The tech industry in Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area has changed the way we view work in ways that contain fascinating contradictions. At the most immediate level, the technology created has untethered us from a traditional office. It allows us to travel and working outside frees us from a dreary cubicle.
Upstart industries have applied their model to how work operates, acting as pioneers in the field of employee wellness. Think sponsored yoga, ping-pong tables and frozen yogurt machines. These perks and quirks are common in the tech industry, but the flip side is that you’re expected to stay connected for work anytime and anywhere. These two sides meet when it comes to working outside.
Going outside to work embodies all the contradictions of the tech industry. For one thing, it is gloriously indulgent in a way that offices even a few decades ago couldn’t have imagined. It’s great to get outside, and our laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, when combined with the great public WiFi in and around the Bay Area, allow us to be productive just about anywhere. Suddenly, the great outdoors is a potential workplace that becomes more and more appealing as the warm weather approaches.
As we become increasingly untethered from the office and more used to working outdoors, we can’t also become disassociated from the fact that our devices are still incredibly sensitive electronic machines. Working outdoors can lead to serious problems that may require help from mobile tech or laptop repair experts in the greater Bay Area.
The Dangers of Sun and Extreme Heat
At ClickAway, we’ve had people bring in their computers who are thoroughly mystified that something went wrong. They aren’t sure how their laptop overheated and broke down, given our temperate climate. “Extreme heat” isn’t a phrase that is usually associated with the region, after all. The greater Bay Area is well-known for its wonderfully moderate climates. It doesn’t get too cold and it doesn’t get too hot. That said, it is also famous, more so than just about anywhere, for its incredible microclimates. It can be cool and temperate on one side of a tunnel and then incredibly warm on the other.
Beside making you fiddle with your A/C, this can pose some danger to your laptop. The change in temperature can cause humidity and internal condensation, which can start to rust out the inside of your device. This is especially true when you are leaving the artificial microclimate of the office and moving outside, where it could be very sunny and 20-30 degrees warmer. We always love stepping out of the office, even nice ones, and jumping into the sun. Our laptops aren’t always as thrilled.
In addition, even in the most temperate climates, the power of direct sunlight can harm your devices. Think of how you can get sunburned even when it isn’t that hot out – the same goes for your work devices. Your laptops and mobile tech devices have cooling mechanisms that bring down their internal temperature, but exposure to direct sunlight can cause them to overheat. When you’re working outside in the park, you might love catching the rays, but try to shield your tablet or laptop from too much direct sunlight, which also has a long-term impact on the life of your battery.
Dust in the Wind
A lot of our clients are meticulous about keeping their computers cleaned, but most never consider the threat of wind. That makes sense, on first thought. Wind may not sound like a major threat to your device. After all, it’s just air, right? However, wind accelerates the movement of whatever particulate matter is in the air, such as dust, dirt, sand, and even water droplets from the Bay.
When you’re working outdoors and the wind picks up, all that particulate matter is swirling around, looking for the nooks, crannies, and exposed parts of your electronics. Even the smallest particles can be dangerous for such sensitive machines. Don’t forget there could be over a billion individual transistors in your smartphone or laptop: in terms of size, they’re at almost a 1:1 ratio with a speck of dust, meaning even one speck can cause a lot of trouble. If it gets bad enough, the damage could necessitate a motherboard replacement, which is why it’s important to keep your laptop protected at all times. If you’re working outside, choose a spot shielded from any wayward breezes. Even when you’re just moving from one location to the next, it’s helpful to store your laptop inside a protective case to keep it safe.
Don’t Sweat It
This usually only comes up when we talk about working out while plugged in, but working outdoors can lead to perspiration and as we mentioned before, any water is the enemy of your electronics. Sitting in the sun can cause a healthy sweat that is unhealthy for your laptop. Water, especially saltwater, can rust out the inside of your laptop. And while we can easily replace the motherboard or the hard drive at one of our computer repair locations, it’s best to avoid the hassle and potential loss of data. So while Thomas Edison may have said that genius is 99% perspiration, don’t take it too literally. Be mindful of the effect your elevated temperature can have on your electronics.
Being able to work outdoors is amazing and only a generation ago, it’s something we could barely imagine. It harkens back to the giddy school days where the teacher would fling open the window and say, “It’s too nice today- let’s do math outside!” You just have to be aware of the elements so you can protect your devices from the heat, dust, and sweat that come with being able to work in the sun.
At ClickAway, our expert technicians have seen it all. We can fix your weather-related computer problems, along with anything else that comes up. Contact us or visit us at one of our 6 Bay Area locations today!