The Great Outdoors 3 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Work Outside

Greater than 4 minutes, my friend!

One of my favourite aspects of working as a freelance translator is that I can work wherever I want, as long as it is within the realm of a wifi connection. As some people would call it, I am a location independent solopreneur. Sounds slightly scary, don’t you think? Although I could work from anywhere, I mostly work from home. I made my home a place that gives me joy and I enjoy being in it.

Now, assuming that most of you also work from home, I want to step over to the next great aspect of working as a translator: We can work outside!

Do you have a balcony? Do you have a porch? Do you have a garden? Make use of it! Get out there for a few hours during your work day! In some cases, the internet connection may not be as strong out there, but not all of the daily tasks of a freelance translator need a perfect internet connection, am I right? With a limited internet access in your outdoor space you can still do your planning for next week or for the next month, you can prepare some emails, do some reading and many other things. Plus, there are Wi-Fi range extenders which you can install in your home to reinforce the strength of your wifi signal! We have one at home and it is amazing.


Here is the thing: 3 reasons why you should take work outside


1) It reduces stress

Do you sometimes have the feeling that you are going from bed to work to cooking to work to other house chores to bed? When you work from home, all those activities might happen INDOORS! Since we don’t have to go/walk/cycle to work, we might forget to do the occasional step outside. This is not a good thing. Have you heard of the phenomenon “nature deficit disorder”? Author and journalist Richard Louv coined this term a few years ago in his book Last Child in the Woods and it sounds pretty accurate. Spending a lot of time inside can cause stress, our body is not exposed to sunlight and does not spend time in our natural habitat – nature. Working outside can help! Take that laptop, notebook and cuppa to your most convenient outdoor space and you will benefit from reduced stress! A breeze of air brushing over your face, a lost sun ray that finds its way to you, the singing of birds … Who does not want that? And: By reducing your stress, your productivity also gets increased! Oh, sweet outdoors.


2) It strengthens your ability to focus

As I already mentioned in my post on morning yoga, and as you probably know yourselves, it is all about that sweet oxygen in your brain! The other day I forgot to go outside all day, I translated inside, cooked inside and tutored inside, and already by 4.30pm (surprise!) I found myself yawning constantly. I felt uncomfortable and tired, although I had slept well the night before. It was very uncommon for me. But hey! It makes sense. The lack of fresh air inside simply does not feed our brains with enough oxygen. The air might even get a little stuffy and we will feel the same. So, again, working outside will provide you with wonderful changes in air, temperature, breezes, and so on, which will keep your brain awake and focused! Plus, when you work outside it is much easier to casually look into the distance, the sky above your head, the house on the other side of the street. This will give your eyes a break from the constant short distance staring, which also is quite unnatural for our bodies.


3) It makes you happy

Last but not least, working outside makes you happy. You might get distracted a little, but by lovely things like a spontaneous bird visitor on the balcony, a children’s laughter somewhere in the street, a beetle crawling over the table. These little moments of distractions can make you happy by helping you take a step back from your work. See the big picture. Why are you doing this? For many of us freelance translators, it is the freedom of having a great work-life balance! Let’s introduce that right into our work routine! Also, even if you may be doing some extra hours, even if you did not make it to yoga that day or go for a third walk with your dog, you know that you still spend an extra hour or more outside!


Now, I realise that most of you dear translators live in a country where it is winter right now (not so much here in Down Under). But don’t let that be too much of an excuse! As long as it is not too cold for sitting outside wrapped up in a cozy blanket and a pot of tea, don’t rule this option out! Plus, you can move your desk in front of a window and open it wide to get at least some fresh air and outdoor feel!


How To

This should hopefully not be too hard. If you tend to work with a number of machines, dictionaries and co., you might not want to carry all of that around, right? But you can choose a specific low maintenance task which you can carry out outside!

Internet Issues?

There are wifi extenders that can easily be installed in your home, which will capture the signal of your initial router and recreate it in the same strength in a far back corner of your house!

Nina Gruenewald

About Nina Gruenewald

Hello there! I am a creative translator. I tailor German words for creative business owners, innovators and story-tellers.

16 thoughts on “The Great Outdoors 3 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Work Outside

  1. Thank you for reminding us that we (the freelancing folk) have the great outdoors at our disposal!

    Nothing beats working on the beach. Ok, maybe working in the mountains or by the lake, the point is – it’s one of the main benefits of this whole freelance thingy so why not make great use of it? 😉

    1. Hey Dmitry!

      That was exactly my thinking! For many of us, the freedom and the self-determination are the things we cherish about this freelancing business! So we should try to treat as such and make it a blast and the best work environment possible! 🙂

      Haha, working in the mountains and by the lake sounds great! Imagine the walks you could take in your breaks!! 😀

        1. Agreed! I am extremely lucky and live 5 minutes from a Nature Reserve! I try to make use of it a few times a week. Fresh air and exercise are totally important! Do you get to do that often? 🙂

    1. Hey Elena!

      Oh, are there no such places for you? A park, a balcony? Or is it because it is cold right now?

      If it is difficult, maybe bring a lot of plants into your home and put on some nature sounds 😀 That can be relaxing as well 🙂

        1. Oh no, brain freeze would NOT help with productivity!! 😀 But hopefully you can be more outside again in summer! It can be so hard to stay motivated and vibrant in a tough winter! I hope you have some great habits for that!! 🙂 Best wishes from Canberra!

          1. Thanks, Nina. I don’t have any particular habits except the habit to live in this climate 🙂 I also spent a month in Thailand this winter, that helped.
            Anyway, spring will come in a couple of months! 🙂

  2. It’s been raining cats and dogs for a week now, and I live in Southern Italy! So where is Down Under located exactly and how do I get there asap?
    Your posts are so inspiring, Nina 🙂 A nice garden or porch is a top priority for when I’ll have a home of my own <3

    1. Oh, I love cats and dogs! 😉 What an interesting weather for Italy!! Does it usually rain much at this time of year? Oh, I imagine Italy a great place to work, the smells, the air, everything is so pretty and yummy 🙂 (In my imagination at least! Haha) Down Under, well, just a few 25 odd hours by plane, and you are here in the country of red dirt and kangaroos! Winters can be pretty tough, though, here in Canberra, and the next one is slowly getting here… Ajajajaj

      Thank you so much, Eleonora! That is so nice of you to say 🙂 I am hoping to inspire! For me, a porch or at least a balcony have become such a necessity! I currently live with a big garden and I never want to miss the opportunity again to step out of your apartment/house and be in a self-decorated outdoor space without leaving the house! We are currently looking for a new place, so fingers crossed!

      1. I never want to miss the opportunity again to step out of your apartment/house and be in a self-decorated outdoor space without leaving the house > It does sound amazing! I’ll be looking for a new place myself in a couple of months, so who knows… Best of luck with your new place hunting 🙂

  3. Thank you for the inspiring post, Nina! I worked outdoors in a gazebo near our summer house 2 years back. It was great. Unfortunately, it’s impossible during cold Russian winters. I will try the balcony when it gets warmer!

    1. Dear Oleg!

      Sorry for the late reply! My computer broke and now I am communicating from my phone alone! Takes a bit longer 😉 Working in a gazebo?? That sounds royal! It sounds amazing 🙂 Russian winter really must be freezing! I hope you get a chance to get some fresh air anyway! How are the summers over there?

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