It’s the time of the year when you’re sitting in your office, looking out the window and dreaming about floating on the blue water of an infinity swimming pool after an early morning run into the sunrise. Your mind drifts to a cool drink in the left hand, your phone in the right hand answering some calls and emails and thinking about the next groundbreaking idea for your project. Silence, chill, positive vibes.

Summer season is outdoor season

Your Instagram pic will look hip but, realistically, is outside working ideal?

Close-Up Of Donut Shaped Inflatable Ring On Swimming Pool adidas GamePlan A Working outside
©Maria Høgholm/ EyeEm / Getty Images

A quick look behind this moment is many failed attempts to lie on the giant donut pool float.

As soon as you have the drink and your phone in your hands, your friend who takes the picture for Instagram is struggling with the light and your hectic movements. Finally, you’ve found your position, 3…2…1…click. Nice one!

Now, you’re ready to dial into the conference call when you realize that you need your notes which are in your notebook on the pool edge. Damn! While paddling back, you’re losing your balance, the pool float slips away and cold water clasps around you. The result of your fancy pool float work attempt: a broken smartphone, drink gone, conference call missed and bad mood for the rest of the sunny day. But at least your Instagram followers think that you’re the hip, young business punk nailing business on a pool float.

So, what’s the truth about using the good summer vibes and taking your work outside?

Environment affects performance

As a passionate athlete, I know that environment affects our performance. The world around us can make a difference – be it the colleagues in your football team, the training center or the locker rooms. The same goes for your work environment. If you feel comfortable, well equipped and inspired, your performance will go up, your creativity kicks in and you’re ready for the next business gig.

But neither athletes nor business pros choose an environment just because it is fancy. They choose it because they want to create perfect conditions for achieving their top performance.

Hot days, chilly space

When the sun burns and the sky is cloudless, your office walls can stifle your motivation and inspiration, making it time for a location change.

I tested four different outdoor work spots on a hot summer day that would best suit my tasks and goals for the day.

1. A planning day on the balcony

Just you, your work and a focused mind increases efficiency and output quality.

Twice a month I work from home focusing on social media planning for the coming months. This requires some time to create ideas, craft them into small concepts, write copy and plan all individual posts and tweets.

Weather: 28° in the shade, sunny.

Requirements: Silence/no disturbance, laptop, notebook, pen, creativity, inspiration.

My rating: 5 out of 5 ‘thumbs up’.

I stayed focused and the relaxed atmosphere ensured my productivity was far above average.

My tips: Prepare some healthy snacks and drinks before you start, create a shady place to prevent your devices from overheating, and don’t forget your sunglasses and device chargers. Try to split your focus day into different phases and move from time to time as eight hours is far too long to sit in one place. I even did a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups in-between to unwind and refocus.

2. Brainstorming by the water

Everyone’s a creator, you just need to trigger ideas in your head. What’s better than looking at moving and peaceful water on a hot summer day? For my last brainstorm, I chose to put my feet in the water and focus on this chilly moment, cleaning my mind and generating ideas for a new concept from scratch.

Girl sitting on land by the water taking notes, working outside, reflections, boat, lake, adidas, GamePlan A
Water can do wonders. Unplugging from the normal office scenery is essential to think outside the box.

Weather: 25° in the shade, sunny, some clouds. Water temperature: 18°.

Requirements: An environment that triggers creativity, some distractions so you don’t get stuck after the first idea, paper, pen. No smartphone!!!

My rating: 4 out of 5 ‘thumbs up’.

My tips: I unplugged myself and brought a watch with an alarm with me to keep track of the time. Bring a towel to sit on to avoid a sore bum and dry your feet afterwards. Use your breaks to walk around, enjoy the scenery and avoid hitting a brick wall. Don’t forget your sunglasses and something to drink.

3. A daily biz in the heart of the city

We at adidas work on a great, inspiring campus with lots of sports facilities and green areas, but from time to time the buzz of a crowded coffee shop or a vibrant city scene is what I need to put me in the shoes of our target audience. Working in the heart of the city makes me change perspectives and pulls me out of the bubble.

Weather: 26° in the shade, sunny.

Requirements: Laptop with internet connection and network access, availability via mobile, notebook, pen, some privacy for confidential emails and calls.

My rating: 4 out of 5 ‘thumbs up’.

My tips: Look for a shady table, where nobody can look at your screen and where you can also do some calls in private. Choose a location with highspeed WIFI and healthy drinks and food. Have a salad for lunch to avoid a mid-afternoon dip. I changed locations just before lunch to get moving and refresh my mind and body.

4. New energy near the field of play

Facing a major afternoon slump? Feeling lazy, but with an inbox full of emails? Stop the office work and find energy in a sporty environment. Why not go for a short run on the track or juggle some balls on the football field before kicking off the last third of your work day right at the sports location?

Girl working in the stadium stands with laptop, Work,Outside,Stadium, Stands, adidas, GamePlanA
A sports environment feels unique. The vibes, the memories and feelings you connect with it helps to refuel your batteries.

Weather: 25° in the shade, cloudy.

Requirements: Laptop with internet connection and network access, availability via mobile.

My rating: 5 out of 5 ‘thumbs up’.

My tips: Bring a fresh shirt or track top to put on after your mini sports session to avoid getting cold if you’ve sweated.

What experience do you have in taking your office outside?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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by Gemina Stroud 08.08.2017
Great post Nina! I will have to give working outside a try, at least once. I have attended a walking meeting, to and from the park, that was beneficial though lol.
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Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor Gemina Stroud 08.08.2017
Hi Gemina,

thanks for your comment. Happy to hear that you enjoyed reading.
I can only encourage you to take your work outside. Always choose the environment according to your tasks.

One thing I definitely want to try is a running meeting with my boss. Curious to see if that will work for us.

Best,

Nina
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