You’re Getting Warmer!

Three Tips for Outsmarting the Office Chill

Oh, February. It’s central Illinois’ most confusing month. Freezing rain and snow one day, spring temperatures the next. Is it just us or does there seem to be a bit of a chill in the air even on those warmer days? (Can heaters get confused?) For those of you who have spent most of your morning dreaming of warmer temperatures, the kind that stick around for more than a day, we’ve put together these tricky tips for sneaking a little extra warmth to your work space. Worried you won’t be able to get the purchases approved? We’ve even provided some additional arguments for why you might need these items – just in case “But I’m cold” isn’t enough.

Warm up your personal space (and improve your ergonomics)

Are your hands so cold that you’re sitting on them right now to try to warm them up? Have you wondered if it would be completely inappropriate to bring a blanket to work? Yes? Well, there’s a really easy way to add some warmth to your space – choose a heated ergonomic support. A lumbar support with a built in heater or microwavable gel pack will keep your back nice and warm.  (Added bonus: The gel packs can also be frozen to keep you cool in the summer.) Keep your toes toasty by choosing a heated footrest.  You can even buy footrests with dual settings to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer!

Why do you need one? Did you know that 80% of all computer users experience some form of chronic fatigue, tension, or pain? Most of this can be traced back to a desk set up that isn’t ergonomically correct. The right task chair can make a big difference, but if a new chair isn’t in your future an ergonomic aid can do a lot to help make you more comfortable. A lumbar support will improve your posture and help cut down on end-of-the-day back aches.  Adding a footrest will provide support for your feet and legs and ensure that your legs stay at the correct 90o angle, which will help eliminate any numbness or fatigue you’re feeling in your lower legs.

Warm up a shared space (up and knock out the flu virus)

If you work in chilly corner or share an office with some similarly shivery coworkers, you’ll need a solution with a little more reach. Try a warm moisture humidifier. These units pass water over a heated plate to warm and purify it before spreading it through the room.  Think of it as a warm rainforest mist compared to a standard humidifier’s cool ocean breeze. Sounds practically like a vacation to us.

Why do you need one? Numerous studies have shown that viruses are more stable and last longer in air that’s cold and dry, which is why the flu is much more prevalent in winter. Add some humidity (Hello, humidifier!) to the air and the droplets that carry the flu virus get heavier and drop to the ground where they’re less likely to be breathed in by you and your office mates.

Warm up the whole office (and reduce stress)

Let’s face it. There are February days that leave even the warmest person in the office feeling a little chilled. What should you do about it? Head down to the breakroom and wrap your hands around a warm mug of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. It’s a cheap and easy way to leave everyone feeling a little bit warmer all over. And who isn’t happier with a little chocolate or caffeine in their system?

Why do you need it? Want to reduce mental fatigue, improve productivity, and reduce strain on your back in one easy step? Get up from your desk and take a break. Experts agree that even a short 10- to 15-minute break can help to recharge your batteries, refresh your body, and improve your ability to concentrate. So don’t feel guilty about taking a couple of minutes for a hot drink. Your chilled fingers will thank you, and when you get back to your desk you’ll be better prepared to tackle that to-do list.