27 Oct Working from home in the winter
This year has seen some of the most challenging times in recent history. A national lock down for three months and the threat of another has meant that most of us will be glad to see the back of 2020.
The summer saw many people in the UK working from home and we talked at length about how to set up your home office and maintain your mental health while working in isolation. The winter presents a very different set of issues when it comes to using your home as a workplace. With shorter days and the possibility of having to work unofficial overtime, we take a look at some things you can expect from a winter of working at home.
During the Spring/Summer lock down many people reported that they were saving money by staying at home. No more commuting costs, fuelling the car was less frequent and picking up a coffee and croissant on the way to work was no longer an expense. In the Spring we had longer days, and a mild climate and it meant that our energy bills weren’t being impacted in nearly the same way as they would in the darker months.
Fast forward 6 months to the Autumn/Winter period; the sun sets by 5pm and the outside temperatures are floundering in single digits. You may have managed to avoid putting your heating on until October, but now working from home could mean that you need that extra warmth all day. According to research featured in the Guardian, this could increase the average household energy bill by £107 this winter (based on working from home 5 days a week.).
How to keep your costs down while staying warm
Some Employers have policies in place which reimburse their employees for extra energy costs, and there is also the potential to claim tax relief of around £6 a week on your energy bills if you work from home; documenting and providing sufficient evidence for the fact may be a little more effort than it is worth for the average worker.
There are a few cost effective ways to keep warm while the outside temperatures drop.
Lowering the thermostat – if you are happy to work in a jumper you should consider reducing your thermostat by just one degree could save you up to £80 a year on your energy bill. You’ll barely notice the difference but will use less energy heating the property.
Shut the door – if you have a dedicated room in your home for your home office, shut the door and make sure there are no draughts. The room will soon warm up from your body heat and any heat generated by your laptop or PC.
Light – If you have a large window in your work area, make sure that when the sun is gone you close the curtains to retain some heat in the room. Use lamps instead of the main room light to keep the number of bulbs illuminated to a minimum.
Move regularly – if you are busy, you can find yourself sitting down for long periods of time in the day. Make sure that you get up and move around regularly to get the blood circulating and warm yourself up. We’re not talking about doing a full work out, but a few stretches and the occasional walk around the house will do you the world of good.
Remember if you are concerned about how to maintain your mental health while working from home, take a look at our article for some useful tips.
Get in Touch
If you are looking at modifying your office for the winter months or are thinking of updating your space in anticipation of normality returning to the world, make sure you speak to a member of our team about your workplace requirements on 01344 303504 or email us.
We are experts in commercial office fit-out so, whether you are looking for a major overhaul or simple alterations to your existing workspace, get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.