People are always looking for the best way to work. Greater efficiency gets more work done with less effort, and higher productivity means you can accomplish more in pursuit of goals and aspirations. The big question is how to bring those numbers up without overextending yourself.
Your work environment is a major contributing factor toward productivity. The reason why many people decorate their cubicles and try working from home is to seek out the ideal working conditions for themselves. Another potential option you can look into is an outdoor workspace.
There are many reasons why working outside might be a good fit for you. Sunlight and fresh air can boost your energy levels and improve your focus. Here are some ways you can create your own outdoor workspace for yourself or for your team:
Block Out the Elements With Style
Perhaps the biggest hindrance to working outdoors is, well, the outdoors. While the weather may feel exceptional, there are a few minor inconveniences that will need to be worked around. Primarily, we’ll focus on sunlight and wind affecting your workspace.
These elements are necessary components of the outdoors, but need to be controlled in a way that makes work outside possible. Start by blocking out the sun as conveniently as possible. The glare from the sun makes working on an electronic device almost impossible. Experiment with colorful umbrellas or wooden sheers that add functional flair to your workspace.
These items may also help curb the breeze. The wind is a little less problematic than a bright ball of gas in space, but it can be meddlesome nonetheless. Hedges, fencing, or even a screened-in porch can get you the best of the outside world.
Embellish the Environment
Perhaps the biggest benefit to working outdoors is, well, the outdoors! The ambience of an outdoor workspace just can’t be beat when compared to drab, gray cubicles and windowless office spaces. When creating an outdoor workspace, you should really lean into everything that makes working outside great.
Start with the scenery. Embrace the greenery around you. Plant some trees, flowers, and bushes in strategic locations that will bring your outdoor workspace to life. You can even start a garden that will be both beautiful and practical.
You can get extra creative with how you beautify your new workspace. Add some ambience with a water fountain, put up some bird feeders to attract wildlife, or even look into some wind powered yard art. Just be sure not to add anything that will become overly distracting, as that defeats the entire purpose.
Provide a Variety of Options
One reason why people enjoy working outside is for the change of pace. The light, the sounds, the smell, everything is different when compared to a regular office space. Weather fluctuations make every day a little different as well, while the indoor workspace will always remain the same.
To really embrace this constant change of pace, your outdoor setup should provide a variety of different options to choose from. Lay out different seating options, or maybe even set up an ergonomic standing desk to use. Your mood and energy levels might match the weather outside and call for different seating arrangements.
Another way to provide options is to create a flexible workspace. For example, as the sun moves through the sky, the shade will move along with it. An adjustable canopy allows you to adjust your seating arrangement to let in the sun and shade as much or as little as you’d like throughout the workday.
Keep the Bugs Away
Remember those bird feeders we mentioned early? Those will come into play here as well. Warm weather is just as appealing to insects as it is to you. Few things are as bothersome as a bunch of bugs getting into your workspace, so you need to take care of that as soon as possible.
Bird feeders attract a delightful predator of those annoying creepy-crawlies. Not only are birds beautiful creatures, they can eat a lot of bugs on a daily basis. More birds mean fewer bugs flocking to your computer screen.
Those plants you grow to beautify your workspace can take inspiration from this as well. Certain herbs, such as lavender and basil, act as a natural insect repellent. Plant a few of these around the property for good measure.
Make Sure You Stay Connected
If you’re trying to move your regular work outside, you will likely need a computer with a reliable internet connection. This can pose a bit of a predicament. You can’t just run a bunch of extension cords outside; these can get damaged and pose a danger to you and your property. You need to be a little more precise than that.
Something that might come in handy is a Wi-Fi extender. This little gadget has no visible wires and only requires a single outlet space, which you may already have on the exterior of your home or business. This boosts your router’s signal so the Wi-Fi has a greater circle of effectiveness, including your new outdoor office.
Other electronic items that may come in handy include a portable charger for your personal devices, a laptop cooler to prevent overheating, or a hotspot for when Wi-Fi can’t be relied on. Nothing will halt your productivity faster than an unplanned disconnection.
Build a Pod
If you really want to go all in on an outdoor workspace, you can consider creating or contracting an outdoor working pod. This is basically a shed that’s focused more on being a workspace than a storage area.
The advantage of an outdoor pod, as opposed to working in your house near a window, is the customization you can put into it. The majority of the pod can be made of glass to let in lots of natural sunlight while blocking the wind. You’ll feel like you’re working right in the grass without sniffing any pollen, fighting a breeze, or swatting at bugs all day.
This option is obviously a lot more expensive than the other suggestions made above. Only take this step if you’re serious about it for yourself or your time. If the outdoor work pod never sees use, then your best investment is on the smaller things that will come in handy on the occasions you need them.
Whip Up Some Food
For optimal productivity, you need to be energized and hydrated. When working outside, all you have are the items you brought out with you. You can’t expect to run over to the kitchen every time you need a drink. What you really need is an outdoor setup with all of the fixings you could possibly need for a shift.
If you have the outlet space, try a mini fridge on the patio with all the beverages you could want. You might even install a barbeque set for lunchtime. Even something as simple as a cooler can make it easier to keep your momentum going while working out of the house.
Working outside isn’t for everyone. You should definitely give it an honest try before making a final decision. Give at least one of these outdoor working methods a try and test your productivity levels with the change of pace. You may never want to work inside again.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels; Thank you!
My name is Howie and I'm a Customer Success Manager at Calendar. I like to ensure our customers get the best experience using our product. If you have questions email me howie at calendar.com