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.
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.
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?