It does not matter if you are a freelancer or you work at the office - working outdoors seems to be something every employee wishes to do every now and then. Being indoor and working for a few hours can get very tiring for those who enjoy the good, sunny weather and wish to spend more time outside. We often find ourselves distracted by the beautiful spring days, we hear the birds and it feels like nature itself is calling us out. While working outside has its benefits, it can also be very distracting to some. Those who cannot work hearing the noisy neighbor kids and struggle to handle the merciless horseflies, working indoor might be the better choice. However, working outdoors has shown to be a great way for some to get their work done. Working outdoors affects your productivity, creativity and motivation levels, it makes you happier and stress-free.
How to work outdoors successfully?
In order to work outdoors and get your work done, you will first want to pick a spot that is not very social, plan and stick to your workflow. While working outdoors seems like a quite simple thing to do, you will need to keep a few things on your mind before you go and give it a try. Just like at home, you need a spot that makes you feel comfortable and is comfortable for your body, a place where no one will bother and distract you. Of course, you might not be able to take your entire computer with you, so it is advised you get yourself a inexpensive laptop or a notebook you can use for your outdoor work and work you do on your travels.
Did you know that today, we spend 90% of our day indoors (offices, residences, vehicles, bars, restaurants)? People work in their office chairs, sit behind their computer screens and work for eight hours a day. This living pattern has shown to have serious consequences on our mind and our body. Taking your work outside might be one of the ways to do something healthy for your own self.
According to science, working outside brings many benefits to employees, some of the benefits are so great that they can even reverse the effects of certain desk-jobs. No one likes spending a lovely spring day in an office, we all appreciate fresh air and greenery around us.
Those who work outside and walk among the trees have noticed a great increase in their memory. Spending time around the trees will increase short-term memory by 20%. This can have a great effect on your business results, you will have an easier time remembering information you are supposed to and you will manage to be faster than ever.
Many people struggle with low or high blood pressure. Having issues with blood pressure can have a terrible effect on our workflow and our overall well being. Those who take a 30-minute walk every day will lower risks of having high or low blood pressure. A 30-minute walk is just enough for you to find a place to work from and have it all done outside!
According to the studies, working outside can also have a great effect on teamwork between employees. Exposure to nature is known for bringing people together, motivating and building trust between them. Employees who often work outside together are those who will most likely have their work done on time without any flaws at all. They share their skills, ideas, and knowledge in order to come up with better business results.
It is always a shock to hear a young person has lost their life due to bad health. Working outdoor actually lowers early mortality risks by 12%, which is quite a bit considering all you have to do is be outside. Fresh air, natural lighting, and nature itself have a huge effect on our health.
Certain employees drink up to 4 cups of coffee a day - this is bad, coffee is tasty, but too much is too much. Spending 20 minutes outside provides you with equal energy as a cup of coffee, so next time you are about to get yourself the fourth coffee in a day, just go outside instead.
There are days nothing will help us and only a walk outside will. According to the studies, people feel 20% better if they spend some time outside. Those who work outdoors, they are often a lot happier than those who are inside at all times. The outdoor environment helps us get rid of tension and makes us more enthusiastic!
Just like certain music can make you feel creative, so can nature. Spending time in nature boosts our creative problem-solving skills by an insane 60%. This benefit alone means that nature really does have a big impact on our well being. Those who work outside, they will most likely come up with unique, creative ideas.
Spending time outside as you work is one of the things that will also help you reduce your stress levels. Taking your work outside with you increases your relaxation state by 55%. Employees who work indoors often get annoyed over things they should not, those who work outside, they are not very prone to getting stressed over little things.
Fresh air and breathing outdoor air for three days will increase your white blood cells for a month. This means your immune system will be given a huge boost! Spending time outdoors will make you feel less moody, nauseous and you will feel a lot less ill than before.
Many people struggle with their sleep, exposure to natural light and outdoor air can help you get more sleep! According to the studies, this exposure provides us with 46 more minutes of sleep than usual. Sleep is crucial for our well being, especially if we want to be productive at our work.
Offices usually feature very bad light, sunlight provides you with 166 times more light! Seasonal depression happens to everyone, we often feel depressed and barely anything seems to be motivating enough. Those who spend time working outside will prevent sunlight deprivation and possibly avoid boring seasonal depression.
Being outdoors is healthy, it brings many great benefits to us and for that reason, it also helps us call less sick days on our job. Those who spend enough time outdoors actually decrease their annual sick days by two days straight.
