As we move into summer, it’s tempting to spend more time outside, enjoying the fresh air.
With the rise of work from anywhere, there’s no reason why you should reserve the outdoors for work breaks or the weekend. Instead, consider setting aside time weekly, or even daily, to be productive outside. You may be surprised by the benefits; a majority of indoor workers said being outside would improve their mood (74 percent), lower their stress (71 percent), and help them relax (69 percent), according to a 2018 survey by L.L. Bean, produced as part of an outdoor work partnership with Industrious.
So why not take a meeting, catch up on emails, or brainstorm ideas for a new project while soaking up the sunshine? Having the right tech tools — from a Wi-Fi extender to a computer with an anti-glare screen — will make it that much easier to work from your office terrace or in your own backyard. Here, Tom Samiljan, the editor-in-chief of consumer electronics magazine Dealerscope, shares his top picks for working outside.
1. Wi-Fi Extender
Orbi Tri-band Mesh WiFi Outdoor Satellite Range Extender
If you’re working in your backyard (and have access to an outdoor power outlet), Samiljan recommends this water-and-heat proof Wi-Fi extender. Just connect it to your home network and it’ll extend the signal up to 2,500 square feet.
2. External Wi-Fi Hotspot
T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi m2000
Planning to venture further away? Especially if you use a lot of data, it’s helpful to get a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot for the outdoors. “This hotspot is capable of accessing T-Mobile’s faster 5G network, which is currently available in more places than other carriers,” Samiljan says.
3. Travel Mouse
Surface Arc Mouse
This small travel mouse connects through Bluetooth and folds flat, so it’s easy to put it in your pocket and take with you on-the-go.
4. Portable Charger
OmniCharge Omni 20+
While this external battery pack may not be pocket-sized, it will let you charge your laptop, cell phone, tablet, and other devices all at the same time thanks to its standard AC outlet plug and multiple USB ports. It can even charge your phone wirelessly.
5. Hard Mouse Pad
Vaydeer Double Sided Waterproof Hard Mouse Pad
According to Samiljan, these mouse pads are usually used for gaming, but are especially helpful when working on an uneven or perforated surface (such as a patio table or a blanket on the grass). “They’re also good for glass or Formica surfaces, which non-optical mice don’t respond to,” he says.
6. Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
There are many reasons these wireless earbuds are a favorite of Samiljan’s: “They offer phenomenal noise canceling, are easy to set up and pair seamlessly, and have built-in white noise sounds via the companion mobile app.” Perhaps best of all, you can pair them with multiple devices at once — which means you can seamlessly switch from a phone call to a Zoom meeting on your laptop.
7. Laptop With Anti-Glare Screen
Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 9 14-inch Laptop
If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you may as well get one that performs well whether you’re inside or outside. In addition to its anti-glare screen, this model from Lenovo has a great keyboard, long battery life (especially helpful if you accidentally leave that portable charger at home), and sleek carbon fiber design. In Samiljan’s words: “It’s become an icon in its category.”