I'm sitting under a scrubby pine tree in the dappled winter sunshine,
watching traffic sail over the Williamsburg Bridge. Near me, an adorable black dog with an enormous shovel-shaped head and seemingly no legs is sniffing a clump of grass. A red and yellow ferry glides across the East River, and I see cranes topping the Freedom Tower in the distance. When I close my eyes, I hear a bird chirping, the rumble of boat engines, and the gentle flapping of a flag in the breeze. Quite a stiff breeze, actually…
F-ck this. It’s freezing. My bare fingers are curling into useless, aching little commas. But I still think you should work from a park bench occasionally, and here's why:
1. Sunshine protects against mood disorders.
Up to 5 percent of the population in temperate regions suffers seasonal affective disorder in winter. A study  of Danish (naturally) civil servants found that those who spent more than two hours a day working outside were less likely to have mood problems.
2. Being in nature improves creativity.
Need a new perspective on a knotty problem? Immersion in the wonders of nature could help. A recently published study  found that backpackers returning from four to six days in the wilderness scored 50 percent higher on creative and problem-solving exercises compared to when they set out. Can't get away for a week in the back country? See if your company has some unconventional "office space" outdoors, as LinkedIn's hacker-in-residence Matthew Shoup discovered .
3. Moderate exercise improves  cognitive performance.
To get this benefit, walk to the park, or walk around the park--for example, while on a conference call.
4. Dogs make you happier than coworkers.
Need some patience to talk a client off the ledge? Visit the dog run. A 2012 University of Minnesota study  showed that even a 15-minute visit with dogs boosted happiness more than 15 minutes of socializing.
5. Poor air quality, acoustics, and insufficient ventilation in the average office affects your health , especially for those suffering from chronic conditions like asthma. Before you have to call in sick, get outside instead.
And here's a bonus reason to work from a park bench as soon as the temperature climbs above 45 degrees. The new "six strikes" agreement threatens to make open Wi-Fi an endangered species , so get it while it's still around.
[Image: Flickr user Hilde Skjølberg ]