There is nothing better than being able to take a break from work and stare at the green scenery before you. Those who work outside and often stare at beautiful green scenery have their concentration levels improved by a lot.
Taking all these benefits into consideration, it is really easy to say we are not meant to be sitting indoors as nearly as much as we are. Our bodies are meant to be exposed to nature and our eyes crave to see some real greenery around us.
Today, many people promote healthy living, but healthy living also means healthy working. More and more employees actually desire to work outdoors, which is really no surprise considering all the benefits it brings together. If you can handle mosquitos, noisy children and other distracting things nature is filled with, working outdoors could change your life for good. In order to successfully work outside, you must understand the importance of good posture, proper preparation, and decent workflow. You do not want to take your laptop to the sand beach and have it filled with the sand right as you sit down, think of the possibilities and be prepared to work thinking of the distractions that might occur as you do.
You do not need a hammock to work outside, just a decent chair! Everyone already knows the importance of having a decent chair and better posture as you work. Bad posture not only has a bad effect on your health, but also on your business results. Before you head to the outside, find a chair you feel comfortable on. Certain people take an outdoor desk with them, lap desk or a small table, depending on your preferences, pick something you are most comfortable with and get your work going.
Some people can spend an entire day working outside, some cannot. In reality, it does not even matter if you can, but at least keep yourself organized at all times when you do. You cannot take an entire computer with you whenever you work outside, but you can get yourself a low budget laptop or a notebook. Having a laptop will give you the freedom to move wherever you wish. Bring specific projects with you and try doing one project at a time. Make sure you keep possible distractions away from you and try not to let outdoor activities distract you either.
There are many Instagram profiles of people who seem to be working outside on the beach. While this might seem like a great idea, I have tried it and it really is not! Beach is beautiful, the sun is beautiful, but it is actually filled with distractions of all kind. Taking your electronics with you to the beach is a bad idea because no matter how careful you really are, sand and water will always find a way to get to your laptop. Of course, what happens if you need a bathroom break? Will you leave your electronics and work without any protection? Better stick to the park and less watery places.
We all got those neighbors who will always come over to chat whenever they see you outside. While such neighbors are great, they are not the best people to have around when you work. Try picking a spot that is not filled with people looking for someone to conversate. Restaurants, bars, and parks can be great places, but they are too very distracting at times.
Keep in mind that you need the internet and electricity in order to work. When finding a perfect spot, make sure you think of this. There are many freelancers who are lucky enough to have a lovely garden to work at, they just move their router a little bit closer and they just do not have to go anywhere at all. If you are unlucky, you can always turn your phone into a WiFi hotspot or bring a spare battery for your laptop.
Some people spend only an hour or two working outside. If you are like me and you enjoy sitting outside listening to the birds as you work, you might end up working a few hours outside. Take enough water and bring some food with you. Keeping yourself well hydrated at all times is important as it has shown to have a huge impact on our well-being and our business results. When taking food, make sure you take something that will not spoil under the sun!
Taking breaks is something you should not need a reminder for. People take breaks on their jobs, and it is important that they do. Taking breaks from work will give you time to breathe, enjoy the green scenery before you and motivate you to continue your work feeling a lot less tired.
If you decided to work outdoors, take a moment to cherish that. As you are writing that important article, take a deep breath and appreciate the freedom you have. Enjoy the tiny breaks you take and watch the birds come and go.
Once you have it all ready, the only thing you must do is relax and get to your work. Working outdoors is great, provides you with amazing benefits, but it can also be very distracting at the start. If you find yourself distracted by the river, noises, birds or the view itself, take a deep breath and give it a try again. Giving up right away and going home to finish your work will mean you just gave up on many great benefits working outside offers to you. If you find yourself struggling to work outside, try to remember all of the people who would do anything to be in your position, think of those who sit in their dark, unhealthy offices working in poor quality air.
It might sound easy going to work outdoors alone, but when it is about an entire office, things can get a little bit complicated. Not everyone wants to spend time in the open, some people hate mosquitos, some are simply always cold, some are always too hot, all in all, it is really hard to have everyone pleased and happy about the ideas. As an employer, you might not be able to make everyone willing to work outdoors, but you can surely arrange an outside meeting! Meetings are often looked at as one of the most tedious things about work, so why not make them a little bit better?
