Creating an outdoor workspace is a great way to get both working moms and kids outdoors. Working at home with kids in the house can sometimes seem impossible. Some moms have an office that is a desk in the corner of a bedroom or a saved spot at the kitchen table. Both moms and kids can benefit from getting outdoors even if you are still technically on the job.
Getting outside can not only offer health benefits but also invigorate your productivity and help avoid burnout. Consider these tips when creating an outdoor workspace that will benefit both you and your little ones:
Find A Comfortable Spot
The first thing you’ll need to do when trying to work under the warm sun is to find a spot that won’t impede your time working. If you use a computer, consider sitting at an outdoor dining table that has a sturdy chair and work surface.
If your work consists of you being on call on the phone, make sure that you are in a spot outdoors that still gets great reception and that isn’t too breezy. Other considerations include finding enough shade to enjoy your time outdoors but also not to get burnt while working.
If it is still a bit too cold outside, consider extending your patio season by adding an outdoor heater as well. Making your outdoor workspace comfortable will help you stay focused and productive for at least a couple of hours while the kids play.
Have a Plan
Just like your business needs a solid business plan, so does your time working outdoors if you want to be productive. One of the most important parts of creating an outdoor workspace as a mom is to have a game plan for what the kiddos will do. This may require a little more work than indoors, but the benefits of being out in the fresh air will quickly outweigh a little bit of prep work.
Have at least 2-3 activities for the kids to do while you are working outdoors. Make sure that you always have a backup when an activity proves boring for busy little minds. We aren’t talking Pinterest-worthy activities here, either. Providing a magnifying glass to spot bugs or a jar for bugs is enough to keep kids excited about being outdoors for hours.
Adding native plants to your yard that will attract all sorts of interesting animals like bees, birds, and butterflies is also a perfect game to keep little ones occupied.
Invite their Friends
It’s always easier to get work done when your child has a playmate. Having someone to play with your child will provide enough interest to keep them busy for hours outdoors.
If you have more than one child, consider asking a friend over for each of them to have some new interaction with others. Give older children a project to do like build a fort or set up a carnival while younger children will be happy digging for worms or finding pretty rocks.
Even if you are technically on the clock a mother’s job is never done. Work at home moms are masterminds at being able to quickly move from task to task while also attending to the needs of little ones. Make sure that your children know the boundaries of safety to play in.
Your boundaries can consist of your fenced backyard or even staying in specific zones of the lawn. Setting boundaries also includes a set area around your workspace. The last thing you want is to have an entire bottle of bubbles spill on your laptop. Make sure that the kids have their own space to enjoy their outdoor activity and that you are far enough away to limit distractions.
Encourage Safe Activities
We never recommend working outdoors if your backyard has any kind of water features like a pond, lake, or pool. It may seem like a great idea to send off a few emails while the kids are swimming, but this is a risky option that can lead to disaster.
Laptops and cell phones can provide a rabbit hole of information which can keep your attention much longer than you expected. Make sure to stay safe and never work outdoors while your child is swimming or playing near a body of water.
Creating an outdoor workspace can be simple with these tips. Find a spot that is cozy to work in and won’t create an uncomfortable sunburn situation later on. Ask a friend to join your child for an outdoor playdate and have a game plan that includes different things they can do while outside. Set boundaries that not only keep children safe but also for yourself so that you can focus on work.
Consider all of these tips when creating an outdoor workspace that is both productive for you and fun for your child.
Annaliese Olson is a gardening and animal care writer. When she moved to the city from her family’s farm she decided she needed more nature in her life. She is dedicated to urban farming, she loves to creatively discover spaces for gardens to blossom in her city home.