I’ve been self-employed and working from home since 2013 and what is one of the best things about working from home? Nope, it’s not the usual flexibility around the kids and lack of commute or any of the usual stuff people spout… but… one of the best parts, in the spring and summer, is being able to work from my garden!
Yep, I have managed to set up an outdoor space in my garden where I can successfully work in the beautiful summer months. This is definitely a huge bonus for working at home in comparison to being stuck inside a stuffy office! In fact, two of the offices I used to work in were completely internal so we didn’t even have windows!
You may be wondering how to see your laptop screen outside, especially in the sun. It’s something that has to be overcome to enable you to work outside as otherwise you can’t see the screen at all and will end up back inside missing the lovely weather.
Read on as I’ll cover how I successfully work from home in my garden, including exactly how I can see my laptop screen on sunny days!
Make sure you are seated comfortably
It’s going to be quite a challenge to sit on the grass with a laptop for extended periods of time, so first you’ll want to ensure you have a suitable seating area. This seating area needs to be comfortable for however many hours you intend to work. I can sit and work nonstop for chunks of anywhere from 4-8 hours when outdoors, so I need to be comfortable where I work.
I’ve found the best way to work without damaging my back and shoulders is to have my laptop raised. I do this by sitting on some luxury rattan furniture, having my legs extended and resting on a stool and a large cushion on my lap to hold my laptop and to raise it at the same time. I have found this the best position for me to work in when outdoors.
If you prefer to work upright at a desk for concentration then try something different. Perhaps a stiff upright wooden garden chair and a table, or even a picnic bench if you don’t need the back support. To keep your office space healthy outdoors you can easily add an ergonomic seat cushion to ensure your spine is correctly aligned and a laptop stand with separate keyboard so you aren’t looking down at your screen.
Once you have found your ideal seating position and suitable garden furniture, then you need to be able to see your screen!
Ensure you have shade from the sun
On overcast days it’s really easy to see your laptop screen outside, especially if your laptop has a nice, bright screen already. But, no matter how amazing your laptop is with screen brightness, it can be a struggle to see a screen outdoors when the sun is shining, even if you max out the screen brightness setting!
The best way to combat this is to add some shade over your laptop and seating area. If you use a table or bench then simply adding an umbrella parasol can do the trick.
Otherwise, I highly recommend a permanent sheltered seating area such as a roofed veranda. We have installed two roofed verandas in our garden. One has a black corrugated roof so it automatically provides shade and the other a clear roof so we have added a sun shade which we can hook underneath to add shade when we so desire.
You might not be able to sunbathe whilst working, but at least you’ll be outdoors in the fresh warm summer air and you’ll be able to see your screen!
Another trick is to wear a wide brimmed hat. Sometimes simply shading your own face is enough to see the screen. It doesn’t work with wearing sunglasses though as they make things way too dark!
Some people recommend trying an anti-glare screen as an effective method to reduce the glare from the sun, however I haven’t tried this yet as I’ve been fine shading myself from the sun instead.
More tips to successfully work from your garden
- Think about your positioning as you may need to be near the house. I need to work close to the house to ensure I get a good WiFi signal and because my current laptop battery is deteriorating and I need to plug my laptop in.
- If you join meetings, need to talk to people or watch videos then a headset is a great investment. This will help to block out the surrounding sounds from roads and your neighbours so you can hear the sound from your laptop clearly.
- Keep a blanket throw nearby on spring days or early autumn days as although it can be warm in the sun, it’s a little chilly when clouds cover.
Working from your own garden is really a pleasure in the summer months. It’s much better to be outdoors in the fresh air and not cooped up indoors. Hopefully these tips will help you successfully work from your garden this year!
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