6 ways to stay cool in a heatwave if your office or WFH space doesn’t have air con

Christine says: “Speak to your boss about changing your hours. This may not be possible, but managers have learnt to be flexible during the Covid-19 crisis, and working from home does allow for looser working conditions. If you’re really struggling to work during the day, see if you can work earlier – 6am before the sun really gets hot – or later, after 6pm when things start to cool down. Many managers will be flexible, especially if it’s only for a couple of days.”

Keep the sun out

Though it may be tempting to have your curtains pulled back all day during the heat, it’s actually best to shut your curtains and blinds, because covering up the windows will help block the sun from getting in.

Instead, open your windows at the start and end of the day to let cooler air in. Genius.

The head, wrists and feet are areas we lose heat the quickest, so cooling these parts of the body down can have a greater effect on the body overall.

“Freeze a hot water bottle overnight, and keep it by your feet during work-hours. That might sound weird, but cooling your feet is one of the quickest ways to bring your entire body-temperature down. Keep a cool flannel against your neck too,” Christine advises.

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Go easy on yourself

Most people struggle to be their most productive selves in the heat – you’re not alone in that lull in motivation.

Christine says you should ease up on your expectations: “We all want to stay at our most productive, but try not to beat yourself up if you’re not working at peak performance right now. Putting aside the heat, we’ve all had an extremely stressful year – it helps to step back, take a little breather and get through what you can without causing yourself any extra stress.”

Cut caffeine and schedule water breaks

Anything iced is the way to go right now.

Christine says: “This might not be the advice you want, but stop drinking so much coffee – it’ll only raise your body temperature. Swap out for cold versions if you need the fix. Aim to drink more water. When you’re getting stuck into work, it can be easy to forget to drink. Set a timer on your phone if you really struggle.”

Rearrange video calls and dress down

“The benefit of WFH is that you’re not tied to workplace dress codes,” Christine explains. “Wear as little as you need to stay cool – if possible, rearrange calls for the days when the heat isn’t so bad. Remember everyone is in the same boat.”