At this point, we’ve seen it all on Zoom: Kids screaming, dogs barking, and partners and roommates accidentally popping into the frame. After nearly a year and a half of surprises, it takes something truly special to make us take notice. Our New York Magazine colleague Stevie Remsberg’s idyllic outside Zoom-scape had us in awe. A verdant green background framed Remberg who was sun-kissed but not squinty or overheated. The whole scene was enviable, primarily because working outside in the city isn’t easy. Few among us have private outdoor spaces, so we work outside coffee shops (and spend money all day long on overpriced wraps and lattes). Remsberg cracked the code. “I just hated missing those really beautiful days outside,” she says. “There are so few of them, and by working remotely I realized there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to work outside when it’s nice out.” With no balcony or backyard to go to she had to get creative. “I just wanted to figure out if there was a way I could work outside without being tied to any particular location,” says Remsberg. Now she essentially has an outdoor office on wheels. “It’s kind of like camp working.” Below, Remsberg shares everything she uses to WFWherever.
“I tried to go outside with just my laptop, and it would only be like an hour and a half before I’d have to come back in. This battery power station allows me to work a full day. It’s the most expensive part of my kit, but I sort of justified it by saying it will also come in handy for emergencies, not just a beautiful day’s use. I’ve been outside for up to five hours, which is way better than I thought it would be. And that’s with Zoom meetings and using Photoshop on my 15-inch MacBook — I’m using a lot of energy. It’s not like I’m just responding to emails. If you get a solar panel, you can charge it that way during your work day, but for now I just have to remember to charge it the night before. It fully charges in five hours.”
“Sitting in an uncomfortable outdoor folding chair really drives me crazy, so I did an internet search for folding chairs with lumbar support. I didn’t know for sure if they existed, but they do, and I have to say this chair is so crazy comfortable. It has really substantial lumbar support, so my lower back is supported. It feels like the lumbar pillow I have on my office chair but it’s built into this folding chair. It’s pretty amazing. It is low to the ground but I like that because then I can just put a laptop on my lap, and it’s at the right angle.”
“A 70-72 degree day is the ideal temperature for working outside. Anything hotter, and my computer’s gonna overheat. And I’m gonna overheat, too. I knew I needed a separate umbrella for the chair. This one was perfectly compatible. It’s nice because it’s small but oblong shaped, so it gets pretty good coverage if you angle it in the right way. No matter where you’re sitting, you can get it at the right angle to block the sun. I also really wanted it to be a cute print, and thought this black and white was cool.”
“Like I said, the laptop gets hot, so you can’t put it right on your lap. I needed something to sort of prop it up, and it just seemed crazy to bring a whole table. It made more sense to have my laptop on my lap. This thing works great. It has a beanbag cushion on the bottom, so it’s comfortable, too.”
“I don’t use this every time, but it’s good to have on hand. I use it all the time for family park hangs, but if the ground is wet or something I can set up on this. It’s like a tarp made of ripstop parachute material, and you can secure it in the ground with stakes so it won’t blow away in the wind.”
“My goal in life is to eat outside. I really, really love it. It’s just so nice to turn the computer off and just sit outside and eat snacks without having to go anywhere. This bento box makes it easy. I used to use it for my kids’ lunches, and now I use it too. The fork and knife are built in so you’re never without them.”
“I bring iced coffee with me, too. This Muji thermos is really good because it actually seals the iced coffee from spilling on your computer or in your shopping bag.”
“This is actually my grocery shopping cart that I read about on The Strategist. It works perfectly for this. Everything fits in the cart, and I wheel it down to the park next to my apartment. There’s plenty of room. I put the thermos of iced coffee in there, the bento box of snacks, my notebooks, the chair, and the battery pack. It’s all a little heavy, but that’s why I put it in the cart and not a backpack. I really try to be prepared so that I have everything I need for a full day, and it all fits in this cart. The one thing that I haven’t figured out yet is the bathroom.”
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