The nights are slowly getting cooler, the air feels clean and crisp instead of heavy and hot, there’s no denying that winter is coming (unless you live somewhere that’s always warm, in which case we are jealous!). And while that makes some of us jump for joy, dig sweaters out of our closets and run to the nearest coffee shop for a trendy fall beverage, not everyone is as excited to embrace the cold.
For many of us, that’s because the winter months mean grey skies, chilly commutes, and drafty offices. For me personally, it means I’m spending weeks sitting at my desk feeling perpetually chilled because I’m one of those people who is ALWAYS cold.
Cold offices were linked to decreased levels of productivity in a study done by Cornell University in 2004 and a study done at the Leiden University found that people’s working memory functions better if they are working in an ambient temperature where they feel most comfortable.
So whether you’re taking these colder temperatures in stride or are in denial of the inevitable cold front, our tips for staying warm at work these winter months are sure to keep you cozy and your mind alert at your desk this winter.
#1: Drink plenty of hot beverages
Hot drinks are a great way to raise your internal body temperature and take the edge off the chills. We love cold brew, but in the winter months, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a steaming cup of coffee in the morning.
Not wowed by the thought of plain coffee to warm you up? Change up your morning coffee routine by adding a flavored syrup to it or flavored creamer.
Stock up on a variety of teas to drink throughout the day–black and green teas offer a great source of caffeine if you’re looking for an extra boost of energy. Other flavors have calming or relaxing effects, perfect for those tense days at work. Turmeric ginger, peppermint, green tea, and chai are a few of our office favorites.
If you’re not into coffee or tea, try drinking glasses of hot or warm water with lemon throughout the day. Not only will drinking hot water keep you warm and toasty, it’s a great natural remedy for colds, improves blood circulation and helps maintain a healthy metabolism.
#2: Wear extra layers
Remember when your mom always told you to wear a lot of layers to stay warm when you were little and you never listened? Well, it’s time to start listening.
Wearing multiple layers to work is a great way to be prepared for the most aggressive or lackluster heaters in the winter months. Leave an extra sweater or jacket at your desk for days when you need a little extra warmth.
Beyond just layers, thick socks, scarves, fingerless gloves, and winter hats are a great way to add a little extra flair and heat to your wardrobe.
#3: Let there be light!
Keep the blinds open on the windows in your office when the sun is shining. Letting in the natural light will not only boost the energy in your office, but also keep temperatures on the warmer side. Don’t forget to close the curtains on the windows before you leave for the day so the office doesn’t get drafty at night.
If your office gets plenty of natural light throughout the day, pick a sunny spot in your office to work from. The new scenery, especially if you’re by a window, is a great way to change up your work routine. Plus, soaking up some winter rays will take the edge off the office chill.
#4: Small spaces = warm spaces
Small conference rooms or phone booths tend to trap warm air inside them because of the way the air circulates through the office. Jump in an unused conference room or phone booth throughout the day when you need a quiet place to work and keep warm.
#5: Turn your chair into a seat heater
If bringing a blanket into work isn’t your style, a heating pad might be the way to go. This alternative is slightly less noticeable but equally warm.
If it’s electric, plug the heating pad in by your desk, place on your seat and you’ve got your own personal seat heater for the day!
If you want to go wireless, use a microwavable heating pad instead. Just be mindful of your microwaving frequency so as not to disturb your co-workers with constant beeping when you run back to heat it up.
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