Keeping warm when you work at home

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Image: Staying warm via shutterstock

It’s set to be one of the coldest winters on record. Those of us who work from home may be looking at massive heating bills. But if you get organised you could seriously dent those bills and help save the environment. I talked to a few freelance friends and checked out some online discussions where other home-based workers have shared their tips. Here is a summary of the best advice:

1. Get insulated

Sarah had her 1930s semi lagged and the cavity walls insulated: “I am really impressed by how much more snug the house is,” she said. “If we put the heating on for a short time, the heat definitely hangs around a lot longer.”  Sarah had her home insulated for half price through one of the government schemes that are offered from time to time. Check with your Local Authority or keep an eye on the local press for those offers.

There are lots of other cheap and easy ways to insulate too: draft excluders, covering your windows with film, making sure that all cracks in windows and doors are sealed.

2. Keep moving

Start your day with a walk outside. Think of it as a pleasant commute. A walk will not only get your blood pumping and keep you warm for longer, it will also help you to get into the right mindset for the day ahead.

You also need to keep moving throughout the day. If you’re working on a keyboard hours can pass before you know it. You’ll not only turn into an ice statue you will also increase your chances of developing back pain and all sorts of other nasties!  Sitting is the new sugar you know!  Laura swears by the pomodoro feature in the Kanban Flow app. It is an excellent work scheduler and tells you when you need to take that break and move around.

3. Wrap up

David says “Long thermal underwear will keep you warm even if you spend most of the day sitting at a desk. If it drops down to freezing put a fleece jacket on too.” Good thermals will last for years, especially if you buy hard-wearing togs from a workwear specialist like engelbert-strauss.co.uk

The alternative is layers, blankets and ‘slankets’, which seem to be a thing on some of the discussion forums. Don’t ask, just know it is a step too far.

4. Find something warm

A warm dog under your desk can keep your feet and hands warm! If you’re an animal lover, pets in the ‘office’ are also great for positive mental health and a dog will demand that morning walk, even when you’re not in the mood.

Failing the warmth of a dog, hot water bottles are very popular with home-workers. Jo has one under her feet and one on her lap, keeping her toasty as she taps on her laptop.

And then there is tea: heart-warming and hand-warming, can’t fail to hit the spot! Time the trips to the kettle for your pomodoro breaks and then you’ll really befiring on all cylinders.

What works for you? Share your own best tips in the comments below.

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One Response to Keeping warm when you work at home

  1. J Munro January 16, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    I personally use a hot water bottle and only turn the radiators on in the room I’m using. Someone recently recommended a ceramic heater though which look like a really good cost-effective way to stay warm and keep the bills down.

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