Remote Work Revolution: Open-air Desks In The Middle Of The Forest

open-air desks

After years of restriction and pandemic, remote workers found alternatives locations to work safely. Now, there is a new alternative to co-working spaces and home offices. The Finnish city of Lahti launches a new project with open-air desks in the middle of the forest. 

The creative agency TBWA\Helsinki and Finnish design company Upwood launched a new project to work in the middle of the forest. In collaboration with students from the LAB Institute of Design and Fine Arts at the local university, the two companies promote a new concept for outdoor workspaces.

Alternative Workstations: Open-air Desks In The Middle Of The Forest

The companies installed a series of open-air desks overlooking Lake Vesijärvi. The alternative workstation is a 45-minute walk from the nearest parking spot and residential areas in Lahti. Further, the open-air desks are 65 miles north of Helsinki – this year, European Green Capital. Some of these workstations require a two- or three-mile walk as a part of the overall experience.

The idea is to create more than a workstation. The open-air desks are made out of local Finnish spruce wood. The narrow desk’s surface has room for a laptop and a notebook. In addition, remote workers can find built-in support for phones, a hole for cups, and a small notch to hang a bag. 

The open-air workstation is tied to different trees in the forest, with high attention to nature and sustainability. Although they don’t provide Internet connectivity, these workstations are free to use for those who arrive first. The aim is to create an escape to combine a healthy work-life balance. The project will run until snow season to remind everyone that remote work offers multiple alternatives to schedule your day. 

The pandemic speeded up the process, although it was already in the air. As TBWA\Helsinki head industrial designer Umberto Onza says: “In the Nordics and in Finland, people are always keen to be in the forest and close to nature. We thought this was a nice way to encourage people to go back out.” 

More places are joining this initiative, using these open-air desks to create alternative locations to work in nature, reducing their environmental impact.

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