As great as heatwaves are, when you’re working from home they can become so unbearable that your productivity slips. Being at home you’re unlikely to have the luxury of office air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your cool.
1. Use cooling colours
Colours like whites and neutrals aren’t just cool in terms of tone, they also help to reduce the temperature of your home. Like clothes absorb the sun’s heat, so too do the colours on your walls. Dark shades can take in an immense 70-90% of the radiant energy, whilst white absorbs around 35% less, meaning the latter is the better option for keeping refreshed. As it’s difficult to protect walls from the sunlight, painting these vast spaces with light colours is a more straightforward solution.
2. Increase breathability with cotton
You’ll have heard of cotton being the best for breathable clothing, and it’s the same for your furnishings. A leather office chair is great in the winter, but will likely result in you being quite literally stuck to it in the summer! Rather than swapping items like these for more cooling ones, you can add cotton accessories to them. A moisture-wicking cotton throw can easily be placed on any furniture, or you could invest in some chair covers.
3. Reduce heat from the outside
Whilst it’s lovely to view your summer surroundings in all their glory, up to 30% of unwanted heat comes from outside. This can be blocked by keeping your blinds or curtains shut. You can also opt for blackout blinds – they reflect heat out of a room and so keep the inside temperature cool. These have the added benefit of retaining heat in cold environments, meaning they’ll prove just as useful during the winter months.
Indoor plants improve the quality of the air. Our health benefits with the reduction of carbon dioxide levels, along with airborne dust and pollen – which is particularly beneficial if you or any members of your family suffer from hay fever. They also decrease the air temperature, and have been found to increase productivity, which will make up for any efficiency lost in the heat. The best air-purifying plants include chrysanthemums, spider plants and ficuses.
5. Create a wind tunnel
If there’s no way for the air to enter and exit, then your home will maintain its hot temperature. You can let the breeze in by creating a wind tunnel throughout your home – switch on fans, open the doors and windows, and let the wind flow. This is ideal to do during the evening when it’s cooler. To increase the breeze, try placing frozen water bottles in front of any fans. It’ll produce a cooling effect that increases with the size of the bottle.
These techniques will certainly help keep you chilled, but staying in one place all the time won’t help. It’s the summer, so don’t deprive yourself – stop regularly for breaks and go outside. You can sit in the shade, take in the breeze and spoil yourself with an ice lolly! Easier said than done we know, but try to take some time off during these hotter months too – it’s guaranteed to make you feel refreshed and increase productivity when you return to work.
It’ll definitely be a busy summer, and whilst you’ll have an idea on the colours and materials for your office upgrade, you may need some professional and creative advice. Hartleys can provide a hand with their bespoke range of furniture – just give us a call on 01756 700471. You can also request a design visit so we can work together to figure out the best look for your home.