More than a year and a half after offices declared they were shutting down for two weeks, many of us are now permanently working from home. We’ve talked before about tips for working outside in warm temperatures, but as summer gives way to fall, spending extended periods of time working outside may become even more desirable. The mosquitoes are on their way out, the sun doesn’t beat down as punishingly, and there’s just so much to see. Between the changing colors and the falling leaves, there’s always some beauty to behold outside in the autumn. And with the promise of a long winter ahead, hanging on to those last temperate days is all the sweeter. So here are a few pointers on working from your backyard into the fall.
Of course, you’ll have to consider the changing temperatures. Luckily, heating options abound. They range in size from small ceramic heaters to tabletop units to large freestanding units, are either gas-powered or electric and can run from under $100 to around $1,500. Not sure what kind is right for your patio? Here’s some more detailed information about the pros and cons of each. Blankets made specifically for outdoor use can be useful as well. Look for a blanket with heat-retaining technology that is both washable and water-repellent.
Don’t forget ergonomics just because you’re outside. While most outdoor chairs are designed more for lounging than working at a laptop, adding lumbar pillows upholstered in waterproof fabric can be helpful. When selecting a chair, you’ll want to pick one that aligns with the surface at which you’re working. Your arms should be able to comfortably rest on the table and your feet should be flat on the ground. Standing desks are increasingly popular in offices. If standing is your preference, consider utilizing a taller, cafe-style table or outdoor bar.
In planning your outdoor workspace, take your power needs into consideration. Only use extension cords that have been rated for outdoor use. Outdoor cords are generally thicker and have a protective coating. Keep the cords away from water and store them inside or in an outdoor shed when not in use. If you’re running a heater, be certain to read and follow all of the power instructions that came with your product.
If you find that your WiFi is lacking, look into weatherproof range extenders. Cell phone signal boosters are also available in case you have issues with cell service.
Blocking out distractions is just as important for productivity outside as it is inside. Thoughtfully placed planters, taller plantings in beds, and outdoor privacy screens can all provide a barrier between your workspace and neighbors or passing traffic. Noise-canceling headphones can block distracting sounds entirely. Water features such as small waterfalls are a great option for adding pleasant white noise to outdoor workspaces.
Of course, a beautiful outdoor fireplace could be just what you need to create a cozy and functional patio. Check out our gallery for inspiration and give us a call today to discuss options.