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How Working Outside Can Boost Your Mental Health And Productivity

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May. 25 2021, Published 4:55 a.m. ET

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A lot of people’s favorite day in school was the day the teacher would suggest conducting their lesson outside. To most, these days probably seemed like a treat to switch things up and enjoy the beautiful weather and nature. As it turns out, though, learning outside was for everyone’s benefit.

It’s so beneficial that some companies are starting to take those benefits into account. Most recently, Google created Bioliphic offices which integrated spaciousness, nature, and naturally occurring light for their employees to enjoy. So far, the results have pointed towards happier employees with reduced stress levels and improved productivity.

Not every business, however, can create outdoor offices. With today’s growing remote work environment, there are things you can do to incorporate elements of nature into your everyday routine. Doing so can improve your productivity, boost your creativity, and even benefit your mental health.

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Working Outside Improves Your Well-Being

Although many teachers decide to conduct lessons outside every once in a while to switch up the routine and enjoy nature, they may not realize they’re actually doing more for the class and themselves when originally making this choice.

Studies have shown that working outdoors is healthy in a variety of ways, and most people enjoy it. One survey conducted with L.L. Bean discovered that 87% of participants love spending time outside, but rarely find time to take their work outdoors. If you haven’t given yourself that time, you could be missing out on a variety of benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved physical health
  • Boosted creativity
  • Improved mood
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You might think that working outside would hinder your productivity since there’s so much to be distracted by. On the other hand, the natural distractions outside can help to keep you calm and focused. If you’re dealing with a productivity slump, taking things outside could be the thing that gets you through it. Changes in scenery often help, as do small, frequent breaks. Being able to “recharge” in nature can make a big difference.

Creating An Outdoor Office Space

One of the beautiful things about working outdoors is that you can do it anywhere. If you just need a change of scenery for a few hours, you can “camp out” underneath a tree or sit on a bench at your local park. Simply being outside, especially when you’re in an area with other people, can help you fight loneliness and make you feel inspired.

If you want to work outside from home, setting up a functional office space is easier than you might think. The most important thing is to consider the challenges you might face, including the need to stay dry if it rains and protected from the sun if the weather is nice. It’s also important to make sure you’ll have the ability to power your computer and other electronics outside.

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Additionally, you can either use existing patio furniture or create a completely new, functional space for your outdoor office. Make sure that the layout is comfortable, the furniture provides lumbar support, and you have a designated place for all of your supplies.

You can even decorate your outdoor office to show off your personality. By using everything from throw pillows, blankets, plants, and artwork, you can breathe life into your outdoor space and allow it to co-mingle with nature in a way that inspires you. It’s a perfect opportunity to let your creativity shine.

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Creating an ideal outdoor space is only half the battle. You’ll need to make sure you have all of the right tools and resources at your fingertips. That’s especially true if you’re switching back-and-forth from remote work to on-site work. Keeping everything organized using something like an online whiteboard or digital “to-do” list will make that easier.

Even if you’re working from home full-time, you don’t want to be hindered by a lack of resources. Thankfully, technology makes it easier than ever to stay productive no matter where you are – even if that happens to be a screened-in porch.

You can set yourself up for success outside by keeping the remote essentials in mind, including:

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  • A functional computer
  • Reliable Internet
  • A wireless hotspot
  • A mobile phone

Working outside can sometimes make your internet connection spotty, so ensuring your technology is working properly should be imperative. A hotspot can help with this or a stronger wireless connection.

Setting up the perfect outdoor office space and making sure you have everything you need will allow you to completely focus on the tasks you need to accomplish. You can do so in an environment that promotes tranquillity, creativity, and productivity. Even if you aren’t able to work outside every day, taking the time to change your environment once in a while, even if it’s just to get out of a slump, can make a big difference in your workflow and how you feel.

This post was written by Indiana Lee and originated on Your Coffee Break.

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