The clocks have changed to daylight savings time, meaning that the great British summer is well and truly on its way! And while we have the weather for now to prove it, we know that many people will be rushing to their gardens to make the most of the sun while working from home. So, to help you seize the opportunity, here are a few pointers to help you use your laptop in the sun both safely and effectively.
Increase the brightness of your laptop
You’re likely to have had your brightness setting on a more muted option over the winter months but now is the time to ramp it up. Doing so means that you’ll be able to see what you’re doing better when you’re working in the great outdoors.
Pick a spot in the shade
Glare from the sun occurs because light strikes your laptop's screen and bounces off of it. Moving to a shady area can help to reduce the amount of light that turns into glare. Even if you don't have any shade, sometimes just changing the angle at which you use your computer can help as well. Try to sit facing the sun so that direct sunlight has less chance of hitting your screen and affecting your view.
Put your sunglasses on
Most sunglasses are specifically designed to block UV rays and reduce glare, which might help to reduce your blue light intake while protecting your vision and keeping it clear. They also have the added benefit of helping you to endure longer periods in front of your screen while maintaining productivity.
Invest in a laptop hood
Laptop hoods, which are easily transportable, act as a cap for your laptop and are ideal when it comes to cutting out the sun’s glare and any excessive light from your screen.
Wear dark clothes
Lighter coloured fabrics, particularly white, will clearly show up on screens if the sun is shining particularly brightly. This means that you can often make out your reflection, rather than what you’re currently working on. By contrast, darker colours are less likely to reflect too much, leaving your screen clearer and easier to work with.
Use a laptop stand
A laptop stand ensures that your laptop fan is kept unobscured, meaning it won’t overheat and slow down your app, documents and, ultimately, your work. Take the time to make sure that there is space between the laptop and the surface for the air to pass through.
Keep an eye on the temperature
Laptop batteries don’t tend to do well in high temperatures. Keep an eye on the weather forecast if you know you’ll be using your laptop outdoors for several hours at a time and go indoors if it does get too hot. Most laptops are fine in temperatures of up to 30 degrees, but using your computer outside for too long when it’s hot increases the risk of causing damage to your hard drive and permanently losing valuable work-related assets.
Pick outdoor-optimised laptop models
If you're in the market for a new laptop, many models have specific features that are optimised for outdoor use:
Privacy Screens / Anti-Reflective Screen Protectors: Some laptops have these features built in, but they can also be bought separately. They will help to dial down the glare, reducing the chances of you being distracted by your reflection while helping you to maintain focus.
Matte vs. Gloss Display: Most laptops these days have gloss displays, meaning more vivid colours and a higher contrast, as well as a smoother and shinier screen surface. But this also equates to increased light reflection and glare. Matte screens are treated with an anti-glare coating, making them more suitable for outdoor working, all while preventing reflection.
For more tips on maintaining productivity during the summer months, please contact the MERJE team:firstname.lastname@example.org