8 Easy Ways to Make Working Outside Part of Your Springtime WFH Routine
Isn’t spring the most magical of seasons? If you live in a climate that enjoys all four seasons, there’s something so wonderful about the end of winter and the first warm rays of springtime sunlight, not to mention the world beginning to burst into bloom all around you. The trees are budding, the grass is green, and the birds are chirping — and you’re stuck inside at your desk, missing out on all the fun.
As many people continue to work from home, that likely means you’ve experienced a bit more flexibility around where you work, and there’s no reason you can’t bring your work outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather! Sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need to be more productive or creative, so follow these simple tips to work from your patio, terrace, local park, and more.
Invest in a collapsable TV tray or other “desk.”
Set up a small desk area in your yard or on your balcony if you have the space. If you don’t have patio furniture that could serve as your workspace, try a collapsible TV tray or small folding table instead. As for seating, roll your office chair outside if you so desire, or unfold that dusty camping chair for a comfy outdoor option. If you’re planning to work from a park, bring a blanket to sit on and consider investing in a lap tray to hold your computer and other office needs. (This is a handy investment anyway, as it can serve double-duty for breakfast in bed, or working from bed, too.)
When surveying a potential location for your al fresco office, keep in mind that shade is best for working on your laptop. It’s easier to see the screen, and super high temperatures from too much direct sunlight can potentially damage your devices.
Assemble the essentials in a “commuter bag.”
Reduce trips back inside by packing a “commuter” bag for your outdoor time. If you’re leaving your apartment or house entirely, be sure to bring your chargers, a refillable water bottle, hand sanitizer, and some snacks. If you’re sticking close to home, create a desk setting with your planner, notebook, favorite beverage, and other necessary supplies; toss it all in a tote bag or arrange it on a tray with handles to make carting everything outdoors easy and stylish. Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays!
Boost your WiFi signal.
If you’re planning to WFH in your backyard or on your patio, you may need a little help from a WiFi booster to ensure your schedule of Zoom calls and brainstorm sessions isn’t interrupted. You’ll need to do a bit of research to see which extender is best for your home depending on its layout and age, but adding a booster can make your connection faster and give you more WFH flexibility.
Or turn your phone into a hotspot!
Heading to a nearby park or community garden to get some work done? Stay connected with a quick fix so you’re not scrambling to get online. Use your phone’s hotspot to connect to the internet while you’re away from your WiFi. It’s so much more fun to get your tasks done by the water or surrounded by flowers, isn’t it? Pro tip: Bring a portable charger to ensure your phone battery doesn’t die immediately.
Or, get away from WiFi so you can focus.
Maybe you have a presentation you need to really focus on, or a huge document that takes your full attention to read. If you don’t require WiFi, take your computer to a nearby park and get your tasks done without the temptation of Twitter or the constant ping of new emails. You can enjoy time outside and stay focused, no website blockers required.
Visit your favorite coffee shop or restaurant patio.
Many restaurants are now re-opening to limited capacity or with increased outdoor seating, so if you’re comfortable stopping by, take advantage of the sunshine and your favorite meals and snacks, as well as a new environment to work from. You’ll be supporting a local business, ordering a delicious iced coffee or snack, and enjoying the delights of patio season — what’s better than that?
Bring headphones and reduce distractions.
If your outdoor space is in the middle of a bustling city, it’s gonna be noisy, so pack sound-reducing headphones when you really need to focus. It might be tempting to (safely) chat with every cute baby or pet every dog that walks by, but if you’ve got work to get done, headphones can keep you in the zone.
If all else fails…
Open the windows and get some fresh air! If you’re not able to work outdoors, you can still enjoy a little sunshine on your skin and the invigorating breeze of a spring day. It’ll make the workday so much better — and if you can take your next call on your headphones while you go for a walk, that can also help you enjoy the best of both worlds. (Just be sure to keep yourself muted so your coworkers don’t hear the cars passing by.)