When you’re hot and bothered working from home, AC seems like the coolest invention in so many ways. But if your air conditioning is broken or you’re worried about energy costs, then you might want to think about other solutions too. If you’re looking to find alternative and more sustainable ways to beat the heat, however, try some of these ideas in your workplace.
Keep the Air Moving
Stale, still air can make working from home a nightmare. While pedestal or ceiling fans don’t change the temperature of a room, they do increase air circulation, which makes more sweat evaporate and helps cool your body down. Most use way less energy than an air conditioner, too. To supercharge your fan, place a frozen bottle of water in front of it.
Adding curtains or blinds, especially blackout curtains that block the sun, is an easy way to keep the temperature cool during a heatwave.
Move Somewhere Cooler
We’re not talking going full digital nomad and uprooting to Norway. Instead, experiment with working in different places at different times to find the option that keeps you coolest. Change your workspace to avoid areas exposed to the hot sun and move as the sun moves. A room with fewer windows can also be a good option to limit those scorching rays. And while working in a basement may not be your first choice, they are naturally cooler. You can always head to a café or workspace if you need a blast of light, air, and sweet AC.
Adjust Your Outfit
One of the big benefits of working from home is that you don’t need to observe the same dress codes you would usually. If you have regular conference calls, an extra layer within reach – such as loose shirt – means you can still look presentable at a moment’s notice. If working outside, opt for light colors that reflect heat rather than dark ones that absorb it. If you're someone who feels wearing shoes at home helps keep you in business mode, go for sandals or other well-ventilated options.
Unplug Zombie Devices
You can also stay cool by turning off appliances when they’re not being used. Your TV, printer, computer and lights all can emit heat and waste energy even when not in use, hence they’re known as zombie appliances. If you’re not using them, turn them off and unplug them. You’ll not only stay cooler, but you’ll also save energy and money at the same time. If you’re using your computer, try a laptop cooling pad. Reducing your energy consumption could form part of your plan for a more sustainable business.
Remember Ice Is Nice
Frozen water is also your friend when you want to lower your body temperature quickly. Ice in a bag applied to your pulse points or the back of your neck will offer instant relief, as will eating cool foods such as salads. There’s a reason for the phrase "cool as a cucumber" and it’s to do with the high water content and fridge-cold freshness.
Become a Night Owl
If your remote job allows you to be flexible and choose the hours you want to work, you can use the cooler evening temperatures to your advantage. And you don’t have to fully switch to the nightshift if you don’t want to – you could talk to your team about ways to avoid the heat of the day. Once the sun has gone down, you can open your windows and allow the chillier evening air and breeze to cool your space. Who knows, you may even discover you’re more productive at different times.
Make Sustainable Improvements
There are lots of ways for you to channel your inner handyperson and make your home office more environmentally friendly.
Start with the windows in your office space, especially if they face the sun. Adding curtains or blinds, especially blackout curtains that block the sun, is an easy way to keep the temperature cool during a heatwave. Installing reflective window film can help, too. And if you’ve got a green thumb, adding trees or plants outside the window can cast some shade. You can even work with your laptop outside, if you like.
Innovate and Insulate
Weatherizing your office and the rest of your house is also a good idea. Add weatherstripping to window frames to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. Silicone caulk can also be helpful if you need to seal any cracks.
If you want to invest more money into home improvement projects that will keep you cool, explore insulation and ventilation. While it costs more upfront, it could save you a ton of cash in the long run. It also has the benefit of being more efficient when cold days return and you have to turn the heating on – however far away those days may feel right now.
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