Creating a Functional Outdoor Office for People Who Work from Home

Patio Office Guide

Close up photo of wicker tabletop with books and a glass

With many companies shifting toward a work-from-home model, employees need spaces where they do their jobs effectively. One of the best benefits of working remotely is the ability to change up your scenery, which can even include moving your workspace to your patio, balcony or backyard. An outdoor workspace allows you to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while completing assignments.

Creating an efficient open-air office involves more than simply taking your laptop outside and getting work done on the porch. You’ll need to pick the right location, select the proper furnishings and arrange the space to suit your purposes. From there, you can decorate your patio office using chic and practical items that help make your workday cozy and enjoyable.

Overview

In this post, you’ll discover helpful tips and information on:

Photo of metal outdoor seating set with tan cushions on a balcony

Remote workers can use chic outdoor furniture to transform their patios into breezy, relaxing office areas.

Choosing a Spot for Your Outdoor Office

Before you start buying patio furniture for your outdoor workspace, you need to decide where to set up. A covered patio, gazebo or sunporch works best for keeping you and your equipment safe from rain and harsh sunlight. If you’re working with an open backyard or uncovered terrace, use a patio umbrella, canopy or other shady option to protect your work area.

Those who need a quieter, distraction-free spot for their work area should consider setting up shop in a shed, detached garage or unused outdoor playhouse. While it may take more effort to convert these small spaces into functional offices, having a separate structure for your backyard jobsite establishes a clear boundary between your home life and your work life.

Photo of patio seating set around a fire pit under a canopy

Enclosed structures offer additional protection for the electronics, files and other equipment you need for your outdoor office.

Planning Your Outdoor Office Layout

Once you decide where you want to create your open-air workspace, grab a pen and paper and create a quick sketch of how you want the patio layout to look. Find all the electrical outlets within the space and designate those areas for your Wi-Fi router, media setup and other automated fixtures like lights, security systems and outdoor refrigerators.

You’ll also need to designate a spot for your work desk. Many remote employees use video calls to communicate with their managers and colleagues, so your workstation must have a neat, well-lit background. Consider placing your desk in a spot that lets you use your house, manicured lawn or garden boxes full of tall, colorful plants as a backdrop for video chats and conferences.

Photo of wooden outdoor furniture in the grass

Be sure to reserve spots near electrical outlets for your computer, printer and video call stations.

Furnishing a Patio Office

Now it’s time to decorate your outdoor workroom with chic, comfortable and efficient furniture. While it may be tempting to use your current seating or dining set, those pieces may be too plush and relaxing to help you stay focused while you work. Also, you’d eventually have to move your work setup when you wanted to use the space for enjoying meals and quality time with your friends and family.

Instead, consider purchasing the following furnishings to create the perfect functional work zone on your deck, patio, balcony or terrace:

  • Tables: A spacious table is one of the top essential items you’ll need for your open-air office. Select a round, square or rectangular dining table that offers plenty of room to complete tasks. Or, choose an extension table that expands when you need a wider surface for bigger projects.
  • Chairs: Sturdy, comfortable chairs are also crucial for patio workspaces. A padded club chair or swivel seat is an excellent option for those who need to sit for long periods of time while on the job. You might prefer a sleek dining chair or a low-profile bench that you can move out of the way when you want to stretch your legs and move around.
  • Storage Pieces: Need a designated area for your office equipment? Add a few storage bins to the layout to serve as a supply chest for items like chargers, extension cords, printer paper and ink cartridges. Use a console table to keep extra pens, stationary and smaller work materials at the ready.
  • Outdoor Dining and Lounge Furniture: If you have the space, consider setting up an outdoor break room in an empty corner of your patio office. Set up a picnic table or small bistro set where you can take your lunches. You can also set up a sofa, sectional or a set of chaise lounges for relaxing between assignments or hosting brainstorming sessions when coworkers visit.
Photo of wooden mid-century modern patio dining set with orange chairs

Select furniture that creates a productive yet relaxing atmosphere in your outdoor office.

Decorative Accents for Your Outdoor Office

With all the essential pieces in place, all that’s left is to incorporate some practical and stylish outdoor decor to put the finishing touches on your patio office layout. Choose throw pillows and high-pile rugs to add extra color and softness to the space. Also, include lawn sculptures and wall art to complement your coastal, rustic, modern or retro theme.

Depending on where you live, some outdoor heating and cooling units could be must-have accessories for your outdoor work area. Invest in a patio heater, fire pit or chiminea to help you stay warm while working on chilly days. To keep the sweltering temperatures at bay, set up a fan, dehumidifier or a patio misting system that cools down the layout.

Photo of four wicker patio chairs arranged around a fire pit table

Regulate the temperature in your patio office using outdoor heaters and cooling systems.

Finding a quiet, cozy and distraction-free spot to complete assignments is one of the toughest challenges people face when they first start working from home. Thankfully, the tips and tricks in this guide can help you establish a comfortable patio office that lets you stay productive while enjoying the sunshine and scenery.