Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are working remotely from the comfort of their own homes. With this change in the workplace, it’s even more important that our home workspaces are both functional and comfortable. A place we would like to be. Now is the best time to turn your patio by the pool into a cozy and inspiring place to work. Not only will your video conference guests be impressed, but you’ll also have a nice patio to use during and after work. We’ll look at some tips and products that can help you improve your patio for a work-from-home lifestyle.
Choosing what you need at work
When setting up your workspace in a traditional office, it’s usually easy to know what you need to work well. Your company will give you a computer that is already set up for its internal network, but when you move home, you will need more than a laptop to be productive. Setting up a space at home with some of the tools and equipment you used at work will help you feel more productive. Some common pieces of home office equipment are a desk, one or more monitors, an ergonomic chair, and anything needed to connect to the internet, like a router or an ethernet cable.
Most likely, you won’t be able to move your office equipment to the deck, or the look will clash with the cozy look of a poolside patio. Also, that same indoor furniture isn’t made to stand up to weather like heavy rain, sun, and humidity when it’s outside. With the right outdoor furniture, it will stand up to the unpredictable weather and only take a few minutes to set up so you can get to work quickly. As you start to move toward working by the pool, take the time to really think about what you will need to make each day a success. For starters, make sure your set-up can handle the weather.
Keeping in touch
Having stable power and internet connections is the most important part of working outside.
Maintaining a strong wifi connection is not only important for working without interruptions, but it will also keep your video meetings looking clear. WiFi range extenders are the easiest way to get better internet on the patio. Take some time to test the speed of your connection at each outlet you try.
In some situations, you may be able to do some tasks without an internet connection or by using the laptop’s battery. This will eventually lead to trips back inside to upload any offline work or charge your phone while the beautiful weather goes by, which will slow you down and make you less productive. There are new ways to improve connectivity outside that will help you avoid going back and forth too much.
Adding more power can be a simple upgrade or a more complicated one, depending on how much you care about keeping a clean and sleek look. The easy solution is to run a heavy-duty extension cord that can handle the weather all the way to your poolside workspace. Even though this is a quick solution, having a big extension cord run through the patio isn’t very attractive and can be dangerous. These can be painted to match your decking or walls and fixed in place so they don’t ruin your design or cause people to trip.
But if you want a more practical and long-term solution, you could install an extra power outlet near where you want to work. This will not only make it easier to charge for work, but it will also give you more options for lighting and cooling. Your dream backyard office just got a little more exciting, didn’t it? Depending on how late or early you work, you might need more than just your pool light to work by.
If you’re not an experienced electrician, it’s best to ask one for help if you want to go this route.
Buying a portable monitor for your laptop is another way to work more efficiently outside. You can use these to work on two or even three screens at once, and you can also take them with you when you travel. They are perfect for the outdoor workspace because multiple traditional monitors couldn’t stay outside and would be hard and inconvenient to move every day. Portable monitors can be small stand-alone pieces that you put next to your laptop, or they can be magnetized to the back of your laptop and slide out to the side of your screen. Sincerely, one of the best things I’ve bought!
Getting the most comfort out of the workday
Now that you’ve taken care of the most important parts of a typical workday, let’s make your space as comfortable as a normal home office. When making the best outdoor workspace, you need to think about things like food, drinks, shade, and sunscreen.
Easy access to food and drinks
Every hard worker knows how important it is to have a good meal during lunch, so why not take it up a notch and enjoy a freshly grilled meal on the patio? With a new grill or an addition to your outdoor kitchen, you can make quick, easy, and healthy meals to get you through the workday.
You should also have a way to stay hydrated all day, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Keeping a cooler or outdoor minifridge nearby will save you trips inside and help you stay hydrated. No matter what you choose to store, make sure to drink a lot of water to keep from getting dehydrated and to get more vitamin D from the sun.
If you drink traditional coffee at work, you won’t be able to use your Keurig outside. But you could look into a camping coffee maker or a larger, insulated coffee pot that you can take outside so you don’t have to leave your workstation as often.
