With working from home becoming the norm for more and more people, many are struggling with a new challenge: how to keep warm in their home office. We’d all love to turn the heating up to a comfortable level, but with rising energy costs and concerns about the environment that’s not always an option.
Not only do more people need to stay warm while working from home, they also need to do it in a cost-efficient way. In this guide you’ll find some of the best ways to keep yourself and your home office warm this winter.
Using layers of clothing and blankets is one of the most underappreciated methods of staying warm while working from home. Even if you’re wearing one of your thickest, cosiest fleeces or jumpers, only having a single t-shirt underneath isn’t going to be effective at trapping the heat from your body.
Instead, go for multiple layers. At least one underlayer is a must, and using a long-sleeve t-shirt makes a much bigger difference than a simple short-sleeve one. Then you can have a lighter jumper on before going to your biggest pullover or fleece.
To top it all off, don’t think that blankets are just for lazing around on weekends. They can make a world of difference while working from home. Wrap them around your legs and torso to keep yourself well-insulated while still leaving your arms free to work.
While it may seem like overkill, on the coldest winter days you’ll appreciate having more specialised thermal clothing. These are perfect as a middle layer to really trap in your body heat.
Don’t just focus on your upper body too. It makes a big difference to have long-johns keeping your legs warm.
Don’t forget your feet!
With the rest of your body nicely wrapped up, it’s important not to neglect your feet. If you’ve only got a thin pair of socks separating you from the ground, you could be losing a lot of heat.
Get some thick socks instead. And, on top of that, go for a pair of slippers too!
Heat yourself, not the room
Keeping heating costs low doesn’t have to mean completely reducing them to zero. Instead, you can be a lot more efficient in how you keep yourself warm. The best way to do this is by heating yourself, not the room.
Hot water bottles and electric blankets
Heating yourself can be a very cost-effective method of keeping warm, compared to relying on central heating or electric radiators.
A more old-school but still very much reliable tool to achieve this is by using a hot water bottle. Lay it on your lap, against your stomach, or even against your back, so it’s close to your body. You can even keep it under a blanket you’re using, so that less of the heat escapes.
For more of an investment, more and more people are proponents of electric blankets. Nowadays these are much safer and more energy-efficient than the types you’d find from decades ago, so wrapping yourself in one is one of the best ways to keep yourself warm at a very low cost.
Heat only one room
Alternatively, it might make more sense to target one room to keep warm. Besides, if you spend most of the day working in just one room, heating the rest of the house is largely a waste of energy.
While it’s tempting to sit under layers of blankets all day, remaining stationary for long periods of time can only make you feel colder. Moving a mouse or typing on a keyboard isn’t enough movement to get your blood pumping, so make sure to take breaks throughout the day to do a few exercises.
You don’t have to do a complete gym session for this to have an impact. It could be as simple as doing ten press-ups or situps. You might have some free weights to provide a range of exercise options, or resistance bands that you could even use while still sitting at your office chair. Of course, if you have the time during a lunch break, you might be able to do a longer workout or go for a run.
Doing exercises will get your heart pumping and the blood flowing throughout your body, helping you to keep warm. They’ll have the added benefit of keeping you healthy too.
Go for walks outside
Another way to up your heart rate is by taking a walk outside. If you’ve got a break in the day, even if it’s short, you could go for a stroll around your block or to a nearby park.
Additionally, if it’s a cold day outside you’ll then notice the difference in temperature when you step outside. So, once you return home, you’ll appreciate the comparative warmth inside as your body will still feel warm from the activity.
Hot food and drinks
While having the heating on constantly can be expensive, the cost of electricity to boil a kettle is minimal. Don’t deprive yourself from having hot drinks throughout the day, whether that’s a cup of tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate! Getting a hot liquid inside can help you feel warmer
Likewise, there’s a big difference between having hot food compared to cold food. While studies suggest hot food doesn’t actually increase your body temperature, they can be psychologically effective at providing extra comfort on especially cold days.
Invest in improving your home’s insulation
Altering your habits can have a massive impact on how well you keep warm, but for bigger changes that can improve your entire home you’ll need to make some investments and even do a bit of DIY.
Seal your chimneys
Chimneys can be a massive source of draughts, your number one enemy in your goal to staying warm. For a quick solution, you can buy a specialised Chimney Sheep to provide insulation, or stuff an old pillow up there as a free alternative. As a more permanent solution, you can instead get your chimneys sealed.
Seek out draughts
To decide where to prioritise your other improvements, try to find other sources of draughts. If you notice a cold breeze coming from windows, they might not be properly sealed.
Double and triple glazed windows
Double-glazed windows are very much the norm nowadays, but it’s always worth checking that there isn’t any single-glazing that could be replaced. For an even bigger investment, you could also look into getting tripled-glazed windows.
Improve the efficiency of your radiators
As a relatively cheap investment, radiator reflector foil can improve how well your radiators heat a room. The foil fits behind the radiator, significantly reducing the amount of heat lost through the wall by reflecting more of it back in the room.
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Other advice on keeping warm while working from home
If you have any additional tips on how to keep warm in a cost-effective way, feel free to leave a comment to help others out!