Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are working from home since they don’t have to worry about getting sick. With this change in the workplace, our home workspaces need to be even more efficient and comfortable. A place we’d like to be. Now is the best time to turn your patio next to the pool into a cozy and inspiring place to work. Not only will the people watching your video conference be impressed, but you’ll also have a nice patio to use at work and after work. We’ll look at some tips and product ideas to help you improve your patio if you work from home.
Figuring out what you need at work
When setting up your workspace at 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 their network, but when you move home, you will need more than a laptop to be productive. Setting up a space with some of the tools and equipment you used at work will help you feel more productive at home. Some common pieces of home office equipment are a desk, one or more monitors, an ergonomic chair, and the tools you need 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 patio by the pool. Also, the same furniture you use inside isn’t made to withstand things like heavy rain, sun exposure, and humidity when it’s outside. With the right outdoor furniture, it will hold up in all kinds of weather and only take a few minutes to set up so you can get to work quickly. As you start to move to work 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 contact
The most important thing you need to do to work successfully outside is to keep your internet and power connections stable.
Keeping a strong wifi connection is not only important for working without interruptions, but it will also make sure that your video meetings look clear. WiFi range extenders are the easiest way to make the internet work better on the patio. Take the time to test how fast your connection is on each outlet.
In some situations, you might be able to do some tasks without an internet connection or by using the laptop’s battery. This will eventually force you to go back inside to upload any work you did offline or charge your phone while you were outside enjoying the nice weather. This will slow you down and make you less productive because you have to go back inside. There are new ways to improve connectivity outside that will help you avoid going back and forth too often.
Adding 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 stand up to the weather all the way to your poolside workspace. Even though this is a quick way to fix the problem, having a big extension cord run through the patio is not the best solution and can even be dangerous. These can be painted the same color as your decking or walls and put 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 might want to install an extra power outlet near where you want to work. This will not only make it easy to charge for work, but it will also give you more options for lighting and cooling. Did your dream backyard office just get a little more interesting? Depending on the hours you work, you may need more than just the light from your pool to work.
If you’re not an experienced electrician, it’s best to ask them for help if you want to go this route.
Investing in a portable monitor for your laptop is another way to get more work done outside. These let you work on two or even three screens at once and can also be used when you’re on the go. They are perfect for outdoor workspaces 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 the kind that attach to the back of your laptop with magnets and slide out to the side of your screen. Honestly, one of the best things I’ve bought!
Getting the most out of comfort at work
Now that you’ve taken care of the most important parts of a typical workday, let’s make your space as comfortable as a regular home office. When making the best outdoor workspace, you should think about things like food, drinks, shade, and sunscreen.
Easy to get food and drink
Every hard worker knows how important it is to have a good meal during lunch, so why not take it up a notch and have 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 keep you going at work.
Your meal plan should include ways to stay hydrated all day, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Keeping a cooler or outdoor minifridge close by will save you trips inside and encourage you to drink more water. No matter what you decide to bring, 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 take your Keurig outside. But you could look into a coffee maker for camping or a larger, insulated coffee pot that you can take outside so you don’t have to leave your workstation as often.
Getting ready for the sun
Not only will you want to avoid getting sunburned, but you’ll also need a place to keep electronics from quickly overheating, like work laptops and smartphones. Here are some ways to keep you and your office cool if you don’t already have a covered patio.
A sun-shade 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 keep you from having to return the wrong size.
A modern sunshade might be a better long-term solution. A good sun shade will not only block the sun like an umbrella, but it will also protect you from UV rays all year long. Sun shades can be as simple as a single shade in a single color, or they can be as complicated as overlapping multiple shades in colors that go well together to make a real eye-catcher.
When it comes to sun protection and getting sunburned, you must 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 tasks and concentrate. No matter what you do to stay safe, make sure you follow the best sun safety tips so you can feel cool and healthy every time you hang out by the pool.
Not all electronics are made to work well in the sun, though. If you’ve ever put a TV or laptop in the wrong place or taken it outside, you’ve probably experienced screen glare. Glare can quickly slow you down 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: pay attention to where the glare is coming from every day, 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 spot.
Sun protection is great, but if you want to use your outdoor workspace in the fall and winter, you also need to think about that. Things like fire bowls are great for this 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 turn your backyard into a beautiful sound garden.
There are also fire pits and space heaters that stand alone that are often used on restaurants’ outdoor patios.
No matter what you choose, you should have a plan for when it gets colder. Even if it’s just getting your Snuggie out!
Now that you know what you want and need from your outdoor workspace, it’s time to make it happen. With a little bit of planning and a helping hand, you could have a workspace by the pool sooner than you think.
Keeping in mind your whole investment
Most of the time, outdoor furniture is more expensive because it is made of higher-quality materials that can stand up to the weather. Planning and making a budget will get 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. When 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 do the work you want to do by the pool by taking out a personal loan to help pay for your home improvement projects. You can buy and install anything else 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 take shortcuts when building the patio workspace of your dreams, you’ll need to make sure you have enough money. You can, of course, buy each piece separately over time until you get 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 realizing they put something together backward. It’s a good idea to ask a family member or close friend to help you lift heavy boxes, hold heavy items upright while putting them together, or double-check the instructions.
Getting help with set-up doesn’t always mean getting an extra hand; sometimes you’ll need to call in an expert. Take the wifi extender we talked about before 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 tech-savvy friends to help translate instructions that are hard to understand and save you a lot of trouble. Or hire a professional to put up your new sunshades.
Even if you work from home, you don’t have to do your work at home. One of the many benefits of being able to work from home is that you can do things like this. You’ll never have to miss out on another beautiful day. Use the chance to get things done and get ideas near your favorite place to relax. We can also help you get 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 improve your backyard at (609) 891-3577.