Keeping safe from the sun
You’ll want to avoid getting sunburned, and you’ll also need a place to keep electronics like work laptops and smartphones from quickly getting too hot. If you don’t have a covered patio already, here are some ways to keep yourself and your office cool.
A sunshade patio umbrella is a simple way to stay comfortable all day. Taking a quick measurement of the space you want to cover will help you figure out what size you need and save you the trouble of sending back the wrong size.
Installing a modern sun shade could be a better long-term solution. A good sunshade will not only keep you cool like an umbrella, but it will also protect you from UV rays all year long. Sun shades can be as simple as one shade in one color or as complicated as overlapping multiple shades in colors that go well together to make a real eye-catcher.
When talking about sun protection and sunburn, it’s important to always have sunscreen on hand when spending hours in the hot summer sun. This reminder may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re not ready, you’ll regret it when your skin gets sunburned which makes it hard to do day-to-day things and concentrate. No matter what you do to protect yourself from the sun, make sure you follow the best sun safety tips to stay cool and healthy when you spend every day by the pool.
Not all electronics are made to work well with sunlight, though. Screen glare is probably something you’ve experienced if you’ve ever put a TV in the wrong place or taken a laptop outside. Glare can quickly get in the way of your work by making your laptop screen almost impossible to read, but this problem is easy to fix with a cover for the screen.
A quick note about glare: every day, pay attention to where the glare is coming from, whether it’s from a laptop, a grill, or a TV. If your swimming pool liner gets a lot of suns every day in the same spot, the sun could eventually melt that area.
Protecting yourself from the sun is great, but if you want to use your outdoor workspace during the cooler months, you also need to plan for that. Things like fire bowls are a big plus because they look good and add to the atmosphere all year long. They also give off heat. You can even get these with a waterfall feature to create a beautiful sound garden in your backyard.
There are also fire pits and space heaters that stand alone that are often used on restaurant patios.
No matter which option you choose, you should have a plan for when it gets colder. Even if it’s just getting your Snuggie out!
Now that you’ve decided what you need and want from your outdoor workspace, it’s time to put everything into action. Your poolside office is closer than it seems, especially if you plan your finances and get some help.
Keeping your total investment in mind
Most of the time, outdoor furniture is more expensive because it is made of higher-quality materials that can withstand the weather. Planning and making a budget will put you on the right track when it comes to making changes to your home.
To make a budget plan for your poolside workspace, add up everything you want to buy and divide that number by the number of months until your goal date. As you do this, keep in mind that life happens and plans are often changed. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t reach your budget goal. You can still work on the poolside by taking out a personal loan to help pay for your home improvement projects. You can buy and install everything left on your list with the help of a loan or similar financial product that you can pay back over time. If you don’t want to cut corners when building the patio workspace of your dreams, you’ll need the right amount of money. You can, of course, choose to buy each additional piece over time until you have the look and feel you want.
Recruit Some Set Up Help
Even though it might seem easy to move all the new furniture and equipment by yourself, people often end up hurting themselves or putting something together backward. It’s a good idea to ask a family member or close friend for help lifting heavy boxes, keeping heavy items upright while putting them together, or double-checking the instructions.
Getting help with set-up doesn’t always mean getting an extra set of hands; sometimes you’ll need to call in an expert. Take the wifi extender as an example. Most of the time, these devices need to be set up in a certain way to work with your home wifi network. Lean on your friends who are good with technology to help you understand confusing instructions and avoid headaches. Or, have a professional put up your new sunshades.
You don’t have to do your work at home just because you work from home. One of the many benefits of being able to work from home is that you can do this. You never have to miss out on another beautiful day. Use the chance to get things done and get ideas while you’re near your favorite place to relax. We can also help you build a pool if you don’t already have one. Contact us today or give us a call if you have any questions about how our pool and patio accessories can make your backyard more fun (410) 600-7802.