With temperatures in the mid-70s and a light breeze blowing, the backyard patio beckoned. With my meetings done for the day, I grabbed my laptop and smartphone and set up shop outside. With Alexa providing the musical backdrop, I dug into a couple of documents needing my immediate attention. While many of my work colleagues dig out from mid-March snow, I am grateful to be able to work outside.
As someone who works remotely from my home all day, my usual workspace pays homage to technology, with a desktop computer driving three monitors and a separate monitor hooked to my laptop in a standing configuration. I have a camera and professional microphone for meetings and interviews. It’s incredibly efficient and comfortable, with a great view of the courtyard, but heating and air conditioning can’t replace the utter joy of being outside.
Some of my best work was created when free of the office. I’ve written poems on the subway, blogs on airplanes, and prepared project plans in the doctor’s office. But nothing beats being outside. A colleague and I once prepared an entire offsite presentation with nothing but a pad of paper and a couple of pencils while sitting on a bench overlooking a lake in Florida When Judy and I were dating, we’d map out long-range strategy for our organization while road-tripping with the top down!
While there are certainly unintended consequences with the ability to work anywhere — numerous studies point to knowledge workers working much longer than they should — I never regret taking my work outside when able. I smile, relax, and get things done. It’s truly joyful work.
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored … but we gotta work to pay for those trips! Keep that notebook or laptop handy when the weather is too nice to stay inside!
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