The kids are out of school for summer and you’re stuck, working inside … or maybe not. You can create a comfortable, functional outdoor office with items you may already have. Here’s how.
Select a supportive outdoor dining chair with a higher, contoured back. A woven material or open-air metal design, like on the Hampton Bay Haymont Steel Wicker Outdoor Dining Chair ($449 for two at homedepot.com), will help keep you cool when the weather is warm.
A seat cushion, like the Purple Folding Seat Cushion ($39 at purple.com), adds comfort and can be used indoors or out.
To help maintain healthy posture, experts suggest an office chair with lumbar support and a height that allows your knees to stay level with your hips. Armrests should be adjusted to let your shoulders stay relaxed.
The easiest option is to find a small outdoor dining table that’s the same height as your desk. You may already have a counter-height outdoor dining table you can use.
But you can also switch things up by using a bar-height table as a standing desk, or an outdoor-rated C-shaped table, like the Sol 72 Outdoor Tegan Wicker Side Table ($113 at wayfair.com), as a laptop stand.
Install a quality outdoor Wi-Fi router or range booster, as well as a portable charging station to accommodate all your devices. For improved teleconferencing, consider Bluetooth-enabled, noise-cancelling headphones to block out the sound of barking dogs or passing cars.
If your job requires a lot of video calls, SunBrite TVs can provide a better view of your coworkers and clients. They’re made to be outside and are engineered to withstand rain, dirt, insects, extreme temperatures and UV rays.
One of SunBrite’s all-weather soundbars ($180 at sunbritetv.com) can complete your outdoor entertainment system, err, outdoor workplace.
A bar cart can provide additional surface space for a printer, files or miscellaneous desk drawer items.
The movable Ivy Bronx Callum Bar Cart ($180 at wayfair.com) has an iron frame supporting two tempered glass shelves, for indoor/outdoor use.
You’ll need protection from the sun and a way to stop screen glare. A tilting umbrella can be repositioned as the sun moves throughout the day, while a pop-up canopy provides shade and protection from showers. An awning can serve as a more permanent form of weather-protection, creating a covered space.
Computer glare guards are easy to find on Amazon; when added to your laptop screen, they reduce reflection from the sun.
Covered patios can be outfitted with weatherproof pendant lights and even chandeliers.
Add color and pattern with an outdoor rug, Sunbrella-fabric pillow and other decorative elements. Throws and water-resistant picnic blankets can be tossed on the grass for a more informal workplace.
And for a great Zoom background, pull your most colorful planters and in-bloom plants behind your chair.