Working from home is now the norm for a considerable chunk of the workforce due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
What’s more, this week is set up to be the hottest of the year so far, meaning those of us who are still working from home will have to cope without office air conditioning.
It’s extremely unusual to have air conditioning in your home living, despite temperatures getting hotter year on year.
However, there are some simple things you can do to help keep the heat at bay while working from the kitchen table.
This is set to be the hottest week of the year so far. Usually, that doesn’t matter, because usually, your workplace is comfortably air-conditioned.
But now you are working from home, in a residence that has been specifically insulated to remain warm in winter. In short, things are about to get uncomfortable.
This is where I step in. For the past three years, I have worked from a garden office that effectively acts as a giant greenhouse and, in the summer months, runs between five and 10 degrees warmer than the air outside.
It is hellish, but on the plus side we have developed some coping strategies:
Shut out the Sun
It may seem counterintuitive, but keeping the curtains closed during the day will stop the sun from warming up your workspace and turning it into an unpleasantly sticky greenhouse.
Freeze a Hot Water Bottle
Just as you would in the winter, try using a hot water bottle. Freeze it, though, rather than fill it with boiling water, and sit with it against your feet. Why?
Well, your feet and ankles are particularly sensitive to heat, as they have lots of pulse points: popping something cool against them will initiate a cool-down effect over your entire body.
The trick here is to open your windows but close your curtains. You want a breeze because there is nothing worse than sitting in an airless room for an extended period during a heatwave, but you also want to keep the sun out.
Change how you eat
There is a reason why we eat salads in the summer – components such as lettuce, celery, and cucumber have a high water content to keep you better hydrated – so these should form your new lunches.
Meanwhile, try to cut meat from your diet. When your body breaks down meat, it expends extra energy, which causes heat. This is a process called thermogenesis, but you might know it better as meat sweats.
If you’re working from home at the moment, consider asking your boss if you can adjust your hours.
Start earlier (say 6 am) to maximize productivity before the sun hits its highest point in the sky and all these small changes can majorly hike up your productivity.