After a year of creating the perfect “work from home” (WFH) space inside your home, and a bleak winter for many, it’s no surprise that we feel the urge to spend more time outdoors. With the warmth of the sunshine peeking through the clouds and fresh air calling your name, it may be time to make a change in your office space. As spring approaches and summer weather will soon follow, taking your workspace outside may be just the transition you’ve been looking for.
So, if you’re looking to upgrade your WFH life to WFO (working from outside), Here are a few things you should consider.
Find a Shady Space
Whether you plan to move your desk onto your back deck under an umbrella, or you find a corner under a tree, it is vital that you find yourself a safe and shady area if you plan to work outside. Of course, you want to enjoy the warmth, but there are some negatives that come with sitting in the sun all day. From sunburn to dehydration, without shade, you likely won’t be able to make it through an entire workday outside.
Invest in a large, acrylic-based umbrella and place it where you plan to work. These umbrellas should be weather-proof and fade resistant, designed for shading a large area. Also consider looking for an umbrella with an auto-tilt feature, that way, as the sun moves through the sky, your shade will follow. This can also be helpful if you plan to work under a tree with lower hanging branches that would otherwise not provide enough space to fit an umbrella.
Recreate Your Office
No matter if you’re sitting at a desk inside or outside, being desk-bound is never fun. But with the right equipment, especially with an ergonomic design, you can design an outdoor workspace that is just as comfortable as the one in your office. Of course, when moving a workspace to the great outdoors, you may find yourself struggling to get the alignment right. A deck or porch is your best bet, but if you plan to move out into the yard, consider leveling your space and adding tiles or a flat, wooden base to the ground.
Ensure that the table you choose is the right height for your ergonomic chair, just be aware that you may need to use your indoor desk chair outside for maximum support. Even though an outdoor workspace has comfort written all over it, you still want to sit with your feet flat on the ground, your arms hitting your desk at a comfortable angle and room to get up and move around freely when you need a break.
Of course, you can’t forget about power. In order for you to jump on a Zoom meeting at a moment’s notice or work on your next big proposal, you will need a strong wi-fi connection and a power source to plug in your laptop and other necessary equipment. The best bet may be to handle virtual meetings indoors, especially if a more professional setting is expected.
Working outdoors and connecting yourself with nature may seem like the ultimate office, but there are many distractions that can pop up and draw your focus away from your work. Consider upgrading the old shed in your backyard to a separate office where you can leave the door wide open and crack a few windows. You can have the ultimate outdoor office experience while still having the option to close it up in case the neighbor’s dog is barking or the birds are chirping loudly.
You can also invest in a porch screen, keeping out the birds and bugs while still being able to breath in the fresh air. If you would rather surround yourself with more nature, consider adding privacy bushes and plants to your surrounding area, creating an outdoor office oasis filled with your favorite smells and colors.
Because being outdoors involves a whole new set of sounds, you may easily lose focus during a meeting or working on a project. Use noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the sounds of your surroundings, or even consider investing in a white noise machine. For an added backyard feature, build a small waterfall as another noise-reducing option that will also add some character to your space.
Source: The Spruce