Hold a special meeting for your employees, show them how the metaphor of thinking outside the box really is and encourage their personal creativity, take them outside! People will enjoy leaving the boring office cubicles and walls, they will look forward to the meetings and most likely come up with great brainstorming ideas on the way. The outdoor surroundings will make employees willing to listen, accept the new concepts and adapt to new rules.
Did you know? Mark Zuckerberg has taken several people on a walk through a wooded area of Palo Alto before hiring them, he spoke about the technological history of the area and offered them work afterward. Mark knows the importance of healthy living and encourages outdoor activities to his employees.
People who simply refuse to go outside and rather stick to the desk jobs at all times, they tend to suffer a lot. While they might have a lot of hate for the mosquitos and they prefer sitting under the air conditioner, all of it leaves a negative trail on their health. If one of your employees or a co-worker is like that, let them know of the dangers they are risking.
Those who spend their entire day sitting at their desks and staring at their screens have a chance of increasing retina cell death by 23%.
Those who are constantly working indoors and sitting at their desks have a higher risk of getting breast or prostate cancer.
Sitting and working indoors every single day is known for developing 50% more body fat in certain areas of our bodies.
A lack of outdoor activity often results in type 2 diabetes. Those who refuse to spend time in the open and refuse to move on a daily basis have a 112% chance to risk type 2 diabetes.
People who are forced to sit and work at their computers most of the day are a lot more likely to develop heart disease. According to certain studies, the risk increases by 64%!
Spending more and more time indoors has shown to have a negative effect on our socialization levels. People who refuse to go outside are prone to feeling isolated and have issues communicating.
There are many companies out there who promote healthy living, these companies not only offer healthy foods and natural lighting to their employees, they also encourage working outdoors. Some of these companies also openly talk about the dangers and health risks of the things I listed above. If you have a co-worker who cannot stand being outside in the heat, a co-worker who simply always complains about being forced to go out - let them know about the importance of fresh air and sun exposure.
The better you understand the benefits working outside brings to you, the more you will realize working outside is all about common sense. We all wait for the end of the week, we cannot wait to engage in all kinds of outdoor activities because it is meant to make us feel good, and it really does! Today, we live in an age where ‘’work’’ can be anywhere, anytime. We use smartphones, tablets, laptops on the go and we are nearly always available to our employers. Lately, people are starting to figure out how important fresh air and sunlight really are to our well being, they take the needed breaks and try to live a healthier life. Sadly, there are still companies who are not willing to change their work culture and their employees' struggle because of it, so does their business.
There are many companies who feature very comfortable indoor spaces, companies who actually take time to create a decent office space. Then, there are those who overthink most of the important things and end up having a bad business reputation right away. Changing work culture in an office filled with moody and stressed employees is a must, and if anything will surely have a positive impact - it is working outside.
If you are an employer who wishes to help his/her employees by giving them the freedom to work outside, try doing some of these things:
- Hold a meeting and talk about the benefits of working outdoors
- Give your employees a chance to give an idea or opinion about it
- Create a patio area featuring chairs, tables, and fancy umbrellas
- Let your employees reserve the patio area for their meetings
- Try creating team-building exercises outside in the open
- Schedule walking meetings with those who have important things to share
- Equip the outdoor area with power outlets, anti-glare screens, and WiFi
- Encourage outdoor activities/sports
You might not be able to create various spaces and areas for your employees indoors, but outdoors, there are barely any limits to what you can do. It will take very little money to organize an outdoor meeting, but it can have an amazing impact on your company and the people within it.
Should you move your work outside? Not everyone can afford to work outside, it all depends on the strategies and the business you do. You must know how to determine if your office is able to work outside. It is simply not possible to move all of the equipment outside whenever you wish to have an ‘’outdoor’’ day, and there are certain days you will be better staying indoors. Pay attention to the logistics before you make a move.
How to know whether your outdoor working setup can sustain itself? To know whether your idea will work, think about some rather obvious questions. Where can your employees go and use the restroom when outside? Do you have a refrigerated space that allows your employees to store their food? Can your employees easily brew themselves a coffee? Are your employees comfortable at the spot you picked? Is anyone allergic to the tree you picked as a spot? Simple, very little things can turn into a big mess if you do not think about them beforehand.
What is an anti-glare screen? Anti-glare screen is a clear filter or a panel that can be placed over your laptop or pc screen. This panel helps to prevent sun and light glares on your screen. Anti-glare screens are mainly used by those who feature a pc screen or a laptop exposed to sunlight.
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