If you look at big conglomerates like Google or Facebook, or any other global brand, you’ll easily notice a common factor in all of them – their mega offices. Apart from the mind-bending designs and layouts that are capable of bringing forth your inner child; one aspect that they never fail to include is the sprawling open workspaces.
Trapped within the cubicles and the walls of an office space can be unexciting. Which often the health experts call as the “nature deficit disorder” – and is the door to depression or anxiety, but can be averted spending a little time outside. Getting outdoors can do great things for your health, from reducing stress to lowering blood pressure and improving immunity to other health benefits. What’s more luring is that by incorporating a small nature-time in your schedule you can give your brain a boost, resulting in increased productivity, focus and creativity. Are you still reading this on your couch? Take your laptop along and continue the rest in the natural environment!
Every day, most of us spend more than 90% of our day inside a building or in a vehicle. And, despite the ease of work with mobile technology and virtual offices, we all can also do our jobs while commuting. Even with this ease working outside is still a foreign concept for many of us. Some say that ‘a drop of nature is like a drop of morphine to the brain’; its scintillating effect breathes a barrage of a feel-good factor and good ions flowing in your stream.
Nothing can draw a parallel line against the power of nature, especially at work. Perhaps, you need more cool offices and vacations to be more satisfied and productive at work, but if not how can you cope up with the daily grind? The answer lies in taking your work outside. The changes in air, temperature, or scenery will build meaningful stimulation and let you think stuff that remains limited in an often-stagnant office environment.
So, what are some of the major benefits of working outdoors?
Firstly, it brings down your stress level – Ever thought of the stress levels of the lab animals? You’ll wonder what has even that to do with any of these? They aren’t burdened with any projects nor they have any bank dues to repay, but just by not being in their natural habitat, their stress level shoots to unimaginable levels. Consider the same scenario for human beings – under artificial lighting, unwanted noises, uneven air conditioners and all those hindrances you meet at your workplace, your stress level too goes up. Perhaps you’ve got the idea. Believe it or not, your natural habitat is not a room filled with fluorescent lights and computer screens. It’s out there. And, probably that’s why companies like Google and Facebook have come up with sprawling campuses that are able to look after their staff.
Second thing, it shifts you away from the bad habit of prolonged seating. A few hours of continuous seating on your office chair can open you up to a wide range of diseases you never thought of. We get that you’re hard-working and committed to deliverance, but for nature’s sake, get up and get out! Take your laptop and your coolant outside with you. Sit on the ground or on a bench and soak the nature around you. Go fundamental and move around, because our ancestors scavenged, hunted, and lived more than half of their lives outdoors.
Lastly, it is always a great distraction. We know that you’re a focused person and want to get shit done. But you also need a balance and a good distraction should always be welcomed. If you manage a team, take your boardroom meetings outside. If you just want to R&D, go outside! Gaze at the sky, talk about the weather, or maybe calculate the time with the Sun’s positioning – whatever you do give yourself this little distraction every day to improve your daily schedule.
Now that you know the benefits and are willing to go outdoors, here are a few ways to effectively do it:
Re-invent your outdoors – Get some desks, chairs or ask the local carpenter to design a unique assembly for you.
Get the right tech – If outdoor suits you well go for the tech that supports your daily work. Like, you can opt for any glare screen that easily adjusts to the natural light. Your phone screen should also be turned to auto-brightness for better utility. Other accessories like your headphones/earphones, cases/sleeves, external storage and charging devices should have an anti-dust, shock-resistant and a waterproof covering.
Nothing can be accomplished without the internet. So, if you’re selecting a public park to work from, make sure it has a robust Wi-Fi connection. Don’t forget to log out daily, or you might be charged for unwanted usage. If you’re planning to sit in your backyard or front garden, place your home Wi-Fi router at the nearest window. You can also use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is indeed an awesome feature for the remote professionals.
Look for a shady place – Going outdoors doesn’t mean under the Sun. Well, only if the weather’s a little chilly. But, if you’re working under the bright sunlight, screen glare can become irritating. Better, if you find yourself a shadowy tree or place a large umbrella on your table. It’s stressful squinting at a screen all day and certainly is nicer to your tech tools than keeping them in the hot sun.
For most of the city folks meeting greenery is a past time or a weekend stroll in the park. But, even if you’re staying in a rented accommodation you can ask your landlords/owners to let you use the balconies or the terraces as your work area. You can be creative with designing your own workspace outdoors. From desks, chairs, tables, umbrellas and tech accessories, there’s a lot that you can do to make your workspace stand bright. The time outside will leave you with fresh air, relieve your stress, deepen your thinking, and change your day.
Why don’t you try this and tell us your experiences in the comments below!