The sun has been out over the last week in the UK – and this means one thing: summer is coming.
As a lucky freelancer that means I can look forward to endless balmy days working alfresco in my garden, writing while clutching an iced coffee AND getting a tan, breaking only to take a picture of said coffee and my own tanned legs and sharing it on instagram with the hashtag #blessed.
I’ll be carrying my laptop around to countless cute outdoor locations to set up my virtual freelance shop wherever I hang my fedora this summer.
Or will I?…
Instagram is bursting with pictures of smug digital nomads bragging about blogging from a beach and selfies of scantily girls with Macbooks making money from the comfort of a hammock.
They’re painting a picture of the freelance blogger life as one long sun-bleached vacation – but I smell a rat with this particular picture: I think it’s been photoshopped.
That’s because I can’t work in the sun. I mean really, who can? First off, the sun is really, well, bright and glaring. Here’s what happens if I try and work in the sun: I’m squinting, I’m sweaty, I’m thirsty, I’m worried I’ll get sunburn, and after about 15 minutes I give up and go inside, and my laptop couldn’t be happier because it isn’t keen on the sun either.
In fact even indoors I’m pretty picky about where I work and what position I’m sitting in, so the likelihood of finding the perfect working position outdoors is slim.
I also find that I can easily get a sore back or a crook neck from being in the wrong position, even if I’m just reading, let alone typing so I couldn’t understand how other bloggers were managing.
I thought I might be a broken blogger – but when I did a straw poll on Facebook of other freelancers they were pretty much unanimous that the myth of the alfresco worker is just that: a social media myth.
Finding out that I’m not missing out and am in fact quite normal to require a comfy position to be productive really cheered me up.
So where do I work? And where do you work? It’s quite an interesting little topic.
Here is a list of ways that I’ve historically been happy to work – and fully intend to work in future just in case you were wondering…
At A Desk. Standard.
Call me old fashioned but my number one way of working is still at a desk, with all my notes and mod cons within reaching distance. I also have a variety of desk luxuries that I wouldn’t be without – like a heated tea and coffee warmer pad (shaped like an Oreo Cookie for added fun), a laptop shelf to angle my computer upward and an essential oil diffuser – even though that list makes me sound like Gwyneth Paltrow.
On My New Sofa
I just got a new sofa (yay!) and one major requirement was that it be comfy enough but also firm enough for me to retire to for a spot of post dinner working – for some reason if I go back to my desk after dinner I feel really tired, so I prefer to do the nightshift on the couch.
In A Recliner
When I met my partner he had one of these style of Adjustamatic Riser Recliner Chairs – I turned my nose up at first, proclaiming it far too unstylish for me, but I secretly grew to enjoy the lazyboy style chair (and my goodness it was comfy), so I would balance my laptop on my knee and work from that quite easily when I wanted a chance of scene from my desk.
On A Ping Pong Table
Seriously. I think this is the only time I have successfully worked outdoors – it was when I lived in Canada. We had a table tennis table, as you do. It was outside but crucially it was under an awning so it was usually in the shade and one day I gave it a try.
The reason it worked so well was essentially because it was at desk height, so it was really just a glorified desk with some cool markings and a fun alter ego.
The Facebook discussion about finding a way to actually be comfortable while working outdoors this summer inspired me to search for the perfect garden furniture to give the right combination of back support, shade and comfort while working.
I found two great new options for how I would LIKE to work this summer –
In a Swing Chair
I’m convinced that I could sit on this swing chair and work for a while because of the shade it offers – and I love the idea of gently swinging back and forth while I creatively muse on my next post, I might well give it a try next week as these are only about £50 so if it doesn’t work, it’s no great loss.
On This Mega Sun Lounger
This ‘Sun Island’ has to be the Holy Grail when it comes to working outdoors as you can have full or partial shade, sit or lie down (the two pieces fit together to make a bed) and generally feel like a complete princess. I would also take this view if it came with it.
Yes, I’m probably going to order one of these before the summer hits; let’s face it it’s really instagrammable and I can take a picture of myself working from one of these and share it with the hashtag #blessed.
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