Marketing Manager, Kirsty takes us through her experience of battling the heat to stay productive.
We’re in the middle of a sweltering heatwave. Great for staycations, not so great for being on top of your work game – unless you’re a plant… I’m not. I split my working days between a city office in Clerkenwell, my dining table and This Time Next Year, so I’m granted a multi-faceted view on working in the heat. Let me break it down, freelancer to freelancer.
Undergro… Shhhhhhh… don’t even say it. I’m not a fan of commuting on the Central Line on the coolest of days, you can guarantee I’ll be making excuses to find an alternative route. As a result, my journeys into the city office tend to be an hour’s ride on the 55 bus. In this kind of heat, tempers are simmering and smells from fellow commuters are ripe. Not my favourite journey of the week. Whereas working from home is preceded by a stroll to the back of the house, a quick stop at the front door to collect any post and I arrive at my dining table with a bright garden view. Feelings of smugness usually ensue. Travelling to This Time Next Year is less of a commute and more of a saunter. Just a 10-minute cycle from Lea Bridge Road, through Jubilee Park, under a canopy of trees (my favourite part) to Orient Way. Travelling earlier is better, by mid-morning the tarmac on Orient Way starts to radiate.
Top tip for commuting in the heat: Pop a bottle of water in the freezer the night before you travel, this can then double as a cool pack and a source of ice-cold water.
Very high up on my list of workspace requirements. Forget the fire exits, where is my nearest coffee point?! There’s a lot on offer at my city office, but not without having to venture out into the wider world; then there’s the obligatory ‘Does anyone want anything?’. I’m not a stingy office mate, I’ll happily buy you a coffee, it’s the juggling of 3 keep cups, 2 espressos and a frappe that I’m not a fan of – and oh, great, now I’m wearing my flat white instead of drinking it. With this heat, you can multiple the likelihood of dropping the lot by 3.4 – fact. Working from home, my coffee comes from a cafetiere, which my expenses spreadsheet is delighted. Although, it’s hardly inspiring and I do like a bit of barista banter – sadly my kettle doesn’t have a particularly good sense of humour. However, over at TTNY there’s Steph; banging milk frothing skills, makes a makes a mean, green juice and is always sweet enough to ask about everyone’s weekend – winner. Shout out to TTNY coffee suppliers Ozone, whose name is wholly appropriate for a blog about the heat.
Top tip for staying refreshed in the heat: Invest in an insulated reusable coffee cup, they’ll keep your coffee toasty and – more importantly – your iced latte cold. Plus, a lot of coffee shops offer a discount for using a reusable.
Over in my city office, there’s air con. Perfect, especially after a long bus journey. How… ever… there is usually four or five of us in a narrow space. While we see eye to eye on getting things done, temperature is a whole different ball-game. Interesting fact – women and men can experience a difference in temperature by up to 5 degrees!! Plus, anytime someone opens the door or the window all of that lovely cold air escapes; yes, I know the window should be closed while the air con is on, but you try telling that lot! Over at my dining table there is no air con, cracking a window would usually encourage a draft but lately we’ve seen a distinct lack of drafts. Come 1.30pm, the view of the sun in the garden starts to mirage and the only relief is to take a cold shower, draw the curtains and try to continue working through the sweat dripping from my brow. Now let’s talk about TTNY, that light and airy space with air conditioning as refreshing as a mountain stream and as delicate a baby’s breath. Ok, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but I will insist that once you walk through the doors at TTNY, you’re in a different climate, a climate where thoughts run freely, and tasks are regularly ticked off. It’s only when I go to leave, that I realise the engulfing heat that I left behind in the morning persists.
Top tip for surviving a hot office: Resist the temptation to fan yourself, the movement creates more body heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, buy a desk fan and place a bowl of ice (or your iced drink) in front of this – the fan will help move the cooled air from around the ice throughout the room.
There you have it – my thoughts and tips on working in the heat from three different workplaces. In a Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ style conclusion, the Commute, the Coffee and the Climate at This Time Next Year is just right.
If you’d like to take advantage of the cool coworking options available at The Time Next Year, simply email email@example.com to book a free trial day.