How to Safely Socialize (and Work) at Home During the Pandemic

Tips for transforming your backyard area into a social distancing hang out, as well as creating a work-from-home haven.

Social distancing in backyard during COVID-19 pandemic.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Being with family and friends during COVID was easier last spring and summer, when you were able to feel reasonably safe gathering outdoors at sidewalk cafés and restaurants, picnic areas, and porches and patios. Now, with the pandemic still raging and winter weather arriving, options for lingering outdoors in most parts of the U.S. have diminished.

But with the right furniture, equipment and gear, you can transform your backyard into an inviting space to socialize and still stay warm. Here’s where to start.

Emma Patch
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Emma Patch joined Kiplinger in 2020. She previously interned for Kiplinger's Retirement Report and before that, for a boutique investment firm in New York City. She served as editor-at-large and features editor for Middlebury College's student newspaper, The Campus. She specializes in travel, student debt and a number of other personal finance topics. Born in London, Emma grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Washington, D.C.