most welcome.

  2. Remember that photo of a desk in a sandbox? Replace it with water! Your feet might get a bit wrinkly after a while, though!
    As for the ice cream, I’ve just eaten the last one, better not buy any more for a while, too tempting!

  3. Barbara Winter says:

    Fortunately, summer is the quiet time for my business since my brain turns to spaghetti when the humidity rolls in. I consider that a perfect excuse to read a novel.

    • Thanks, Barbara, nice to know even Californians experience the same thing. I don’t think I’ve ever known temperatures like these in the UK, or in other words, when I’m trying to work. It’s a very different matter when you’re lolling around on holiday! I had been thinking of finding some new reading material…

  4. My record for heat while working is 2006 and 36C with high humidity. It was at a conference in Oxford. I was delighted to be staying in a stuffy and very hot bed and breakfast room, as it wasn’t the university rooms most of the conference attendees had which were basking in temperatures of 40C inside.

    This year is fine for me. It’s cooler at night, the humidity is good, it’s only a bit hot in the morning and it’s only after 2pm when the full heat hits the windows. Our flat is an oven in the evening but I’m not working then!

    • We were living in Cornwall in the hot summer of 2006 and it’s noticeably cooler down there surrounded by sea. Because our heatwaves are years apart we never seem to get geared up to it! Glad to hear you’re not suffering too much, Rosie 🙂