Soaring summer temperatures are usually not a problem in the workplace because our buildings are comfortably air conditioned. But with more of us working from home in Australia than ever before, staying cool during the coming months will be crucial, especially as extreme heat affects our ability to work well.
When nature turns up the heat, there’s no need to spend your hours sweating. Whether your home office is a converted garage, shed, study or kitchen table, these essential home office cooling tips will keep you feeling fresh this summer, ensuring you stay productive when working from home.
1. Hire a portable air conditioner
Having an air conditioner is a must for home office cooling. Hiring a portable air conditioner is a budget-friendly alternative to having an expensive fixed unit installed in your home. Portable air conditioners are convenient, energy-efficient and can be carried from one room to another just like other appliances. They’re great for any type of space, and no installation is required, which make them ideal for temporary workspaces. All you have to do is make sure the venting hose is placed at an open window or door to prevent hot air recirculating inside the room, which would defeat the purpose.
2. Add curtains or blinds to windows
Sunlight pouring into a room all day, every day, creates a greenhouse. Floors and walls soak up the heat and emit it throughout the day which is great for tomatoes but not for you. Sun-blocking curtains or blinds will do a better job of blocking the heat and super bright light to create a comfortable working environment.
3. Use a pedestal or ceiling fan to circulate air in the room
Fans don’t actually reduce the temperature of a room. They move air which increases the evaporation of sweat off the skin to make you feel cooler. Even if you have a portable air conditioner, a pedestal or a ceiling fan is a handy addition because they circulate the cool air from the AC, helping cool down the room more efficiently. Both types of fans have big blades so they can distribute a lot of air. One of the good things about a pedestal fan is you can move it between different rooms, so you have more flexibility.
4. Turn off appliances not in use
Televisions, printers, computers and lights all emit heat and the more electronics you have on, the warmer a room is going to feel. Turn off anything you’re not using and unplug them from the wall (devices on standby still generate heat and waste energy at the same time). Not only will this reduce the heat in the room, but it will also shave a few dollars off your electricity bill.
5. Plant some foliage near your home office windows
Who doesn’t love the shade of a tree on a hot summer day? Just as they provide valuable relief from the sweltering heat, trees can have a similar cooling effect on your home office.
Plant trees and tall plants nearby to block out the sun from the windows. The foliage will reduce the amount of solar radiation heating up your interior spaces, plus you will have some lovely greenery to look out onto while working from home.
Important Bonus Home Office Cooling Tips For Work From Home Australian’s!
If you work from home in Australia then you will know it can be an extra challenge keeping cool in your home office. Our Aussie summers can be intensely hot and the long daytime hours means our home offices often heat up and stay hot for extended hours.
So here’s some extra bonus cooling tips I use to beat the hot Aussie summers when I’m trying to stay cool in my home office…
Even when sitting still, sweat pours out, so drink plenty of water to keep your fluid levels up. Avoid tea and coffee as they will dehydrate you.
Cool your pulse points:
Dabbing ice cubes or a cold, wet towel on the back of your neck and wrist will work wonders and provide instant relief. It’s not a great look, but your body will thank you.
Wear clothes that cool you down:
You’re working from home, so your colleagues will not get offended with bright, summery colours that reflect heat instead of absorbing it. Dark, business suits and multi-layer outfits will absorb heat and make you feel hotter.
Now you know how to beat the heat with these cooling ideas; it´s time to get down to work. Being comfortable in your home office environment will make you enjoy your work more and ensure you’re always at your productive best. Stay cool and have a wonderful summer!
Melinda is the founder of SuperWAHM.com and started this site to share her best work from home ideas to help other Work At Home Mums become more financially independent and able to spend time with their families.