Don’t Let Working Outdoors Ruin Your Productivity! Here’s How
The pure beauty of flexible, hybrid, and remote work is that you can virtually work anywhere. You don’t have to be confined to a little cubicle or a noisy open space — you can just pick your favorite place to work and… get on with it.
Working outdoors is quite appealing and it can definitely have many benefits. Being in nature can help you relax and de-stress, it can increase your creativity, and it can even boost your productivity. Not to mention it will get some well-deserved Vitamin D into your bones!
But there’s a catch. Working outdoors also has its challenges, and if you’re not careful, it can actually lead to decreased productivity. Let’s take a look at some of the potential dangers of working outside — and how to tackle them like the outdoor work pro we all know you are.
Internet & Electricity
OK, let’s start with the basics: you can’t work without electricity and internet. I mean, you could theoretically work offline as long as your laptop’s battery is full — but that would be more of a “survival mode” type of work, not the productive, collaborative and creative kind you’re probably aiming for.
Pro tip: bring a power bank with you, it might just be the thing that saves that last-minute meeting or prolonged task.
If you’re working in a park or any other outdoor public space, there will likely be some noise around you. Whether it’s people chatting, kids playing hide and seek, or cars driving by, all of these sounds can be quite distracting and make it hard to focus on your work.
Get some sound isolation headphones and try to get a good (but very mobile) microphone too, especially if you need to jump on meetings with co-workers and/or clients.
Another potential challenge of working outdoors is that there’s no remote control to the sun or the wind. You can’t just adjust the temperature to your liking — you have to deal with whatever Mother Nature has in store for you that day. So come prepared with the right clothing to stay comfortable in all kinds of weather.
If it’s too hot, make sure to have a parasol or sunhat to protect you from the sun’s rays. If it’s too cold, have a scarf, gloves, and a thermos of hot tea at the ready.
Oh, and use sunscreen. Yes, even when it’s cold outside. No, it’s not just a “beauty” thing.
Food & Water
Although this may come as obvious to many, do remember you need to make sure you’re staying hydrated and fed while working outdoors. Have plenty of water with you (or tea, but not so much coffee, as it is dehydrating), and pack some snacks in case you get peckish.
No matter how pretty the landscape is and how nice the sun feels on your skin, nobody can be productive if they’re running low on hydration or getting very hungry.
Bring Your A-Game Bug Repelling
Ah, the great outdoors! Picture yourself working on the most amazing landscape possible. Feel the fragrance of nature. Embrace the wind blowing from the East as you write that last email to Karen. And just before you hit sent, a giant hornet buzzes next to your ear and lands on your nose.
Sounds like a horror story?
Well, it can be very real.
Whether we like it or not, bugs are part of nature — so you might want to get something to protect yourself from them. There are various lotions and sprays you can use, but the most important thing is to make sure whatever product you choose is effective against the kind of bugs that are common in your area.
Keep Your Devices Away from the Elements
Working on a beach sounds like a dream — but your Mac might not like getting sand all over its keyboard and all the way through its circuits. Likewise, your laptop might also not like it very much if you leave it out in the rain — or spill the tea on it, for that matter (yes, that was meant in the literal sense.)
Make sure to protect your devices from the elements, whether it’s with a special case or just a regular plastic bag, umbrella, or sun cover.
Take Breaks and Enjoy
What’s the point of working outdoors if you don’t take the time to actually enjoy it too? Make sure to take some time to appreciate your surroundings and get some fresh air. Maybe do some stretches or go for a walk every now and then.
And if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or just need a break from work, remember that you can always go indoors. Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you’re chained to your desk — or in this case, the great outdoors!
So there you have it, a few tips to help you make the most of working outdoors (which, by the way, you should try at least once if you work remotely or flexibly.) It might not be for everyone, but it can definitely be a nice break from four walls and a ceiling.