Now that spring is here, it’s time for remote workers to head outside, celebrate the great outdoors, and enjoy their freedom from the cubicle. But how practical is it to work outside, really?
The great outdoors offer some unique challenges to remote workers. Here are some tips to make working out doors actually productive and enjoyable.
Be a visionary
One of the main challenges around working outside is being able to read your laptop screen in the glare of the sun. You may try turning and twisting, but nothing seems to help you beat the glare. Some ideas for using your laptop outdoors are:
- Wear sunglasses
- Position yourself so you are facing the sun, and your laptop is facing you
- Work in the shade, or under an umbrella or tarp
- Put your laptop inside a cardboard box
You can also spend a few dollars and get a specialty sunshade for your laptop. These lightweight laptop sunshades fit 11- to 17-inch laptop screens and are low-profile so they will still fit in your laptop case. The shade creates a tunnel between you and your screen, cutting down on glare and making it much easier to work outdoors.
Beat the bugs
Whether you’re a remote worker who’s just starting out, or a veteran to the work-at-home game, getting outdoors to work offers a great change of pace.
But don’t forget you’ll have to share the space with the little creatures that call the outdoors home, aka bugs. Getting eaten alive will quickly ruin the best laid plans for getting out and enjoying nature. Be prepared by applying bug spray before you head out, and bring some with you to reapply as needed.
You won’t get much done outside if you walk outside the range of your WiFi connection. Or, you may spend hours driving around to find a spot with a connection that’s strong enough for you to get your work done. Luckily, there are a few options that will keep you connected.
One of your best options is to get familiar with remote work-friendly establishments like coffee shops and restaurants. If they have outdoor seating, you’re in business.
To really work free from the constraints of someone’s WiFi connection, you’ll have to bring your own. Most cell service providers let you turn your phone into a mobile hotspot, which is enough for a lot of remote workers. Another option is to subscribe to a WiFi connection service like Skyroam. Skyroam gives you unlimited, global WiFi via a little device that you bring with you. It connects up to five different devices and also serves as a portable power device for your phone or laptop, so you’re never without a charge.
Remember, when you’re outside in the sun and heat, you’ve got to stay hydrated. Even if you’re just peacefully typing away on your laptop and not engaged in physical activity, the heat can still take its toll. Be sure to bring a large water bottle with you, and avoid caffeine or other drinks that cause you to feel even more dehydrated.
Heading outdoors means all the gear that you use to do your job has to come with you. Designate a specific pack or bag that will keep all your work supplies at easy reach. Backpacks with several organizational pockets keep your laptop and everything else neatly together and keep your hands free when strolling around town.
When you work from home or work remotely, working outside is a great perk! Use these tips and you’ll be happily getting your work done while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.