Whilst some parts of the country are experiencing warm temperatures today, they are not exactly off the scale and so why is this subject topical? Well according to the Met Office, there is a reasonable chance that the extreme heat that many experienced in early July, could return in the 2nd half of August and could last for at least a couple of weeks.
Many people that spent periods of time WFH during the last heatwave were caught off guard and therefore not prepared for the uncomfortable conditions that arose. With a little forward planning and an eye on the medium term forecast, employees can WFH in increased comfort and therefore be more productive during the next heatwave (should it materialise!)
8 Tips to Beat the WFH Heat:
Keep Hydrated An obvious but often forgotten action. Around seven or eight glasses of water a day during ‘normal’ temperatures should be consumed but when it’s above average, due to increased sweating, more should be consumed. Typically, if feeling thirsty then you’re already starting to dehydrate, so take regular sips of water to stop this happening
Power Off Devices Monitors, laptops, PC’s, printers, televisions, power adaptors, desk lamps, mobiles and their chargers will all be emitting a degree of heat. Combined, they can significantly raise the office temperature so ensure all unnecessary devices are unplugged and turned off
Windows and Blinds Consider replacing curtains with blinds that can be tilted and adjusted, allowing airflow when required whilst blocking direct sunlight. However, when the temperature outside is greater than that inside, avoid the temptation to open windows, just keep the blinds shut
Fan & Ice Bottle The introduction of a standard but decent size fan into the workspace can have real benefits, especially when used in conjunction with a bottle of iced water placed in front of it. Put a plastic bottle ¾ filled with water in the freezer in advance and then place it in front of the fan to cool the air temperature. If you don’t have a fan, buy one now! Searches for fans on Google during the last heat wave increased by 669% and many suppliers ran out of stock or increased prices due to supply and demand
Clothing Wear what is logically comfortable and consider losing the shoes and socks! The body uses extremities, like the hands and feet to regulate core temperature. So, when it’s hot outside, it uses these to get rid of excess heat and keep itself from overheating. Therefore, taking off your shoes and socks can have a significant impact
Change working pattern to evening One of the added advantages of WFH for many is the flexibility it affords, with an increased emphasis by some employers on task based work as opposed to time based. Discuss in advance, the option of being able to work during the cooler hours of early morning or later evening. Increased productivity is the key trigger
Introduce More Houseplants Some house plants are natural coolants. They absorb heat from their surroundings, and some emit oxygen that lowers the ambient air temperature. The water they release during transpiration is also a contributing factor, increasing humidity. Some of the plants that will give you excellent cooling effects include Aloe Vera, Peace lily, Ficus, Snake plant, Areca Palm tree and Rubber plant. Buy them in advance so they can settle into their surroundings and start ‘performing’. They of course have the added advantage of improving room aesthetics and mental health wellbeing
Apply ice to Pulse Points Applying wrapped ice packs or cold compresses to the wrists, neck and elbows etc can help reduce body temperature quickly. Pre plan by buying a number of ice packs and putting them in the freezer.
If mid-August onwards does bring with it some gloriously hot days, considering as many of the above tips in advance, could make the WFH experience just the little bit better.
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