A particularly temperate summer week has gotten me itching to be outside instead of stuck here inside behind an office desk with only a tiny window view. Bringing work outdoors at the first warm breeze might seem like a great idea, but in reality staying comfortable and equipped for actual work requires planning. Here are several tips and products to help make a workday outside as productive as it is refreshing...
The Outdoor Office Checklist:
1. Check wi-fi network speed and strength outside.
2. Consider where you'll be plugging in, or plan with a sufficient capacity external power supply.
3. Plan for outdoor glare.
4. Test the comfort and ergonomics of outdoor furniture.
5. Add a small table or work surface if planning to work outdoors longer than an hour.
The great outdoors can be bright and beautiful, but one thing it's not is very tech friendly. Wi-Fi, power plugs, and other essentials normally readily available are suddenly not so easy to access. Sitting in the backyard far from the internet router also generally means a weak Wi-Fi signal, so make sure you're set up for a fast Wi-Fi connection to keep connected when working from an outdoor area; if the signal is weak, consider repositioning your router, adding an antenna, or adding another router as a repeater to extend coverage.
While many modern laptop batteries advertise workday long power, the reality is their power lifespan are much shorter than advertised, as the numbers represent an ideal. Making a laptop run more efficiently helps keep productivity going. Portable charging solutions designed for travelers also helps provide a power boost when needed. With extra juice available there's less guilt in jacking up the screen brightness settings to see the screen in bright sunlight.
Working outside has its difficulties - one of which is the big bright sun in the sky producing so much glare that it's impossible to see a laptop screen. Anti-glare films reduce the reflections on a monitor, making it easier to view in bright sunlight. Getting a perfect fit with a screen protector that matches an exact laptop model is easy with product selection tools available for products such as the 3M Natural View anti-glare screen protector. Many anti-glare products have the added benefit of acting as privacy filters, keeping nosy neighbors from seeing the screen.
Consider upgrading for the behind as well. Most outdoor chairs aren't designed for workday lengths and won't be as comfy as say a Herman Miller Aeron office chair. Take the opportunity to upgrade the backyard with comfortable furniture. It will feel good and look good!
For those with only a tiny apartment balcony to call a backyard, the balKonzept is a perfect little space saving outdoor desk designed to hang onto balcony railing. Taking up precious little space, efficiently serving a great purpose, and looking fantastic at the same time - that's the definition of small cool.
MORE OUTDOOR WORKSPACES ON APARTMENT THERAPY
(Images: as linked above)