Today it is more common than ever that people now have the option to work from home. Moving from a formal and corporate environment or office space to an office located at home allows for more flexibility, which includes the creation of an “outdoor” office.
Working outdoors offers benefits that extend way beyond only financial success. A systematic review in 2018 discovered that spending time in “green spaces” improved mood, and attention, and also encouraged physical activity. Moving your office space outdoors may also provide quiet, peace, and a gentle breeze.
Keep reading to find out more on how to go about establishing your own outdoor office, which will include ways how to arrange your furniture, and protect your eyes. Every space is unique, so find a way to make this space functional according to the area you have available.
#1 Protect Your Eyes And Reduce Glare
Sitting in front of a computer every day will strain your eyes. When you take your computer outdoors, you might struggle to see the screen due to the sun. Think about inexpensive additions such as an anti-glare screen protector, or sunshade for your laptop. This will dramatically lower eye strain and glare. These glare protectors will also prevent unnecessary strain and squinting even if your computer is in a shady area.
#2 Choose Weatherproof Furniture
An accent chair, indoor table, or recliner will not last long outside. Furniture made for indoor settings is not designed for temperature changes and direct sunlight. Rather look for garden furniture that still provides comfort but can withstand most of the elements. Metal tables, resin, wood, and fade-resistant fabrics that won’t rot, warp, chip, or rust, when they are exposed to water and sunlight, will create a lasting workspace.
#3 Boost Your WiFi
An outdoor office space can become iffy if you are too far away from your router, and the signal strength is weak. However, a mesh network or a WiFi extender can help to keep the speed up, even when you are further away from your router. A Wifi extender usually plugs into an electrical outlet and the mesh networks work on sending radio signals to satellite units which will boost the speed in your backyard or in a large house.
#4 Protect Any Tech Assets From The Outdoor Elements
Direct exposure to sunlight can cause a keyboard, mouse, or laptop to overheat. You can also burn or overheat when you sit in the sun for too long. If you don’t have any shaded areas outdoors, make one. A pop-up canopy or an umbrella for a patio can offer temporary protection from the harsh rays of the sun.
#5 Create A Bit Of Heat
Rain and the sun are not the only types of weather conditions that may complicate working outside. When the temperature starts to drop, it doesn’t mean you need to run back inside. Patio heaters that you can buy from a store such as Amazon, include units that keep a 6 to 9-foot radius space warm and cozy. Sit close to one of these heaters when you need to work and store it under an eave when it is not in use.
#6 Construct A Separate Area
Playhouse kits or pre-made sheets can easily be changed into a useable outdoor office. You can create your own outdoor space by creating a room in an outbuilding. These spaces are often versatile and provide ample protection from various elements. It also gives you the choice to close the door when children or pets are playing outside or the wind picks up.
#7 Ergonomics Will Still Matter
Moving a working space from your corner office that you once had in a busy city to the corner of your patio, does not mean that ergonomics no longer matter. Wherever you decide to work, you must ensure that you are comfortable. You need an appropriately-sized desk or table, and a chair that is supporting your back to avoid strain and prevent injuries.
If your patio chairs or an old outdoor Adirondack chair is not providing the support you need, use a standing-desk riser or lumbar-support pillow. You can adjust either of these to match your position.
#8 Use An Outdoor Rug
Using a rug inside your converted shed or on your patio defines and transforms the space. An outdoor rug adds texture and comfort to any type of space. Outdoor rugs are usually made from jute and cotton or even brightly-colored plastics. Even small outdoor rugs can provide a space for your bare feet when you prepare for your next virtual meeting.
#9 Arrange Your Furniture Strategically
Many of us have to share our outdoor space with neighbors, kids, pets, or interloping partners. But there are still ways you can arrange your outdoor furniture so that it creates a private area in a larger setup outdoors. For instance, you can use planters on each side of your chair or desk along a wall or corner to keep you hidden from everyone else while you are working. When you plan how to place your furniture think about the sun. Make sure the sun is either to one side or in front of the setup to avoid excess glare.
#10 Power Up Your Setup
Make sure you understand your power requirements to make sure your outside office space runs smoothly. When you cannot use extension cords, or you would prefer not to have this type of eyesore cluttering up your space, you may want to consider one of the portable power banks. You could also run your extension cord near to your home, where it is out of view. This can provide the power that you need without detracting from your outdoor aesthetics.