Homeworking during a Heatwave

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Keeping your cool during a heatwave

UK homes are designed to keep heat in.  Climate change or just the advent of summer means that random very hot days do happen. These are great for school kids and holiday makers but can make homeworking uncomfortable.  Temperatures are changing all over the world, but with a little forethought a hot day need not make your homeworking life miserable.

Sudden increases in heat can be dangerous and increase the risks of strokes, heart attacks and dehydration.  Homeworkers often work in customer services, and being hot and uncomfortable makes most people, well – Cranky.  This is not helpful to you nor to the people you interact with.  Heatwaves, or just hot days, can cause fatigue and make it difficult to stay focused.  A series of these days can make you miserable and managing them makes good personal and business sense.

Here are some ideas of how to cope with the hot weather if you have to stay indoors.  They are in order of what is important to me, your priorities may differ, but are likely to be similar.

Bugs come out with the sun.  Swap curtains or replace nets with these to keep insects alive, and out.  Cheap, effective, leave them up all year to maximise natural light in the winter.

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You can buy these cheaply

Flasks keep drinks cold as well as hot, and they are eco-friendly.  Fill them with water or your favourite cooler to stay hydrated.

Keep the kids/dogs/birds/rabbits contained so you can work with the office door open.  Open windows and ventilate to get a through breeze

Fans are great for moving air around but do use them strategically.

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Wind blowing directly onto your face can dry your eyes out, directly onto your back or neck can cause muscle tension.  Fans are best when situated in a place where they can increase the flow of air that enters naturally through windows or doors.

Ceiling fans are inexpensive and can we reversed to circulate warm air in winter.  These are worth considering if you are in an area where the general temperature seems to be on the increase.

Opening doors and windows often means that you have to deal with higher noise levels from outside.  A fan, even a small desk fan, creates white noise and either eliminates or disguises street noise.

Leatherette chairs can be uncomfortable.  A small cotton towel on the seat can make a big difference and stop your seat from becoming your shell when you get up – 🙂

Water absorbs heat.  If you  have space and if it is safe to do so, placing bowls of water in front of airways might help.  Position them safely, away from electric sources. Experiment.  Add ice cubes.

Blinds can be useful if your office windows gets direct sunlight.  Pull them down during the hottest part of the day, but stay with light colours.  Black is great for dresses, but lighter colours give a cooler feel indoors, and deflect light.

Clothing.  Well now…..  Hang loose!

 

How do you keep your cool?

 

Work from home? No, thanks!

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Love and marriage, cats and dogs, fire and ice, love and marriage….. Some combos work better for some people than they do for others.  We all make choices that others might not understand, but many people have told me that they would never consider working from home.  Home is after all where we chill.  Right?

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Is this true?  Do you relax when you are at home, or do you find yourself dashing, dusting and feeling generally quite dazed, manic and exhausted?  Bathing and sleeping aside, home is not really the first place that comes to my mind when I think of chilling and kicking back.  When I walk into my house, the bills leap from the mat and slap me in the face.  Anything that looks important is normally in a few pieces because Bones found it interesting too.  If it’s really engaging, then the piece with the voucher or the one stamped URGENT is simply gone.  Gone presumed eaten, that is.

The carpet that was vacuumed last night looks like a Flokati rug, and my head bangs at the sight of just how much hair a small terrier can shed daily and not be bald.  I turn into the lounge and trip over the vacuum cleaner.  Just as well I never put it away, saves me lugging it back down the stairs later.  Drats!  Not only did I leave the vac out, I left it plugged into the power, which explains the pool of water around the freezer …..

The  ‘phone rings, while I am striding off towards the kitchen with the bath towel that I used to mop up most of the flood, and as I open the washing machine door I notice that yesterday’s washing needs re-washing because the sun stopped shining before I could peg it onto the line.  While pegging, re-mopping and explaining to the ‘phone that I never forgot to pay my tv licence, I was actually protesting some BBC coverage which seemed important at the time but which I cannot identify right now –  It’s time to dirty some more dishes while hovering above the still wet floor.  I start humming that song – It goes something like, “Ain’t it good to be back home again…..”

I realise I can hum in expletives when hubby comes in and chucks his backpack on the wet floor, cap on the tv, shoves the dry washing off the sofa to make space for the dog, and tells me how he fancies frying up a storm for supper.

Working from home is what we DO.  We might not like it, but dust settles for the slob and the houseproud in equal measures and it will gnaw at your nerves until you reach for the yellow duster, after which it’s over.  Another day of working from, around, at, in, and all over that place we call home has begun.

I did mean to write about working from home for a profit, but somehow I lost the context and am now going to head off to bed, to chill, at home.  Yawn.