This past year has brought huge changes to everyday life across the whole of the UK. Home working has become the norm for many, proving a challenge in more ways than one for both employers and employees. In light of this, Ideal Heating have taken a look at the impact that working from home during the winter can have on our productivity, providing advice to home workers.
ONS have put a spotlight on changes to the way the UK has worked over the past 12 months and during April 2020, 46.6% of employed people spent time working from home. For those people working from home, 86.0% were doing so as a direct result of the global pandemic.
For those people working from home, just over one-third worked fewer hours than usual (34.4%), while just under one-third found they worked more hours than usual (30.3%). People aged between 16 and 24 were less likely to find themselves working from home than individuals in higher age groups.
The Impact on Productivity
This third national lockdown has hit when the UK’s temperatures are at their lowest, proving yet another challenge for home workers as temperature is thought to be important to work productivity. The average UK temperature high in January is just 7 degrees according to Current Results. So, what impact do these temperatures really have on us? A 2006 report states that temperature affects several human responses which are below and that a room temperature of 22 degrees delivers the highest levels of productivity,
- Thermal comfort
- Perceived air quality
- Sick building syndrome symptoms
- Performance at work
With this in mind, experts at Ideal Heating have put together some useful advice for home workers on how to keep the body and home warm in less than ideal outdoor temperatures.
5 tips to help keep warm and heating bills down this Winter
1. Consume exothermic food and drinks
Some foods like ginger and caffeine can generate heat in the body as they create exothermic reactions according to Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions.
2. Keep hands and feet warm
The Healthy advises that a lot of heat is lost form your extremities, so make sure to wear socks and/or slippers to keep the heat in. Holding onto a warm drink will help warm your hands.
3. Use your heating wisely
If you’re staying in one room all day make sure the door is shut and draughts excluded. You can then turn the radiators down in other unused rooms of the house. Also be sure to set any timers and limits for when the home is warming enough, ensuring the heating automatically turns off once warm enough.
4. Claim your heating bills back
Did you know that if you’ve been working from home this year, you might be able to claim some of the costs back via the Government tax relief.
5. Move more!
It’s easy to remain sat still for long periods of time whilst sat at your desk. Make sure to have regular breaks to move around, even just circling your arms can help generate heat, warming you up.
Keep warm with the “Ideal Blend”
As part of their bid to keep a nation of hard workers fuelled this winter, Ideal Heating are hosting a competition to win a bag of their “Ideal Blend” coffee, specially created by independent coffee specialists Maude. The coffee is packed with comforting hints of chocolate, warming notes of ginger and a delicate touch of cranberry and comes with a handy travel mug too. For more information about the coffee giveaway visit: http://idealheating.com/blog/ideal-blend-competition or enter on Facebook or Instagram.
Jo Shepherd, CMO at Ideal Heating said,
“At Ideal Heating we’re dedicated to keeping Brits warm through the Winter months and as the nights get longer and colder, we wanted to spread a little extra cheer and do our part to keep the nation’s workers warm and toasty.
The past year has brought huge changes to everyday life across the whole of the UK, and at Ideal Heating we are especially aware of the amazing work of our heating engineers and boiler installers. Identified as key workers during the pandemic, they continue to work safely and efficiently through local and national lockdowns to keep Britain’s homes running. We just wanted to celebrate the UK’s dedicated workforce and spread a little cheer.”