As I mentioned last week, I have long battled the office thermostat, and have learned that there’s really nothing an individual can do to change things “globally”. Instead, the easiest way to make yourself more comfortable in an office where you’re freezing is to take matters into your own hands. Over the past 12 years, I have discovered quite a few things that work, and many that don’t. These are my favorite things for keeping warm in a frigid office.*
Magnetic Vent Covers or Air Redirectors
I have used these twice at work, in two different offices. One office had long, thin vents, and was a shared space with someone who not only didn’t mind it cold, but often complained about it being too warm. Later on in my career, I had an office that had a large square vent and a coworker who hated the cold as much as I did.
In the first office, redirecting the air was no big deal. As long as it wasn’t blowing on me, I could use other warming methods to keep myself warmer. The second office, however, was a different story, and I had to do some research when it came to covering up the vent. My fellow cold-blooded coworker rigged up an eyesore of a solution that redirected the air off him, but did nothing for me but make it worse, so I took it upon myself to block half of my vent. I discovered that some hardware stores, along with Amazon (of course), carry magnetic panels large enough to cover some vents partially or fully.
The only issue I had with the magnetic vent cover was that it wasn’t really strong enough to stay on its own. I had to add extra magnets to keep it attached, otherwise it fell periodically. Something to consider if you’re thinking of going that route. There are quite a few options for vents available now though, so it’s worth researching and bringing some options to your employer if you’re looking to go this route.
A Mug Warmer
A mug warmer is a pretty common thing to see in offices. You can get them a ton of places (sometimes you see them labeled as candle warmers). I recently bought one for myself on Amazon, but it’s small and I don’t think it really does as much as one of the larger ones would. It doesn’t make much contact with my mug and doesn’t keep my drink as warm as I’d like. It also doesn’t have a switch, which would be helpful. But I figured I could slide the small, flexible pad under my mousepad for a little extra wrist warmth in winter if I need it, so that’s why I settled on the one I did. Down the road, I might opt for a different option.
I have quite a few pairs of arm warmers and while they might look silly sometimes, they’re a solid investment and really help warm things up. What’s nice about them, compared to fingerless gloves, is that they keep your wrist and forearm from making contact with the cold surface of your desk. For me, that helps keep my hands and fingers warmer. I recommend browsing at SockDreams, where they have a ton of different colors, styles, lengths, and materials to choose from.
This is quite possibly the strangest one on here, but one that I learned was quite an asset during the frigid Chicago winters. It might not be totally necessary depending on where you’re at (I’m guessing I won’t need a blanket in Tennessee), but if it’s unbearable, get one! You don’t have to wrap yourself up in it, but it’s nice for draping over your legs or shoulders. I have a grey one that I snagged on sale at Kohl’s. The grey was a bit more subtle than something with a crazy pattern, but you do you if you are going to get a blanket.
A Heated Mousepad
Heated mice are a thing, and there are heated hand covers, but only recently did I discover that a heated mousepad exists! I snagged one on Amazon, though it appears to be unavailable right now. I love mine, and can’t believe I only paid a few pennies over $5 (with Prime free shipping). There’s a similar one available, but not many quantities. There are also heated desk pads and “toasty” USB hand warmers.
Reality is, there are a ton of warming options that can keep you warm at work. It took me quite awhile to figure out what worked well for me, but now that I know what options are out there it helps immensely, even with the recent relocation to a warmer climate.
What, no space heater?
No. A space heater is a given, really; the easy, expected way out. It’s the first thing a lot of people suggest when someone says they are cold in the office. There are tons of options aside from space heaters, and furthermore, a lot of times, offices have policies against them for safety reasons.
Who should pay for this stuff?
When it comes to your personal comfort in the office, in most cases, I would suggest footing the bill yourself. The only thing that you might want to (or even need to) ask work to cover the cost of would be vent covers or air diffusers. Those may need to be special ordered if you can’t find the size you need on Amazon or at a home improvement store, and you may not be able (or allowed) to install them yourself. So if you are considering going that route, talk to someone at work about that first.
Everything else on the list above I recommend getting on your own dime. They really aren’t that expensive and the best part about it is, if you purchase them with your own money you can take them with you when you leave that company. Then you can use them in the next frigid office, which we all know is just a job offer away.
*This is not a sponsored post. I was not gifted items in exchange for my commentary or review. I simply really like the above items.