After more than a year of working from home, employees are nothing but desperate to venture the outdoors once again. Having home offices has many perks, but working and living under the same roof comes with long-standing challenges that will leave you emotionally drained and mentally exhausted.
While many companies today are adopting the hybrid setup, others are choosing to work remotely to protect themselves from COVID-19. But choosing to work in the comfort of your home can also become tedious and uninspiring if you deprive yourself of some change of scenery.
Work from outside (WFO) offers a new alternative to remote workers who want to work right outside their homes. People have been taking advantage of their gardens to get that much-needed fresh air and sunlight to boost their mood and energy. Others take it seriously by setting up a garden office complete with retractable patio awning, deck, balcony, and other elements to make a home office inviting and comfortable.
If you’re lucky enough to have enough space for your home office, here’s what you should know about the rising trend in remote work called work from outside.
The perils of working indoors
No matter how convenient work-from-home has become, there’s always something special about going outside from time to time. From the fresh air, sunlight, inspiring views, and regular exercise, the outdoors can give that much-needed boost for those who remain stuck on their desk for almost the entire day.
Years ago, outdoor offices used to be a small vision in outdoor design, not until COVID-19 happened. As work becomes mobile, employees now see the good and bad sides of working from home and onsite. They have realized that specialized workstations and infrastructure requirements are not the reasons people need a workplace. In reality, the traditional office environment offers control that other places cannot offer.
In a traditional office, everything stays the same, from the lighting, humidity, temperature, to air quality. These elements are all in place to provide comfort and convenience for the average employee. But this is also problematic because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to achieve every employees’ ideal office.
Being able to control the environment within an enclosed space comes with ecological and financial costs in terms of lighting, heating, and cooling. It also affects people’s health as people spend over 90% of their time within their homes, vehicles, and workspaces. In fact, spending more time indoors causes humans to feel alienated from nature, exposing them to a condition called ‘“psychoterratica” and “nature deficit disorder.”
As home offices become the new norm, designers today incorporate biophilic design in workplaces to incorporate natural elements in a built-in environment. This allows employees to beat the self-imposed isolation from the outdoors, which further caused adverse health effects and mental health concerns.
Outdoors as inspiration
Forest bathing is probably one of the inspirations of outdoor offices. This meditative practice originated from Japan, which refers to mindful and purposeful immersion within a natural environment. It benefits both mental and physical health by decreasing the likelihood of depression and hostility. In a study about the psychological effects of forest-air bathing, participants experienced positive outcomes from staying outdoors even if they don’t enjoy it.
The significant benefits of immersing in nature are a driving factor why more people should try working outside. With the increasing exposure to natural elements such as water, daylight, plant life, and other outdoor landscapes, this approach can lead to multiple benefits to workplace performance and human health.
Making outdoor offices work
Working outside your home comes with a few complexities to make it sustainable and effective. Any design process involves changing a few physical aspects to create a great work environment where people can perform well.
Daylight is a critical aspect in workspaces yet difficult to perfect. It is best to position your workstation where you get a healthy amount of sunlight. But since you’ll be using a device, you’ll need a transflective screen and polarized sunglasses to prevent too much sunlight from disrupting your work.
The acoustic is also essential, especially for those who prefer to work in quiet areas. Strong winds cause distraction during phone calls and video chats. Remedy this by strategically planning the location of your office to minimize exposure to constant winds.
When it comes to office furniture, consider incorporating a resimercial design that incorporates the versatility and comfort of residential furniture into the commercial office landscape.
Working remotely offers plenty of opportunities to work beyond our living spaces. We can work outside in different ways, but it takes a little creativity to make it work. By practicing mobility in your job, it’s easy to be productive wherever you are. Follow our suggestions above, and you’ll be on your way to having that dream outdoor office.