Working outside in nice weather is a perk that’s always worth taking advantage of whenever you can. Even if you work in a traditional office, there are a few tasks that are ideal to do outdoors!
A little fresh air and a change of scenery can smooth out a difficult workday. Spending part of your day outdoors can also make it feel less monotonous, and might even reduce stress or spark your creativity.
Not sure what you can realistically get done outside? Take a stroll through our list below to see if any of the things you do in your stuffy office can be done outside in the sunshine instead.
Many meetings—both in-person and virtual—will be a lot more pleasant outside. Meeting a client at a picnic table, taking a phone meeting outside, or letting your Zoom background be an actual park instead of just a photo of one, can make this tedious task almost fun.
Of course, make sure you pick a spot without a lot of noise, so your location won’t disrupt the meeting. Soon, you’ll have a list of great outdoor meeting spots you can use whenever you get the chance.
And don’t limit yourself to in-person meetings either! If you’re able to do so, taking a “walking” meeting armed with some good wireless earbuds is a refreshing change of pace—quite literally. After experiencing a work conference call where you can stroll around the park, you may never want to go back to the old way of doing it.
Being outdoors in nature can offer a pretty reliable creativity boost. Whenever you’re brainstorming for a new project or trying to find solutions for a tough task, going outside might be just what you need.
Sure, you might not have time for a full-on wilderness hike. But even a short walk around a tree-lined neighborhood or some bird-watching at a city park can offer the same benefits. Taking a nature break might lead to just the breakthrough you need.
When you need to do deeply focused work, you might find being outside too distracting. (Although you can still give it a try—everyone works differently!) However, if you need to edit or revise a big project before sending it in, stepping outside can often work wonders.
The change of scenery can give you a new perspective, and even make it easier to look over your work with fresh eyes. While you might still want to make your final edits in a quieter environment, being outside can help you see any big-picture changes you should make.
It’s not just the change of scenery either, but often the change of workspace and style that helps too. Shifting from using your desk setup with a large monitor (or even multiple monitors) to working on your laptop or tablet at the park can help you focus. With limited screen space, you’re more likely to hone in on the thing that needs your attention most.
Can’t imagine working without a primary and secondary monitor? Good thing there are some really nice portable monitors on the market you can easily toss in your laptop bag.
Like editing or revising, outlining and planning are good tasks to complete outdoors. Because this type of work doesn’t usually require as much concentration, distractions or a more laid-back atmosphere won’t hinder you.
In fact, the boost of creativity it might inspire could help you visualize and map out your new project.
Sometimes, work requires you to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to before. Perhaps you’re requesting sources for an article, job searching, or sharing promotional materials with potential clients.
These tasks can be nerve-racking. Whenever you contact new people via phone or email, you don’t know whether their response will be positive. However, being out in nature can help reduce stress and make this difficult task easier. It can also help with other challenging work communications, such as emailing your boss about a mistake.
Even if you don’t actually send the email or make the call outdoors, consider taking a quick walk first to help relieve some stress before you do.
Even if you’re not a social media manager, updates could be part of your job. Maybe you schedule Twitter posts for your employer. Or, perhaps you’re a freelancer and you need to freshen up your LinkedIn profile. Any social media work is perfect to do outside in the sunshine.
Good social-media strategies require creativity and personality. Being outside will help you tap in and create posts that will get the right kind of feedback.
Whether you’re searching for potential clients, checking out competitors, or looking up the latest software, there are many tasks that require some research.
Getting outdoors will make your online digging a lot more enjoyable. Plus, research often takes a lot of time. If you’ll be spending hours on it, why not get some fresh air while you’re at it?
Research also often requires a lot of mental effort and time to digest all the new information you’ve come across. If you’re already out and about it’s easy to toss your laptop in your bag and take a stroll to ponder and analyze.
The blandest, most boring work tasks are the perfect kind to do outside. Sure, they’ll still be tedious, but at least being outdoors will make your environment more pleasant. As most “paperwork” and data entry are done digitally now, you should easily be able to do these outdoors.
Of course, tasks that require hard copies aren’t ideal to complete outside. One good gust of wind will scatter those pages (and your focus) in mere seconds. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way and if you want to do paper-based work outside they make clipboards with tie-down straps to keep everything right where it belongs.
Lunch is the most obvious workday “task” to do outside, but it’s still worth noting! Whether you have to work through your lunch break or not, eating outdoors will make it feel more like a break.
Plus, going outside for a meal will prevent you from forgetting to eat.
Completing an entire workday outside might not be possible (or desirable). You’ll likely have tasks to complete that require a more focused environment or equipment you can’t take outside. However, in this digital age, you can get a surprising amount of work done outdoors. So, don’t let work stop you from taking advantage of beautiful weather!