This LinkedIn Hack Makes it a Breeze to Work Outside in the Sun

Want to bask in the sunshine while working from home? Create a glare-free outdoor workstation by recycling a common household item.

using a box for computer shade when working outdoors

Photo: istockphoto.com

After a year of working from home, it’s easy to go a bit stir-crazy staring at the same office or living room walls. Setting up shop outside in your backyard or on your patio is an easy way to add variety to your work routine. While it’s nice to be warmed by the sun’s rays while you’re on a conference call, your productivity can grind to a halt if the sun’s glare prevents you from working on your laptop.

Don’t spend your workday squinting at the computer screen. Instead, try this game-changing working-outside hack we found on LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn Post That Started it All

UK-based LinkedIn user Tom Wood shared his handy trick on the networking platform nearly a year ago. Wood lamented how the sun made it difficult to see his laptop screen when working outside, and thus devised what he dubbed “the latest in ‘work from home technology.’” To solve this glaring conundrum he brought a cardboard box outside, and set on its side. Wood put the laptop inside (situating the bottom of the box behind the laptop’s screen), and voilà: instant shade!

Is Wood for Real?

While Wood’s original post sounds like a joke, using a cardboard box is a genius trick to keep the sun out of your line of sight. Wood wrote that the hack makes it easy for him to focus on the tasks at hand: “When you are working from home and want to enjoy the sunshine, yet can’t see your laptop screen because of the sun! … I can top up my tan and work outside, without any issues.”

using cardboard box to shade computer glare when working outside

Photo: bobvila.com

COVID-friendly WFH Accessories

Wood’s initial LinkedIn post has received more than 49,000 likes and more than 3,400 comments to date, where he even noted the extra features he added to the setup. His sideways box now features openings on the sides for further ventilation and connection points to plug in a charger, USB cable, or headphones.

Why it Works

The cut-out handles on Wood’s box allows air to circulate, and prevents the computer from  overheating. Naturally, some LinkedIn users were curious whether this tactic worked and asked him things like, “How long did it take for your laptop to overheat and shut itself down?” “It’s in a cardboard box,” Wood responded, “not an oven.”

From LinkedIn to Twitter & Beyond

After Wood’s post blew up on LinkedIn, many Twitter users shared their experiences using his shade-creating remote-working trick. Twitter user @McBmclaren showed off his adjustable laptop sunshade, made using a cardboard box with an “adjustable roof and sides” (in other words, he left the cardboard box’s flaps intact). User @Office_Mum has been working remotely for 5 years, and modified Wood’s hack by using a taller box to help block the sun.

working outdoors in shade

Photo: istockphoto.com

Other Solutions

While many commenters pressed Wood for other working-outside solutions, he noted that you could sit in the shade, use a parasol, or add a secondary box for more space.

Sustainability Wins

As a society, we are more eco-conscious than ever, and strive to combat climate change and protect the planet. Any trick to using an old cardboard box in a new way (and save it from the landfill) is a great idea in our book.