As a digital nomad, you can hypothetically work anywhere you want. As long as you have an internet connection and a device to take advantage of it, you can get your work done and make enough money to cover your needs.
So why not consider working outside?
It’s easier to do than you might think.
Perfecting the Outdoor Environment
You don’t need any special equipment to work outside, nor do you need any special accommodations. But you can make your situation much more comfortable, relaxing, and mentally stimulating with a few tweaks.
If you’re interested in working outside of your own home, consider these options:
- Prioritize your internet access. If you’re like most digital nomads, your work is entirely dependent on your ability to connect to the internet conveniently. Before committing to an outdoor workspace, make sure you can access the internet outside. If your Wi-Fi doesn’t reach, consider running an ethernet cable outside or augmenting the capabilities of your router. You may also be interested in using a mobile hotspot, especially if you also plan to work outdoors on the go.
- Consider building an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor flattop grill, an outdoor refrigerator, and some outdoor countertops could be exactly what you need to create a full outdoor living space. No more running inside to take a lunch break; you can cook your meal and enjoy it outside, keeping yourself nourished as you accomplish your biggest career goals.
- Invest in your seating. One of your most important investments is going to be your choice of seating. Outdoor chairs can sometimes be hard and uncomfortable, but you’ll need to choose a chair that’s very comfortable and ergonomically designed. Try many different shapes and brands to figure out what works best for you.
- Choose a sturdy desk. Similarly, you should choose a sturdy, environmentally resilient desk where you can set your laptop, take notes, and lean forward.
- Charge wisely (or bring an extension cord). Take an extension cord outside or take advantage of outdoor outlets. If these options aren’t available to you, make sure you charge your devices wisely so you never run out of batteries.
- Plan to face away from the sun. Dealing with the sun can be annoying when you’re trying to work. Find a shady spot to mitigate the effects of the sun, and set up your workstation so that you face away from the sun during the day.
- Invest in laptop accessories. There are various products designed to keep your laptop safe and functional in outdoor environments. For example, a laptop hood creates a box around your computer, protecting it from glare and improving your ability to work on it. A laptop tent is similar, but it doubles as a carrying bag for your computer. You could also make your own laptop cover to keep your laptop safe and protected from the sun.
If you’re going to work outside in other locations, consider the following:
- Experiment with different locations. Try a host of different locations to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
- Ask about amenities. Is there internet access here? Are there bathrooms?
- Take notes on your experiences. Which of the locations you’ve tried seem the most conducive to your productivity?
Why Work Outside?
Why should you consider working outside?
There are several benefits, including:
- Fresh air. Everyone benefits from fresh air. No matter how comfortable you are indoors, there’s no doubting the fact that indoor air quality is generally worse than outdoor air quality. Spending even a few hours outside every day is good for your lungs, your mental health, and your overall physical health. If you’re an outdoorsy person in general, you’ll get even more benefits from this experience.
- New scenery. Spending time outside at least occasionally also gives you the opportunity to see some new scenery. Even if you have an awesome indoor home office, it’s going to get boring if it’s your only work environment in perpetuity. We all need a change of pace from time to time.
- Protection from computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is a complex assortment of different symptoms resulting from excessive eye strain, which typically comes from staring at a screen for too long. Working outside isn’t going to eliminate the risk of this development, but you will have the opportunity to stare off into the distance occasionally so your eyes can relax.
- Endless options. You can work in your backyard, your front yard, a local park, an outdoor cafe, or any number of other fascinating locations. The world is a gigantic place, and if you’re willing to work outdoors, you can see a tremendous amount of it.
If you’re not sold on the benefits of working outside, just try it for yourself. After a few days of bringing your laptop outdoors and breathing that fresh air, you may have a change of heart.