Working from home in winter – four ideas to make it work
Events of 2020 saw many of us working from home, with figures backed up by a recent survey from the ONS. Once the initial joy at the reduced cost of commuting had passed, many realised that the money they saved on travel cards was being spent instead on their fuel bills.
Unfortunately, this is still a concern in 2021. Now fuel prices are rising, and we are all becoming more aware of the environmental cost of heating our homes, we all need efficient ways to keep warm when we’re sitting still at our desks. Here are some of our ideas:
- Put the heating on…efficiently
21st century households are very lucky to have central heating and it would be silly not to use it. What’s more silly, though, is to use it wastefully.
Depending on how cold it is, you might not need the heating on all day. Often just a few hours in the morning will keep the house warm all day. Keep doors and windows closed, and consider investing in draft excluders and thick curtains to keep the heat in.
Use your thermostat to control the temperature. 19-21 degrees is ideal – if you have the thermostat higher than that, you will be paying more to heat your home to a higher temperature than you need.
A recent tech advance is the smart thermostat, which will only heat the rooms you’re using. This is a great solution if, for example, you only use your home office and the kitchen during working hours.
- Work near a south-facing window
Some parts of the house will be warmer than others. A south-facing window will let in the sun’s warmest rays, keeping you cosy and lifting your spirits too.
- Layer up
Layered clothes trap more heat than big jumpers do on their own, so plan your work wardrobe accordingly. There’s no shame in vests, thermals or long socks – wear what works for you, and remember that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone! The Get Ahead team also favour big scarves, wrist warmers and cosy slippers, all of which bring a bit of colour too.
- Use your breaks to get moving
It’s virtually impossible to work for a full eight hours without stopping. Either plan your breaks (we like working for 50 minutes then taking a ten-minute break) or work until you notice you’re getting distracted.
Sitting still will make you feel cold, but moving will warm you up again. So when you’re taking a break, get up from your desk and move. Some people like to go out for a brisk walk, or you could warm yourself up tidying the kitchen or playing with your pets.
You’ll go back to your desk not only feeling warmer but with a clearer head, ready for another productive session.
Top tips for working from home
Working from home is all about being adaptable. For more ideas on how to make working from home work for you, download our ebook, the Homeworker’s Bible, here.