While the patio is classically a weekend BBQ and evening cocktail refuge, who says that is all it is good for? With the right touches, you can turn your outdoor space into a summer office.
Why Work Outside?
According to health experts, working indoors can cause "nature deficit disorder" -- depression or anxiety resulting from too little time spent outside. Simply getting outside can reduce your stress, lower your blood pressure and improve your immune function.
Above and beyond the health benefits, spending time outside can also improve your productivity. Natural light and fresh air gives your brain a boost, increasing your ability to focus and think creatively.
In a 2012 study, researchers even found that spending time outside can help naturally reduce pain by lowering inflammation levels!
Key Patio Furniture for an Effective Outdoor Office
If you are looking to work outside for an extended period of time, you will want to make sure you give yourself the right environment.
Make Sure There is PLENTY of Shade
Even though being outside allows you to enjoy natural light, that doesn’t mean you will want to bake in the sun. Not only can staring into the sun be hard on your eyes, it also makes it extremely difficult to read the screen on electronic devices. Plus, the increased heat level can be hard on said electronic devices.
This is why it is a good idea to make sure the area where you will be working has plenty of shade. A Cantilever umbrella is our go-to for the outdoor office. These highly functional umbrellas can swivel and tilt, allowing you to adjust the shade as the sun moves.
Give Yourself Enough Table Space
Consider your general working mode. How much space do you typically need? If you like to spread out papers and devices, you will want to make sure there is enough room to do so. For most folks who work from home, we often find that a round, 55-inch table is sufficient.
That being said, consider the other uses for your outdoor space. If you will generally need more room for an outdoor dinner with the family, there is nothing that says you can’t work at one end of a long 86.5-inch table.
Support Your Back
Sure, you could wheel your office chair outside. But, office chairs aren’t generally designed to live on the patio. Leaving them outside at night exposes them to mildew which could damage the chair. Dragging them back into and out of the house every day will likely result in more dust and grime being brought indoors. The patio surface can also be hard on the wheels or feet of your office chair.
Instead, select patio chairs that are comfortable and provide enough lumbar support for an extended sit. You might also enjoy selecting a chair that can accommodate a cushion, to provide additional comfort.
Identify a Power Source
In today’s modern times, most of us rely heavily on our electronic devices. Identify the closest electrical outlet you can safely use. If it is too far to reach from your table, make sure you have an extension cord on hand.
Invite a Friend or Colleague to Work with You
Make your outdoor work sesh even more enjoyable by inviting a friend or colleague to work with you. This is especially fun if you are collaborating on a project.
Turn on the Tunes
Love a little office music when you are working from your desk? Your outdoor office space doesn’t have to be any different. Go ahead and turn on the tunes. This can also be a good way to cut down on distracting noises – like the neighborhood kids playing freeze tag or your remodel happening two houses down.
Grill Your Lunch
Take full advantage of your outdoor office by grilling your lunch. In the morning, throw your meat or veggies in a quick marinade. By the afternoon, you will be able to treat yourself to a delicious mid-day break.
While you may be thinking about sealing yourself inside for the next six months, now is actually one of the best times to get patio furniture if you live in the Seattle area. And not just for next summer. With a blanket, fire pit, and warm drink, there is no reason you can’t keep enjoying your backyard throughout the seasons.
For pet parents out there, there’s nothing more important than keeping their pup happy and safe – except maybe avoiding a trip to the street at 1:00 AM. Luckily, with a few helpful tips, you can turn our condo’s balcony into a dog-friendly destination both you and your dog will enjoy.