This winter, many people will be working from home for the first time. If that's true for you, you may not know how to keep your at-home workspace warm without spending a lot of money keeping the heat turned up. Here’s some tips on how to prepare your home office for fall.
Avoid the draft
An easy first step is checking your home office for drafts. To find a draft, feel around the edges of windows and doors. You can use a lighted candle to check for wayward breezes in your workspace. If the flame flickers, then there’s likely a draft. You can also use a lit stick of incense. Depending on where the draft is coming from you can try:
- Sealing windows with caulk or window insulating kits
- Installing insulated curtains
- Using door sweeps or snakes (cloth tubes filled with sand)
- Getting an area rug for below your desk
Create a cozy zone
Instead of cranking up the heat, try a space heater to warm your workspace. Space heaters generally use less energy than central heating, but they’re still powerful enough to warm the surrounding area. They’re also quiet, so you won’t have to worry about patients hearing them over video calls.
Heating pads are useful and versatile. You can put one under your seat, behind your back, or on your lap, depending on where you need it. Many of them have an auto-off feature that shuts down after two hours, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on by accident.
And while a cup of tea isn’t likely to significantly raise your internal temperature, sipping from your favorite mug can certainly help get you in a warmer state of mind.
Live in layers
If you don't want to look like you're dressed for the slopes while you're in telehealth calls, try layering your clothes. Wearing a base layer of thermal clothing keeps you warm without making your outfit bulkier. Slippers are cold weather must-haves that won't make an appearance in your meetings. Fingerless gloves keep your hands warm without affecting your ability to type.
Stay moving to keep your temperature up
Exercise is another great way to warm up. Take an occasional break throughout the day to stretch or walk around. You can also try a mini stationary bike. These bikes go under your desk, so you can pedal whenever you want to boost your heart rate and get a little warmer. Be careful not to overdo it, though; working out too much will make you sweat, and the cold air evaporating your perspiration will make you chillier.
Working from home allows you more freedom to customize your workspace than you may have had in the office. By using these tips, you can make your workspace comfortable and stay productive no matter how cold it is outside.