Working from home is challenging at the best of times, but it’s made even harder during the summer months. Studies have shown that hot days can decrease productivity by 24%. That being said, these tips will hopefully make working from home in the summer a little more bearable.
- (Under)dress for the job
- Freeze your feet
- Let in air
- Avoid fans
- Cool your pulse point
- Stay hydrated
- Eat smart
- Go outside
- Sit at a desk/table
- Try to alter your working hours
(Under)dress for the job
One of the joys of working from home is that, unless on a video call, nobody can see you. That means that you can dress, or underdress, in whatever way makes you feel comfortable. If that means wearing shorts and a vest to help cool yourself down, that’s up to you to decide. You make your own dress code when working from your own home.
Freeze your feet
Have you ever been so hot that you wish that you could stick your feet in the freezer until autumn comes? Well, that’s because your feet and ankles have many pulse points and are sensitive to heat. If you put something cold on them then your whole body will cool down. Try and freeze a hot water bottle, or a similar object, and rest your feet against it whilst you work. You will notice your body instantly cooling.
Let in air
This may seem obvious, but a good way to help cool yourself down is to let in the fresh air. What may not be as obvious is to open your windows but shut your curtains. Blocking the sun with your curtains will prevent your home from becoming a sticky greenhouse, whilst keeping your windows open will allow any breeze to drift through and cool your abode.
Although fans are a popular way to stay cool during the summer they are not the best way to beat the heat. Fans circulate the hot air in a room rather than cool it, which means that once the fan is turned off you are still left with a stiflingly hot room. If you are going to use a fan, place a 2-liter bottle of frozen water in front of it. This will help to cool the air slightly rather than just circulating it.
Cool your pulse point
Pulse points are the areas of the body where blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin, which is why we can feel our pulses. Because the blood vessels are so close to the surface of the skin, they are also a great way to quickly cool down our blood and, subsequently, body temperature. Take regular breaks throughout the day to apply ice packs to your wrists, neck, chest, and temples. It may also be a good idea to apply a damp cloth to the back of your neck whilst you’re working to maintain a cool temperature throughout the day.
Staying hydrated keeps our body temperature regulated, prevents infection, and provides nutrients for our body’s cells. We should be drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day, however, when it is particularly warm we should be drinking water more regularly. Make sure that you keep track of how much water you drink throughout the day and moderate it depending on whether you are drinking enough.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, another way to stay hydrated is to eat smart. Fresh foods, such as lettuce, cucumber, and celery, have a high water content which helps us to hydrate when we eat them. When it’s particularly warm try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid eating meat. When our bodies break down meat we use extra energy, which causes us to sweat, otherwise known as the ‘meat sweats’.
If there is a gentle summer breeze, then make sure to take regular breaks and go outside. Take a walk around a park, your neighbourhood, or even your own garden, but make sure that you make the most of the nice weather and breathe in some fresh air. Not only will the breeze help to cool you down, but regularly breathing fresh air increases productivity as it de-stresses the body and clears the mind. Of course, if it is a particularly humid day going outside may cause your temperature to increase rather than cool you down, so try and avoid heading outside in such conditions.
Sit at a desk/table
When working from home, it can sometimes be luxurious to work from the comfort of the couch or even a bed. That being said, when it is warm the last thing you want is a hot laptop sitting on your legs. Avoid this unnecessary heat by working from a desk, table, or any surface where you can place your laptop and sit comfortably.
Try to alter your working hours
As the sun sets the temperature drops, making for much more comfortable working conditions. If you are in a job that allows you to do so, have a conversation with your manager/HR department about altering your working hours. Pitch starting later in the day and working until later in the night so that you can avoid the hottest hours of the day. This could help increase your productivity and prevent you from suffering through working in the heat.
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