Man in a pool with his laptop

How to Create the Ultimate Outdoor Workspace in 6 Easy Steps

In Partnership with Monster Energy

While it looks like there may (finally) be some light at the end of the ol’ COVID tunnel, the concept of working from home is far from dead — in fact, studies show that a large portion of the American workforce will be folding some degree of remote work into their routines on a more-or-less permanent basis.

And now that we’re getting into prime “get outside” weather, it stands to reason that those of us living that #WFHlife might want to take our remote setup to where the grass is green and the sun is shining.

Herewith, our six tips on creating the ultimate outdoor productivity setup this season. Enjoy the fresh air, and don’t forget your sunscreen.

1. Pick a Good Spot

The key to productivity with your outdoor work setup is, like any work setup really, to create consistency so that you can find a good rhythm. Getting your ducks in a row from the beginning = fewer random adjustments on the fly = maintained focus = greater productivity. That’s just science. Some tips …

Shade is key

First and foremost, it keeps you (and your electronic devices) cool and comfortable. Additionally, it helps the screens on those devices to be, you know, visible. Try to pick a spot that has consistent shade throughout the day so that you’re not constantly moving to avoid the sun. If such a space is not available, a camping chair with a canopy can work in a pinch.

Minimize distractions

With the understanding that this may be unavoidable, it’s helpful if you can find a location separated from where other members of your family are engaged in their own various and sundry summertime activities. Staying focused is hard enough without the temptation of a rowdy Slip-n-Slide session going on 10 feet away. At the very least, invest in a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones, which not only block out unwanted clamor but are also great for calls, Zooms, etc.

Consider your power source

You definitely don’t want to be constantly stressing the charge on your various devices, so proximity to an outlet is ideal; however, if this ain’t in the cards, you’ve got some options. Outdoor string lights that end in an outlet are a great excuse to church up your space while also providing yourself some juice. If you’re looking for more outlets, this handy portable charging tower should have you more than covered.

folding canopy chair

Renetto Original Camping Chair

bose wireless headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

jackyled power tower

JACKYLED Power Strip Tower

2. Check Your Wifi

This obviously goes hand-in-hand with picking a good spot, but in the interest of not letting crappy wifi get in the way of a prime outdoor working location, consider picking up a low-cost wifi extender to boost your router’s signal.

wifi extender

3. Climate Control

Even in the shade, summer heat can be a distraction. If your patio is equipped to handle it, investing in a good outdoor ceiling fan is something that will pay major dividends not only during work hours, but also during happy hours when you knock off for the day. Alternatively, a compact portable floor fan can also get the job done and be easily relocated as needed. Major bonus either way: fans help to keep the bugs away.

ceiling fan

Westinghouse Lighting Comet Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan

vornado fan

Vornado 630 Whole Room Air Circulator Fan

4. Have a Good Chair

Listen, we’re not averse to working from a chaise from time to time to mix it up (might we suggest a handy lap desk for that?), but for longer, more consistent work sessions, you’re gonna want a seat that has proper support lest you succumb to some truly unhealthy posture

This is the perfect opportunity to pull the trigger on that set of patio furniture you’ve been considering — just look for chairs that have a good back and solid ergonomics.

bistro arm chair on patio

Frontgate Paris Bistro Armchairs

5. Stay Hydrated (and Energized)

Drinking water throughout the day is always advisable, but even more so when you’re out in the heat. Get yourself a quality insulated bottle (don’t you dare reach for single-use plastic) and keep it on hand at your workstation. 

For a quality pick-me-up when your energy starts to flag, skip a trip to the coffee shop and instead reach in your fridge for a can of Monster Energy Java Monster. Available in 10 different flavors — from Mean Bean to French Vanilla to Loca Moca to Salted Caramel — Java Monster is “coffee with attitude”: premium coffee and cream (or oat milk, they’ve got the dairy-averse covered as well) brewed for superior flavor and then supercharged with the Monster Energy blend.

And Java Monster isn’t just tasty and full of energy, it also boasts riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B-6 as well as taurine, a naturally occurring amino acid with cardio-protective properties. It bears as well that an icy can of Java Monster will not only help you power through your day, but is also a mighty sight more refreshing on a hot day than a cuppa joe.

Which reminds us: this is also a wonderful excuse to pick up a quality cooler if you don’t have one already. Might we suggest one that packs serious cooling power and is also made from sustainable materials that are better for the environment?

monster energy java

Monster Energy

cooler

Taiga 27 QT Terra Cooler

6. Other Products to Consider

The above points should have you sitting pretty, but don’t forget that the devil is in the details — some extra outdoor accoutrement can go a long way in elevating your overall experience.

  • A laptop canopy. Admittedly it looks kinda silly, but if you’re trying to get some sun and still see your screen, it works. A nice anti-glare screen protector also helps.
  • Non-polarized sunnies. Nine times out of 10, we prefer polarized sunglasses. In this specific case, however, they’re a no-go — the polarization on the glasses and the polarization on your device screens will essentially cancel each other out, making it very difficult (if not impossible) to see what you’re doing. 
  • Quality sunscreen. We recently clued you in on how men are at higher risk for skin cancer, so do yourself a favor and make SPF a part of your daily routine (whether it’s sunny out or not, honestly). For some options that’ll protect your skin without harming the environment, step right this way.
  • A paperweight. A lesson that seems super obvious once you’ve learned it the hard way: the outdoors has wind, and wind and papers do not mix.
  • Insect repellent. Sometimes a fan can only do so much — Sawyer makes a DEET-free lotion that actually works, and we’re also fans of Murphy’s Naturals mosquito-repellent candle that keeps bugs away and also smells terrific.
  • Portable power station. In the event you want to get truly into the wild, this heavy-duty bad boy from Jackery will power up to four devices at once.