Do you work from home?
Do you live in the UK?
Do you live without air-conditioning?
If the answer is yes to all three, the chances are you've been struggling to sleep in the last few nights!
June 20th - Fourth day above 30°C!
The UK has experienced one of its most prolonged heatwaves in recent decades, with temperatures exceeding 30°C in the London area every day since last Saturday. This has meant uncomfortably warm nights for many people, particularly those living in urban areas, which are often several degrees warmer at night than smaller towns and countryside.
Working from home during the UK heatwave
While many people are lucky enough to work in offices with air-conditioning, others have to work from home without this luxury. So, if you are working from home, how can you keep doing all your day-to-day tasks without feeling drowsy and losing your concentration (besides drinking plenty of fluids!)? Here is some handy advice!
1 Go to bed early, wake up early
It might seem tricky to fall asleep when it's still hot indoors, but by adjusting your sleeping schedule and heading to bed earlier, you can get more work done in the morning – when it will be much cooler. This is a strategy that worked very well for me last summer, when I was freelance copywriting in a non-air-conditioned apartment near Madrid for a few weeks (during one of the hottest summers on record there!). I would start work at about 7am and continue until 2pm, by which time I would have completed most of my tasks. Usually, the temperature was a pleasant 20°C/22°C at 7am, before climbing to 30°C+ after 1pm, when it became too hot to work productively. Then it was time for a dip in the pool followed by a long lunch!
2 Keep your windows closed by day and open at night
One of the biggest mistakes many people make in hot weather is keeping windows open during the day. Instead of making your indoor environment cooler, this actually introduces more heat into your home. So, at night, you should position a fan close to your window (and allow it to oscillate) to introduce the cooler night air into your home.
3 Buy a misting fan, if you can
These work like magic. Even on very hot days, they can provide instant relief and keep you sweat-free. They're easy to buy online at big online retailers and DIY stores, and are also available as mini hand-held fans. If you're buying a large misting fan, position it away from any electrical items so they don't become damp.
4 Keep curtains/blinds closed in sunlit rooms.
If you have a large south- or east-facing window, the strong June sun can quickly raise the temperature of your home even if it's not particularly hot outdoors. So keep curtains and/or blinds closed in south- and east-facing rooms to minimise heat buildup.
5 Take a cold bath!
This is guaranteed to lower your body temperature and keep you cool for at least a couple of hours. It's the next best thing to an outdoor swimming pool, and it's certainly helped me as a work-from-home copywriter in London.