Many of us have worked through previous summers in air-conditioned offices. But with the pandemic turning us into homeworkers, more of us will be battling to stay cool at home while still working effectively and achieving the right results.
In this blog, we share our 5 tips for working effectively from home in hot weather.
1. Choose your hours
One of the great things about working from home is the flexibility. Since covid forced a change in management style, many homeworkers are able to work whatever hours they want to, as long as they maintain productivity and meet their deadlines. This is good news in hot weather – we can work early in the morning before it gets too hot, or wait until late afternoon and the cool of the evening.
Working nine to five puts us at our desks during the hottest part of the day when we are not likely to be productive, but choosing cooler hours can help us overcome this challenge.
2. Be a considerate boss
If you are managing direct reports, reassure them that you are happy for them to work when it’s a comfortable temperature. An emerging downside of homeworking is that employees don’t know when to stop, and are risking burnout with fifty-hour weeks – adding hot weather to the mix is not going to help. Every manager has a responsibility to support their staff, and good managers reassure their staff that they are focused on results, not hours. Remember too to check in with your team to make sure they are working safely, and ask what you can do to help.
3. Be good to yourself
What we eat and drink in hot weather affects how well we cope with it. We all know to drink water – when we don’t drink enough, we feel tired and can struggle to concentrate. Remember to eat salty foods too to replace the salt you lose when you sweat.
Wear natural fibres like cotton and linen – they’re more breathable so you’ll be more comfortable. Work from the coolest part of the house – UK heatwaves don’t last forever and your move to, say, the bottom of the stairs won’t be a permanent one.
4. Adapt your environment
Most UK homes don’t have air-con (yet!) but we can still make them more comfortable during hot weather. If you have doors or windows on the north side of your house, open them to let the cooler air in. Likewise, close the curtains on the south side to keep out the most powerful of the sun’s rays. This will create a cooler, shadier environment to work in.
If the hot weather means you can’t work at your usual capacity, outsource! If you need someone else to answer the phone when it’s hot at lunchtime, outsource it to Get Ahead.
If you’re falling behind with admin, we can support you with that too. When you outsource to Get Ahead, you only pay for the hours you need and there’s no long-term commitment. That means that when the weather becomes more temperate again, you can simply take back your to-do list.