[Translate to English:] Draußen arbeiten - Die bestenTips!

Working outside – an office under open skies

Wind, rain or even snow – who would volunteer to work outside in winter? When it’s icy cold outside, it’s definitely preferable to stay in your well-heated offices where you won’t get wet or freeze. When the sun is shining, however, it’s a different matter:  you sit at your desk for hours and long for home time so you can switch off and maybe even soak up some rays for yourself. How great would it be if you could sit outside earlier in the day? There are plenty of careers that involve working outdoors, including animal keepers and site managers, but other employees need to ask themselves: Working outside in summer – can I do it?

Matthias Strobel founded the first co-working open-air office in Berlin in 2015 and officially proved that office workers can work outside too! The recipe for success is shaded areas with Wi-Fi, plugs, printers, scanners, projectors and a spray shower for your back. Cost per person: €6 a day – including a free coffee. 

The likelihood that you have access to an outdoor office is rather slim. But don’t worry – we will show you what you need for your ownopen-air office

Working outside – the dream of all sun worshippers?

The sun is shining, the flowers smell wonderful and you are stuck in stuffy office. It’s no surprise that you would like nothing more than to be able to work outside. But that shouldn’t be a problem these days, since laptops, tablets and smartphones have long since freed us from our heavy desktop computers. There are also plenty of spots that are perfect for working outside in, including terraces, gardens, cafés, parks or simply anywhere in the open air. For the sun worshippers among you, working outside is a tempting idea. You will be able to enjoy the sun in the fresh air whilst you are at work and also build up your tan at the same time. On boiling hot summer days, it is sometimes cooler outside than it is in centrally-heated offices. As the option of being sent home from work due to excessively hot weather is a rarity, an office outside is a brilliant alternative. Not only can an open-air office increase well-being, it can also be a source of peace and inspiration. If you are writing a text, for example, being outside offers a relaxing break from a hectic office and allows you to concentrate on writing without constantly hearing the phone ring. But why do so few office workers work outside if the open-air office offers so many advantages? 

[Translate to English:] Powerbank für den Laptop zum draußen arbeiten

Working in an open-air office – things you need to know

Working outside, although it sounds easy, still requires you to bear a few things in mind: 

  • Electricity supply
  • Internet connection 
  • Wind & weather 
  • Stipulations from your employer

A power supply can soon become an issue as laptops and tablets don’t usually last the whole working day, which is why you have to switch your workspace every few hours or invest in a power bank. 

If you rely on good internet signal, you are better off using dongles or looking for cafés and restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi. It is a good idea to ask your employer in advance whether you are permitted to work outside and what you need to be aware of. Data protection is a high priority. A secure connection with VPN (Virtual Private Networks) allows you to work with open Wi-Fi in hotels or cafés to securely access data from the company network. In addition, you can send emails using a secure SSL encryption. Larger companies usually have an IT department and, since GDPR came into force, a data protection officer who deals with any questions you may have about the regulations. 

Gusts of wind can also quickly ruin your work if you are dealing with loose sheets of paper. And if you happen to be working next to a pond then your work will almost definitely get wet. This is why you should always secure your documents and not leave them lying around. If you plan to move your workstation outside, it is best to check the weather in advance to avoid being surprised by sudden showers.

 

 

Benefits of sunlight when working outside

  • It improves your mood
  • It stimulates vitamin D production
  • Working in the sun can be a break from the everyday grind of work

Disadvantages of sunlight when working outside

  • Skin may be damaged if you sit in the sun for too long
  • The bright sunlight makes it difficult to see the screen. A light, anti-glare monitor will help with this
  • Electronic devices can heat up in the sun 
[Translate to English:] Zwei Angestellte halten ein Meeting und arbeiten draußen

Small terraces or gardens provide a change of scene 

Some offices provide a terrace or even a small garden that can also offer a change of scene from the usual workstation. If you are lucky, the Wi-Fi or LAN cable will reach far enough for you to work outside. If it is not possible to connect to the internet, both locations are excellent places forteam meetingsthat don’t require any projectors or other technology. Changing location usually also leads to new ideas – why not start a creative brainstorming session with the team outside?

Bear in mind that anything that takes place outside may potentially be heard or seen by others. It is therefore better to stay inside to discuss confidential matters. 

[Translate to English:] Draußen arbeiten im Café

Working outside in the home office

If your battery doesn’t last long enough and you need an internet connection, it’s best to stay close to home. You will have everything to hand on the balcony or in the garden, plus you will almost certainly have a little table set up for you to sit at to focus on your work. Even your lawn could be a space for you to work in comfortably. Simply make yourself a wooden laptop holder. 

Handy tip: Laptops are available with displays that are suitable for working outdoors. Matte displays and highly adjustable brightness settings also allow you to read texts easily – even in the sunshine.

 

 

Preparation is everything 

The open-air office is a pleasant and inspiring change to the office environment if you set yourself up properly in advance. Before you start working outside, take the time to consider the answers to these questions:

  • Is it really sunny, do I need shade?
  • Will my battery last long enough for the time I will be working in the open-air office?
  • Do I need an internet connection?
  • How much peace and quiet do I need for my tasks?
  • Are other people allowed to see my work?

Once you have considered where and when you want to work, you can use your time outside to your advantage and properly prepare yourself.