Working from home has been a reality for many Americans over the past year. And it looks like at least some of us will be permanently working from home at least part-time in the future. Working from home has many benefits, including flexibility in terms of where you work. Having a dedicated home office is wonderful, but it can also give you a boost to change up your work routine. As the weather warms and beckons us outside, consider taking some of your workdays outside as well. Here are our top tips for taking your home office into the Great Outdoors.
Make a “go bag”
While you’ve probably heard of having a “go bag” for emergencies, it can help to create one for those days you’d like to work outside. It should contain all the essentials you’ll need for a productive day at work. This could include chargers, notebooks, and other supplies you regularly use. If you’re planning to work in an outdoor public space, also pack a mask, a water bottle, hand sanitizer, and snacks.
Get a WiFi extender
There’s nothing worse than having your computer freeze during an important Zoom meeting. When you’re working in your backyard, you may be a little far from your router to get a good WiFi connection. Check into WiFi boosters to make sure your signal is as strong as possible while you’re lounging poolside in the backyard.
Use your phone’s hotspot
If you’re a little too far from your router to get a good signal and an extender doesn’t work for you, then use your phone’s hotspot to connect to WiFi. It’s easy to use your smartphone’s hotspot to get online. Just remember to bring a portable charger outside with you so you don’t drain your phone’s battery in the middle of an important meeting.
Unplug from WiFi
Sometimes you just need to get away from online distractions to get your work done. There’s no better place to get away from our connected world than your own backyard. Give yourself permission to work outside for a couple of hours without connecting to the Internet. Without the distractions of social media and new emails, you may find you get your work done more quickly.
Get a portable desk
While sometimes it’s nice to use your laptop while lounging in your hammock, other times you may need a desk to get work done. If you lack patio furniture that could double as a desk, then try using a collapsible tray or folding table outside. You can even roll your desk chair outside or use a foldable camping chair.
Hit up your coffee shop’s patio
Many restaurants and coffee shops offer outdoor dining options because of the pandemic. That could be the perfect place for you to get some fresh air, have a comfortable place to work and support a local business all at the same time. If you’re worried about ambient noise being too distracting, remember to bring noise-canceling headphones. And if you plan to sit in the sun for more than a few minutes, remember to wear sunscreen! It would be no fun to end your workday with a painful sunburn.