When it comes to working, you can make the argument that we’re already living in the future. Today, we can move our laptops around as easily as we can move our briefcases and paperwork, giving us the ability to work anywhere. So what better place to do it than outside on your decking? It doesn’t have to be your day job – you might need to do some domestic admin, like filling out a tax form. Or maybe you need a quiet space to finish that novel you’ve been working on. We’re not ones to judge. Whatever the case, it’s the perfect time of year to do your work al fresco. So how can you make sure your decking area is up to the task?
So, you’ve got your decking area; a blank canvas for your new workspace. We’ll be going over a couple of ways you can retrofit it for some productive alone time, but we’ll start low-tech. Not everyone needs a laptop to get their work done – as we touched on above, it might just be a case of hand-filling a load of forms. In that case, all you’ll really need is a small table and a comfortable chair. And when we say a chair, by the way, we don’t mean a deckchair. They’re perfect for (literally) sitting back and relaxing, but if you’re going to be writing something you’ll going to want to be sitting forward, and that can be a total nightmare on your back if you’re using a deckchair. Instead, your work-chair ideally needs to be straight-backed and stable, and your table needs to be a good height so that you’re not bending forward (read: not a coffee table). The average office chair can be a great compromise – that’s what it’s designed for, after all!
OK, now you’ve got your table and your chair – what’s next?
Your health and safety needs to come first, with comfort a very close second, naturally. That means if you are using a laptop, using it on battery power is safest. If you do find some way to plug it into a mains power supply, you’ll need to make sure that any wires running from the house to your decking area are secured and preferably tucked out of sight. Certainly you’ll want to have them kept away from high-traffic areas like doors, to avoid family or pets tripping over them. Best case scenario, your laptop goes crashing to the floor. (Worst case, of course; your relative does.)
A slightly less obvious thing you’ll need to be aware of is the danger to your eyes. As anyone who’s ever checked their phone in intense sunlight will know, it’s notoriously difficult to see properly on the reflective screen. Turning up the brightness can help with that, but it does then mean that it’s blazing away at your eyes all the time. We’ll skip all the science involved, but trust us when we say that’s as bad for your eyes as it sounds. For your workspace, then, you’ll want both cover and shade; it protects your eyes from straining too hard to pick things out on the screen, and what’s more it means if you get the occasional summer shower you don’t have to abruptly pack up and sprint inside.
We’ve got just the thing for that here at Savoy Timber – a pergola is a great frame on which to hang a blanket or waterproof cover, protecting you from the worst of both the sun and rain. Not only does it serve a practical purpose, but it’s a nice opportunity for a bit of personal styling, putting your own stamp upon your decking area.
Some would say this isn’t relevant if you’re just using your decking area as a workspace. At Savoy Timber, we say nuts to that – we think it’s more relevant than ever. It’s all about the feeling of it. Your decking is a naturally relaxing place to be; it’s practically made for a sunny Friday afternoon. Having a happy, laid-back space makes you feel more at ease, which actually helps you to be more productive. We’ve previously published an entire blog on the best ways to decorate your garden decking area, but here are a couple of bonus ideas for you:
One final tip – you can position your workspace so that you’re facing something visually pleasing. It might be your favourite tree at the end of the garden, or a landmark visible over the garden fence. It could even be your own house, if your decking is down the other end of the garden. Giving yourself a nice view is a great way of allowing yourself to enjoy your weather and location, but without it being too distracting.
These are just a few starting ideas; ultimately, it’s up to you how you make the space your own. We’ve got no shortage of products to help you do so here at Savoy Timber – click here to browse our extensive range of decking products, or feel free to pay a visit to any one of our stores in Preston, Blackpool or Wigan, where we’ll be only too happy to lend a helping hand.
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