What it Is:

Before we had laptops and tablets, we only worked with paper. Paper doesn’t like the outdoors – it blows around, blinds the eye. Heavy metal filling cabinets were also essential to office work, and they couldn’t possibly be brought outdoors. Now, with a laptop or iPad, you can do serious work outside.

The WorkaWay workstation serves as an office away from your office. It is designed for public spaces like park or campuses. The station is revolving, so the sun will never limit the user. Stations can be reserved with a smartphone app and feature a built-in computer or WiFi connection so you can use your own computer. Powered by solar panels on top, they’re a perfect getaway for anyone itching to get out of the office. The outdoor office is an idea of Maarten Langen, director of InfoStop.

Jonathon Olivares started a project to design outdoor office spaces. His goal was to give people a legitimate environment to work so they have the possibility to work outside.

Nieuws_WorkAWay_01Why it is Cool:

There are already many places that offer you the opportunity to work outside. However these are all leisure spaces: cafes, gardens and patios. People in this area are often very distracted so they can do their work less good. With the WorkAway you can isolate yourself so you can work in a quiet environment.

Jonathon Olivares researched how much power you could safe if more people would work outside. If every white-collar worker in the U.S. spent two hours per year working outdoors – and turned off the lighting and HVAC inside during that time – we would save enough electricity to power the Empire State Building for an entire year. So working outside isn’t only good for you it is also good for the environment.

This is also the reason why the WorkAway has future growth potential. We have to search for solutions to be more sustainable. You do this by saving power. But it’s not only good for the environment it’s also good for your wellbeing. Working outside reduces your stress level. It also ensures a balance between voluntary and involuntary attention. We need both to be whole and healthy and attentive. If we spend all our time engaged in voluntary, active attention – like 10 hour days at work, 2 hour commutes, and 2 hours of late night TV – our performance declines, we get mental fatigue, and we’re less able to respond to novel situations and plan ahead. In short, we get over trained. Therefore it’s very important to see potential in working outside.


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