Contracting often means travelling to different workplaces. During the winter months, this can be especially tough as there’s no guarantee that the place you’re visiting is actually going to be warm. What can you do during the winter months when the journey to and from, and even being on site can feel freezing cold?
There’s nothing worse than trying to get your work done with chattering teeth and numb fingers, no matter what industry you’re in. But as a contractor, you might not feel comfortable asking for the heating to be turned up. So how can you make sure you stay warm at work when you’re self-employed, staving off the colds and flu that come with winter? Here are our top tips for contractors to avoid the cold:
It can be tricky knowing what to wear when you’re headed to an unfamiliar workplace. You don’t know what the temperature will be like, so you have to make a guess about whether or not to put on your big woolly jumper. But you don’t want to be too warm either, so what can you do?
Your best bet is to wear three or four layers of thinner clothing. If you just wear a t-shirt and a jumper, for example, you only have two choices. If the weather is too warm for a sweater but too cold for just a t-shirt, you won’t be comfortable. The more layers you wear, the more options you have to find the right temperature for you.
Always plan ahead and consider what areas you will feel the cold the most, and prioritise them. When at work, usually you’ll be using your hands. If they’re cold, they’ll become numb and painful, as well as being hard to use. If you’re worried about the cold, a good pair of gloves should be part of your everyday outfit, as long as you can still work with them on. Similarly, if you’re on your feet for a large part of your day, you should make sure you’re wearing thick socks and comfortable shoes. If you’re outside, you don’t want the wind to freeze your ears and nose, so a hat and scarf will be a must.
Pack a warm lunch and hot drink
Hot food and drinks are key to keeping warm during the cold. However, you won’t always find a microwave or even a kettle to warm your food & drinks. So it’s important that you take your own initiative when heading to an unfamiliar workplace by investing in a good insulated flask and container.
This way you can ensure you always have access to a hot drink, as well as soup, stew or curry for lunch.
Invest in portable heaters
Consider looking into different portable options for warming yourself up, wherever you are. It’s possible to get little pouches that work a bit like a glowstick, in that you can squeeze them until they click to make them warm up. These can fit in your pocket or in the palm of your hands, and are a great way to get some instant warmth when you’re working outdoors or in cold spaces. There are also small portable fan heaters that you can bring and plug in to help warm you up.