By Terry Lin
Before COVID-19, I traveled frequently and adopted a work-from-anywhere mentality. Now that we are five months into this pandemic, my daily work migration patterns continue, albeit all in the comfort of my home.
Working outdoors is an added bonus of working from home. Being in nature not only gives me the chance to take in fresh air (I live near Ocean Beach in San Francisco), but also inspires creative thinking and eliminates some indoor distractions.
It’s taken me years to hone my 'go bag' of tools for successful remote work. Aside from the obvious laptop and smartphone, these are the items that make WFBY (working from backyard) a seamless and productive daily experience.
I often have video conferences on my smartphone, and when I do, I attach my phone to a tripod. It allows me to take a call hands-free, and to position my smartphone anywhere, without the constraints that a laptop might have.
When I know I won’t be disturbing others, I will pull out my bluetooth speaker and play background music. Usually I opt for a jazz musician like Jacky Terrasson or Chris Thile, but any music without lyrics will do.
A must for our digitally-enabled lives: I use the Anker Powercore 13000. It has two USB ports, so you can charge more than one device at a time. It’s perfect for recharging my iPhone and AirPods multiple times.
4. Hydroflask 32 oz water bottle
I start my day by filling up my Hydroflask 32-ounce insulated water bottle with ice and water. It reminds me to stay hydrated, and stays ice cold for an entire day. I swapped out the lid for a sip lid and also added a silicon boot to prevent dings or scratches to the bottle.
When I work in my backyard, I like to use a $10 straw lifeguard hat that my wife picked up at an ABC store in Hawaii. I wear it low on my brow to help with glare and protect myself from sunburns.
6. AirPods Pro cancelling earbuds
I use AirPods Pro when I’m on calls. They help minimize noise pollution and enhance call clarity.
7. Patagonia long-sleeve sol patrol shirt
I’ve used this shirt for travel days because of the pockets, as well as keeping the chill at bay on long flights. It also works perfectly when I’m working from my outdoor sofa. The loose fit keeps me comfortable and dry, but also protects me from too much sun exposure.
8. Outer sofa
A comfortable seat is essential for any outdoor work space. We designed the Outer sofa with ergonomics in mind — the most comfortable sit for all butts. Also, the triple foam cushion mimics an indoor mattress with the ideal amount of firmness and give so you’re not slouching or getting an achy lower back or butt half-way through the day. Essentially, it’s the best seat for all-day work sessions, and I always enjoy settling into my outdoor office.
Of course, you need a solid WiFi connection wherever you plan to set up shop. There are plenty of WiFi booster solutions in the market. My home is outfitted with the Google Nest Wifi system with access points. The mesh network gives me the freedom to work anywhere in my home, including my backyard.
Have any work from backyard tips you swear by? Share them in the comments below.