Summer is officially here, and with that warmer weather can come a healthy dose of cabin fever for those stuck working inside during beautiful sunny days. If you work from home and have an outdoor space, moving your office outdoors can do wonders for your mood, productivity, and even your energy levels. 

If you don’t have a giant backyard, don’t fret. An outdoor office can be made using a deck, patio, balcony, or even a sturdy fire escape. All you really need is an outdoor area that can provide access to fresh air, a change of scenery, and a break from spending time in the same tight spaces with your kids, spouse, or roommates. The trick to a successful outdoor office is optimizing it for your tech and whatever surprises mother nature has in store for you. 

Choose your space

The best spaces get sunlight but don’t leave you trapped in the sun for too long. Not only can prolonged sunlight cause uncomfortable burns, but sunbeams can create screen glare, making it difficult to get any work done and increasing the strain on your eyes. 

Prolonged exposure to the sun can also cause your laptop to overheat, which slows your computer down, or in a worst-case scenario, actually damage the device. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s too hot for you outside, it’s too hot for your devices too. 

There are two main ways you can combat sunlight and temperature: 

  1. Limit your outdoor work to the morning and evenings before the sun is at its apex. This allows you to avoid the heat of the day and, since the sun won’t be directly overhead, you likely won’t experience as much screen glare. 
  2. Set up your outdoor space with an umbrella or awning. This is a more expensive solution and necessitates a larger space, but it does allow you to work outdoors at any time of the day and gives you direct control over when you want to soak up those sunbeams or protect your skin. 


Make it comfortable

At this point, most of us (especially those of us over 30) understand the importance of proper ergonomics in our workspaces. If you’re going to spend time working outside in the summer, make sure to invest in that space as well. Weather-resistant patio furniture, lumbar support pillows, laptop stands, and a wireless keyboard and mouse will all go a long way toward making sure you stay comfortable when working in your outdoor space. 

Invest in the right technology

The number one essential for an effective outdoor workspace is a strong WiFi signal. Check your internet connection speed from your space. If it’s not fast enough to allow you to participate in video calls with good image quality, consider investing in a router extender to enhance your WiFi coverage. 

It’s also important to make sure your devices don’t run out of battery at inopportune moments. If you’re not near an outdoor power outlet, a powerful portable battery pack is a wise investment. 

Prepare for the elements

Every outdoor space is inevitably shared with a variety of animals–mosquitoes, birds, and squirrels just to name a few. Luckily, you can easily negate any adverse interactions with wildlife by keeping a few basic tools handy. 

  • Sunscreen: The ultimate summer staple it’s always worth having a tube or two of sunscreen nearby. We suggest storing some in your outdoor space so you always have some handy and are less likely to forget regular applications. 
  • Insect repellant:  Bug spray or more technologically advanced solutions like a Thermacell make it easy to avoid bug bites. 
  • Noise-canceling headphones: Some people don’t mind the background noise of nature, but others find it makes it difficult to concentrate. A solid pair of noise-canceling headphones give you the option to tune out any background noise when you need to buckle down and focus on the task at hand. 
  • Allergy medicine: If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, keeping some allergy medicine handy will make sure you can enjoy your outdoor space without an influx of unnecessary sneezing. 

Working from home does not make you immune to burnout. Changing up your surroundings, and enjoying the outdoors can go a long way toward staying productive, protecting your mental health, and making the most of your hybrid work schedule.

New call-to-action