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Remote working has so many benefits. It gives you more time in the day to get things done, since you don’t have to commute or sit through countless unnecessary meetings. You can get up later, work according to your own schedule, and enjoy the peace of quiet of your own home without worrying about office politics and micromanaging bosses.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of workers across the globe have migrated from the office and are embracing the joys of remote work. Advances in technology have made it easier than ever for remote teams to communicate and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Hybrid working – a combination of remote work and face-to-face office work – is set to be the new normal.
But as freeing and peaceful as remote work may be, there are several benefits of being in the office. For one, you can enjoy unlimited heating throughout the colder months. Of course, you can always switch the heating on at home but the rising cost of energy can make this incredibly expensive. Over the course of several months, having the heating all day will add up to an astronomical figure on your utility bill.
Being cold for long periods of time has been shown to have a huge range of negative effects on the body and mind. It can increase the risk of health conditions such as heart attacks, depression, and strokes. And it can also have a detrimental impact on your concentration, cognitive function, and productivity.
So how can you enjoy the advantages of working from home while still staying happy, comfortable and productive? To help you get through the winter months in one piece, here are a few great tips for staying warm when working from home.
Use the heating sparingly
Having the heating on full blast for eight hours a day will put a huge dent in your bank balance before too long. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t put it on at all. After all, it’s there for a reason. Having the heating on for short bursts a couple of times a day will not only help to keep you warm, but will also keep your pipes from freezing and reduce the risk of damp and mold in your home.
Your best course of action is to set your heating on a timer to come on for an hour in the morning, and again in the evening before you go to bed. This will ensure you are nice and toasty when you first wake up in the morning, and can stave off the cold long enough before you go to sleep. During the day, you will most likely be moving around and leaving the house to carry out errands so hopefully you won’t need it as much during this period.
Trap heat in your home
When your heating switches off, you want to keep as much residual heat flowing around your home as possible. Keep doors and windows closed to reduce heat loss and keep rooms warmer for longer. If you accidentally leave a door open when leaving a room, your home will get colder much more quickly and you might end up having to resort to putting the heating back on a bit later.
There are other ways to trap heat as well. If you cook using the oven, leave the oven door open once you switch it off. The intense cooking heat will travel through your kitchen and beyond rather than simply being trapped and useless inside the oven.
Wearing extra layers is the easiest and cheapest way to stay warm. When you’re sitting at your desk, you might get cold quickly if you’re not moving about but having multiple layers of thick, comfy clothing will help to trap as much heat as possible. Woolen jumpers, thick socks, thermal layers and leggings are all great options, and you may even wish to wear a wooly hat, scarf or gloves if it is really cold. You might feel a little silly but you can at least stay warm and content without having to spend money on heating.
Maintain your heating system
A high-quality, well-maintained heating system will allow for the most efficient distribution of heat in your home, and keep you warmer for longer. It will also save you money while being more environmentally friendly at the same time. Make sure you have your boiler serviced regularly and make sure any issues are dealt with promptly and efficiently. Whether you need a quick service or a full heat pump repair, getting this done before winter kicks in will keep you much more comfortable over the chilly season.
When you’re absolutely freezing, it can be tempting to stay as still as possible to conserve energy. But this is actually the worst thing you can do. The most effective way of warming up your body is to move about. Make sure you get up from your desk a couple of times every hour to walk around, stretch, or even do some star jumps. Have a full workout at home each day, as this will leave you feeling hot and sweaty. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a high-intensity interval session or a gentle yoga session, this is the healthiest and cheapest way to feel warm and toasty.
Leave the house
It may seem counterproductive to go outside in winter if you want to stay warm, but it’s actually a hugely effective way of staving off the cold. Wrap up in your winter layers to do your errands or just go for a pleasant stroll in your neighborhood. Not only will the brisk movement warm you up, but your home will feel positively sweltering when you come back indoors. If you fancy a change of scenery from your boring old home office, you could even go to a local coffee shop or library to do your work. This way you can benefit from someone else’s heating while staying productive at the same time.
Eat warming foods
Hot food is one of the best ways to raise your core temperatures. So rather than eating salads and cold sandwiches for your lunch, opt for something a little bit warmer. Cook up some nourishing soup or reheat some leftovers from the night before. You could even batch cook your lunches for the week on Sunday night, so you don’t have to think about it for the next five days. Drink hot drinks such as tea and coffee throughout the day but be careful of overdoing it on the caffeine. Herbal teas are a healthy option for staying hydrated and warm.
Warm the body
Warming your body directly is much more effective, and a whole lot cheaper, than warming up your whole house. So during your workday, rather than relying on your central heating system, fill a hot water bottle and keep it close to your core. You may need to refill it a couple of times throughout the day, but this will keep you nice and warm and not use a great deal of energy.
If you have any cracks around your doors or windows, cold air could be getting into your home and lowering the overall temperature. Investing in some sealant and draught excluders to reduce airflow around your entrance ways can make the world of difference. It’s worth looking into the insulation of your home to see if it could be improved. Speak to a professional insulation company to find out if your property could be more heat-efficient.
Get a pet
This might seem like a drastic measure for keeping warm, but snuggling up with a furry animal will help you forget all about the cold. Of course you need to make sure you have the time and energy to care for a beloved pet, but if so, they can keep you warm and happy throughout your working day. Furthermore, they will prevent you from feeling isolated and lonely when you’re cooped up indoors working remotely.
Buy rugs and carpets
You lose a surprising amount of heat through your feet, so if you have stone or hardwood floors in your home it’s no wonder you are feeling cold a lot of the time. Investing in carpets and rugs is one of the best things you can do. Not only will these plush surfaces feel delightfully soft underneath your feet, they will help to trap heat and keep your whole body warm.
These are just a few of the most effective ways in which you can keep yourself warm and comfortable while working from home. Following these tips will enable you to work to the best of your abilities, staying productive and staving off potential health issues. Focusing on warming your body rather than your home will help you to save money, and it’s important to find time to leave the house regularly. Just remember that winter will be over before long, and you’ll soon be enjoying the beautiful sunny weather when spring rolls around.