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With the pandemic lasting more than a year, most businesses had to adjust from working in the office to working at home. This created an opportunity for homeowners to customize spaces inside their houses to have a spot specifically for work.
Even after the pandemic, home offices have continued to remain an integral part of our lives, and although you have an official office space for these kinds of activities, there may be moments when you crave a bit of fresh air while you make magic through your laptop. And when it comes to outside air, your patio or front porch can be a great place to tune into the outdoors but still be in the comforts of your home. You can even decide to work on your patio and get that highly sought after ‘WFO’ or Work From Outdoors experience!
Whether it is the calming breeze of the wind, the rustling of leaves, or the sound of birds by your patio, working outside can boost productivity with even a 29 minutes increment outdoors.
Do you want to know how you can have the best experience working on your patio? Read this article to learn more.
Aside from that boost of productivity, working outdoors provides more benefits that can help you feel more motivated. These benefits include the following:
1. Improves Mood
There is a term called biophilia referring to how humans have the instinct to connect with living beings and nature. Working outdoors with nature helps reduce stress and anxiety, improving your mood. A report even shows how people working with regular exposure to nature or natural elements have more significant work satisfaction than those with less exposure.
2. Increases Energy
Studies have shown that working or just being outside increases the energy you have mentally and physically. Breathing that fresh air outdoors helps you feel more productive and focused, improving your energy levels and helping you work on your tasks with a clearer mind.
Moving your work from your indoor office to your patio is a great way to have a change of scenery. Fortunately, working outside doesn’t require setting up a permanent patio office. To get the best experience of working on your patio, here are some tips that you can apply:
1. Have a separate space
Before even deciding to work outdoors, your patio might already be a spot for the kids to play, your pets to lounge, or other outdoor activities. Sectioning off an area in your patio for work can help divide which area you can do work in and which is for relaxation and fun. Make sure to find a spot where you aren’t in an area with people traffic or places where people usually pass by to prevent possible photo-bombing during virtual meetings.
2. Boost Your Wi-Fi
Your internet connection is the most crucial part of working from home. Having a weak signal is bad, especially in virtual meetings where you need to be able to hear what your co-workers or boss say or even get timely updates from online collaborations with your team.
If there isn’t a spot on your patio where your Wi-Fi connection is stable, installing a Wi-Fi booster can help you create a smoother network for your work. What are Wi-Fi boosters? They are a type of wireless range extender that helps extend your Wi-Fi signal when you are far from your router. Plug one into your closest patio outlet (more on that below) and the other end into your router, and say hello to more bars on your Wi-Fi.
3. Prioritize Outlet Proximity
It’s going to be a chore if you have to repeatedly move from your patio and back inside your house to charge your laptop or other work devices (not to mention a possibility of losing work or awkwardly dropping a zoom call). If there are no outdoor outlets you can use on your deck, extension cords can do the trick so your devices can have sufficient battery.
4. Ensure an Ergonomic and Comfortable Setup
Having the correct posture and ensuring that your body doesn’t have aches while you work isn’t limited indoors. Proper posture can be done by resting your arms on your table with elbows at a 90-degree angle. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees angled at 90 degrees.
In addition, investing in ergonomic tools, even for the outdoors, is recommended. Adjustable laptop stands are a great addition when working outside. Its design is flexible and adaptable so that you work in the proper ergonomic position, and adjusting your laptop screen for optimal viewing. Another advantage of adjusting laptop stands is that you can quickly relocate from one area to another without difficulty.
5. Proper Shade
Natural light is better than artificial light, but too much exposure to sunlight can do more harm than good. Aside from the harmful rays the sun emits, its glare can make it difficult for you to focus on your screen. This can cause eye strain and a headache due to the stress inducing glare in your eyes.
Ensure that your patio has the right mix of shade so that you can have proper lighting conditions, where you can adequately see your laptop screen without having to strain your eyes, and that you are protected from the sun’s rays. Shade yourself and your gadgets where the sun’s rays don’t directly hit to prevent the light from bouncing from your screen and straining your eyes.
6. Minimize Distractions
You can’t get tasks done quickly if distractions are everywhere. With an indoor office, you get to have control of your room or corner and concentrate on your work. The outdoors might be a different issue. Concentration can be challenging in a busy area where you hear kids playing in the neighbourhood or even traffic noises.
Recognizing the possible distractions you may experience on your patio can help you minimize some of them, if not all. You may be able to reduce some background noises in the area, but if not, noise-cancelling headphones are a great help. If movement distractions are present in your area, setting up a privacy screen or lattice screens around your workspace can do the trick.
7. Prepare for Weather Changes
Unlike the controlled environment indoors, working outdoors has abrupt changes that would require you to be prepared. Weather is a significant factor you should consider when out on your patio. It can be a sunny day within an hour, but the next can be windy or even start to rain.
To prepare and avoid damage to your work due to weather, consider the following:
Often work can be challenging and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be AS challenging and stressful. You can incorporate a few changes to make the most out of it, and leverage the positives of working from home (like the fact that it is a great way to boost motivation and productivity). Surrounding yourself with the outdoors and having that natural light while you work is healthy and relaxing for the mind and body.
Working on your patio can be a pleasant and fresh experience while also getting that sense of barrier between your home and work. Remember to have a nice spot where internet connection and outlets are easily accessible, and always be prepared for what your environment has to offer so that you can have the best experience working on your patio.