Four Tips to Working Outside

Spring fever, anyone?

If rising temps get you excited to perhaps take your laptop outside and work, you’re not alone. That said, not all environments are created equal and working outside may bring its own set of challenges. A piece in The Atlantic pointed out some tips we simply have to share.

1. Start slow. After all, it is only April. Over the next few months you’ll be able to fine tune your ability to work outside but first start with a location that’s nearby.

Maybe visit your patio, backyard, a park bench or an outdoor seating area at your local cafe. In the piece, Jen Doll advises, “Choose a place, or a stoop, or a balcony, something near enough to your home or other facilities that you can easily go inside to use the bathroom, get a drink, or take a break for lunch. If you journey further out, bring the items you think you may need with you.”

2. Be selective with the type of work. Keep in mind you’ll be outdoors and other people may hear you. Yes, we all need a reminder every now and then so if you’re negotiating fees with a new freelance client, save that conversation for a private location. Let’s also touch upon your frame of mind: Will you be distracted hammering out a contract for new assignments if there are dog walkers with dozens of dogs and adorable toddlers waddling nearby? Figure out what makes the most sense to concentrate on.

In addition, if you’re bringing a laptop, matte laptops screen generally work better in the glare category. If you don’t already have a matte screen, anti-glare screen protectors help increase visibility outside.

As mentioned in the piece, a computer may not be necessary for the type of work you plan on accomplishing. Why not have a brainstorm session? Write down notes the old-fashioned way with a pen and notebook! Bring a few colleagues outside with you to have a meeting instead of holding it in a conference room. The list goes on…

3. Bring food. If you’re accustomed to working inside, the water cooler’s only a few steps away. And if you work from home, that refrigerator is never far either. Alas, when you work outside you’ll need to plan ahead. Doll recommends bringing a bottle of water and adds, “Also worth toting along are some easy-to-eat snacks, or even a bagged lunch.”

4. Compromise and sit partly outside. In addition to other tips like ensuring you’ll have WiFi access and dressing appropriately for the weather, another tip encompasses working partly outside. Maybe your building has a roofdeck so you can work outside for a few hours but not the entire day when the sun’s strong rays are shining.