One of the best perks of working from home? Upgrading from fluorescent office lighting to all-natural sunshine! When you’re #WFH, you can work wherever you want – including outside! Get some vitamin D while typing away at your computer from your patio. Before you slather on the sunscreen, consider these important dos and don’ts of working outside.
Charge your devices.
Before you head out to recharge in the fresh air, you’ll want to make sure your various devices, like your smartphone and laptop, have full batteries. You don’t want to begrudgingly pack up your outdoor office 15 minutes after settling in because your computer is on its deathbed. If you’re planning on working away from outlets often, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a portable charger or power bank.
Nothing ruins a zen, productive afternoon of working from home outside quite like sweating through your long sleeve shirt. Before you leave your air-conditioned house or apartment, you’ll want to scope out the weather forecast. Ensure you’re ready for anything by double-checking the weather forecast before leaving the house to ensure your attire is up to par — and don’t forget your Zoom shirt!
Set up a WiFi hotspot (if you’re venturing away from home).
If you’re working at your outdoor work desk on your apartment’s balcony or in your house’s backyard, you may not have any issues connecting to your normal WiFi. If you’re heading to a local park or picnicking spot, you may need to set up a portable WiFi hotspot. Typically, you can use your cellular data to create a hotspot – but make sure your carrier doesn’t charge overage fees before heading out for the afternoon.
Invest in an anti-glare screen cover or a sunshade.
You don’t want to spend your whole workday squinting at your screen in the bright sunlight. If you’re going to be working in the elements regularly, you may want to purchase a laptop screen cover for outdoor use or a sunshade to put on your laptop. These eliminate the reflections and glare that makes it so difficult to see outdoors, and they can also protect your devices from dust and dirt.
Double-check you’ve got all your supplies.
This might seem obvious, but it’s a big one. If you’re going farther than your backyard or balcony, double-check that you have everything you’ll need for your workday before locking the door. It’s supremely frustrating to find prime real estate under a shady tree in the park, only to discover you don’t have the one notebook (or water bottle) that you need.
Sit directly in the sun.
First and foremost, you’ve got to take care of your skin! Even if you coated on the SPF, sitting in direct sun for an entire workday is not a great idea. Additionally, the sun can also cause wear on your laptop, phone, and other electronics. Heat damage from direct sunlight can hurt the battery, reducing its life expectancy. More extreme temperatures can even damage the more delicate mechanisms of your hard drive. On warm days, proceed with caution and get to work in the shade.
Choose a place with a lot of noise or distractions.
Sure, your apartment complex’s courtyard or neighborhood pool seems like a pleasant place to work, but not if there are small children screaming or teenagers blaring music. Even the most laser-focused worker will struggle to finish their to-do list in the midst of chaos. When you’re brainstorming outdoor office ideas, make sure you choose a location on the quieter side.
That is unless you’re home with a bathroom nearby! That sizable iced coffee and bottled water is a great idea – until you’re packing up your portable workstation after only an hour because nature calls. Even if your local park does have public bathrooms, you won’t want to leave your stuff unattended to take frequent breaks. Keep some water handy, so you don’t get dehydrated as you work outside, but try not to go overboard.
Forget to take breaks.
Working outside can feel like a nice little break from the norm, but it’s still crucial to take real breaks away from your work throughout the day. Regular breaks boost productivity by helping you feel refreshed, recharged, and ready to get back down to business. At least once every couple of hours — close your laptop, stretch, listen to the birds, and enjoy a little you time.
Embrace the flexibility that comes with working from home by turning your house or apartment’s outdoor space into a breezy and budget-friendly workspace. Create the perfect backyard office with gently used furniture from your local CORT Furniture Outlet. From computer desks to patio furniture, we’ve got everything you need to create a space for both work and play.