This past Saturday was Earth Day, and what a nice spring weekend it was! From community festivals to art shows, our local community here in Fayette County was filled with lots of great outdoor activities. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like nature. During this beautiful time of year, many people are reflecting on the importance of our planet and our relationship with it. One way to connect with nature and make the most of the natural world around us is to take our work outside. While it may seem counterintuitive to leave the confines of the office, working in the great outdoors can have numerous benefits for both our productivity and our well-being. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of taking your work outside and how it can help you tap into the beauty and energy of nature.
For many people, work is synonymous with sitting at a desk in an office all day. However, with the rise of remote work and the availability of portable technology, it’s becoming easier than ever to take your work outside. And, as it turns out, there are numerous benefits to working in the great outdoors – especially here in our wonderful community.
Being outside can boost creativity and productivity. Research has shown that exposure to natural environments can stimulate the brain and increase cognitive function. This means that taking your work outside can help you generate new ideas and solve problems more effectively. Plus, the fresh air and change of scenery can help to reduce mental fatigue and increase energy levels, allowing you to stay focused and alert for longer periods of time.
Secondly, being outside can reduce stress and anxiety levels. The tranquility and peacefulness of nature can have a calming effect on the mind and body, which can be particularly helpful for people who are feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. Taking a break from the confines of the office and spending some time in nature can help you relax and recharge, making it easier to tackle your work with renewed focus and motivation.
Also, being outside can have positive effects on physical health. Sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your body, leading to a range of health issues such as back pain, eye strain, and poor posture. However, working outside can help to alleviate these problems by encouraging you to move around and stretch your muscles. Additionally, exposure to natural sunlight can help to regulate your sleep cycle and improve vitamin D levels, which are essential for bone health and immune function.
Finally, taking your work outside can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into your day. For example, you could go for a walk while brainstorming ideas or take your laptop to a local park and work while getting some exercise. This not only helps to improve physical health but can also increase creativity and productivity, as exercise has been shown to stimulate the brain and boost cognitive function.
Okay, so hopefully, you’re convinced that taking your work outside can be a great way to boost your productivity and creativity, but how can you make that happen? Quite simply, it’s important to do it in a way that is comfortable and effective. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your outdoor work experience:
- Choose the right location: Look for a spot that is comfortable, quiet, and free from distractions. A park bench, a quiet corner of a garden, or a shady spot under a tree are all good options. Our local community is full of parks and quiet spaces from which to work.
- Stay connected: Make sure you have all the technology and resources you need to work effectively, including a reliable internet connection and a fully charged laptop or tablet. Consider bringing a power bank or portable charger in case you need to recharge your devices. Cell phone coverage and even public Wi-Fi access spots are plentiful in our community, which makes staying connected easier.
- Bring the right equipment: Depending on the type of work you’re doing, you may need additional equipment like a sunshade, a comfortable chair, or noise-cancelling headphones. Bring everything you need to ensure that you can work comfortably and efficiently. I can get most of my work done using an iPad, earphones, water bottle, and a small chair, which all fit into a small backpack.
- Be mindful of the weather: Check the weather forecast before you head outside, and be prepared for changes in temperature or weather conditions. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable clothing that will keep you cool or warm as needed. Because I don’t necessarily want to lug around a lot of extra stuff, I purposely look for public spaces that are in the shade and have quick access to cover in case of a storm. If I’m in a park, I make sure I’m close to the car in case of bad weather.
- Take breaks: Even though you’re outside, it’s still important to take breaks and give your eyes and brain a rest. Stand up, stretch, take a short walk, or simply look up at the sky and take a few deep breaths to help refresh your mind and body. It’s easy to stay glued to one spot, so even though you’re not at a desk, make sure you get up and move around a little.
- Stay hydrated: Make sure you have plenty of water or other hydrating beverages with you, especially if you’re working in hot or humid conditions. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased cognitive function, so it’s important to stay hydrated. I always carry a water bottle with my stuff as well as some snacks.
Taking your work outside can have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, as well as productivity and creativity. So, next time you’re feeling stuck or burnt out, consider taking a break from the office and heading outdoors. You might be surprised at how much more productive and energized you feel as a result. Maybe I’ll see you outside at The Ridge Nature Area in Fayetteville, Drake Field in Peachtree City, or even one of the public spaces over at Trilith.
[Joe Domaleski, a Fayette County resident for 25 years, is the owner of Country Fried Creative – an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Peachtree City. His company was the Fayette Chamber’s 2021 Small Business of the Year. Joe is a husband, father of three grown children, and proud Army veteran. He has an MBA from Georgia State University and enjoys sharing his perspectives drawing from thirty years of business leadership experience. ]