So I recently started working outdoors. It all started with my transition away from a macbook to a thinkpad x250 equipped with a super-bright screen and a built in 4G modem. I’m using Vodafone and for an extra 4 euro a month I can get a 2nd SIM card that shares my current data plan. That is a pretty good price for having the flexibility and convenience of just being able to grab my laptop, walk somewhere nice and just start working there.
So far I’m taking a small backpack with headphones and power adapter in case I need to have a call or run out of power. It also allows me to just stash the laptop away while re-locating. The actual locations vary, from coffee shops, plains to hidden seaside spots. All within walking distance from home. Before I started this my daily pedometer would show three digit numbers (which is unhealthy and embarrassing). I now easily get to 10K without any effort which is a huge improvement.
I was wondering if anyone else has been trying that and can share some advice. What to do, what not to do. As a small tease, this is how it looks like from the point of view of my partner
That’s a great photo and looks like a fantastic place to enjoy, but also like a terrible working seat.
I also roam a bit, but I wouldn’t roam to a different place every day. There are certain properties for a healthy working place that I won’t find everywhere, and can’t afford to take the chances so often.
That said, working at home means we’re free to make our own timing, which is unique and takes a little while to get used to. By now I feel completely comfortable in breaking out in the middle of the day, while there’s still sunlight, to go do some sports outside or even just a walk or bike ride, and then come back later, take a good shower, and into the office for more action. I also enjoy working quite a bit in the evenings, so that helps with that sort of daytime break.
Obviously, people are not all equal, though, so what works well for some doesn’t for others. If one is introspective enough, as most people in this field are, shouldn’t be hard to keep the goals and constraints we operate under in mind and build a healthy working habit.
I’ve been working outside since we moved to this house, so almost a year now. But I’m still in the house, just not in the office room. I don’t get usable bandwidth anywhere else.
I like this very much. The air, the light, the birds and some other crazy animals. I will have to wait a few years to get the better telcos and take it to the next level like you.
For now I’m trying to improve my setup here. The tiny computer has worked perfectly with mosh and byobu to do programming in a remote server, but I need more RAM to run slack. I also want an ergonomic keyboard, because this tiny one is affecting my wrists. Something not too big, like this one could also be very useful for sprints. This table sucks, and I have the nice chair in the office. I think I will put some boxes and work standing.
My dog goes crazy every time the cows of the neighbor come closer, but everybody seem to be used to that now during my hangouts. The volcanos have become a big problem and the rainy season is starting again, so sometimes I have to be indoors the entire day because of the ashes or the water; now I hate that. Third-world problems I guess All’s good.
That’s literally what I do depending on where I work from. Right now I’m standing with my laptop on a shelf that happens to have a sensible height, not perfect but good enough.
My working setup if I can even call it that at this point is basically my 14" 2-in-1 laptop, no external keyboard, mouse (I love my touchscreen and touchpad), monitor or other tools, except for a headset when I’m not in a quiet room. Some days I work from my or a friend’s home, either standing at a shelf/ kitchen counter, lying on a couch/ bed/ futon like an ancient Roman, or less typically at an actual table. Other days I’m working from a coffee place. If it’s warm and sunny I love to work in a park or on a beach - the latter obviously only happens if I’m somewhere where there’s a beach.
What I also do is take it to the next level and spend time in different countries, to have a change of scene, usually if I’m visiting friends or going to conferences by extending the visit. Although my kind of minimalism may not be for everyone it allows me to work pretty much everywhere and I think I’m one of the very few engineers who don’t consult a physiotherapist because my posture is always changing.
This reminds me of one thing. Last weekend my family and I were in a rural area with the local Polish community. We learned the hard way that the nearby woods are riddled with electric fence to ward off the boars.