Thanks to a lot of work being done online, more and more people are working from the comfort of their own home, either full-time, or just for a couple of days a week. A lot of entrepeneurs are even setting up their own businesses from home, and therefore need space to work that’s away from the noise and distractions of everyday work. That’s why garden offices are becoming popular amongst home workers. Garden offices are much more sturdy and weatherproof than a garden shed, yet most don’t require planning permission as brick extensions often do. It’s usually a lot cheaper than a brick and mortar extension too, with most models pre-fabricated and ready to be erected in your garden. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a garden office, and how you can make the most of the space.
The size of the garden office that you choose will depend on how much garden you want to sacrifice, as well as how much space you need. Models vary from small shed sized, which will just about fit a desk and chair in there, to spaces that will fit a couple of people comfortably, along with bookshelves and filing cabinets.
Most people will want the biggest size they can afford on their budget, but it’s better to use your space efficiently and to get the building that’s the right size. If possible, take a look around a showroom so you can see what the building will look like when assembled. This is a lot easier than trying to figure it out from measurements alone.
Remember that if you have clients visiting, you’ll need space for them to sit too, and don’t forget to leave some room for shelves and storage.
The style of garden office will often depend on your personal tastes, but it’s also good to match it to the style of your home to ensure that it blends in. Styles you could try include:
Traditional/older homes – Log cabin style buildings
Contemporary homes – Simple, clean designs, perhaps with big windows
Terraced houses/maisonettes – Smaller designs, such as space saving pods
New builds – Unusual, eye catching designs such as dome shapes
There’s something to suit every style and budget, and there’s often the option of creating something bespoke as well. Once you have the measurements and style in mind, it’s so much easier to find the right model that you know is going to fit into your outdoor space.
Once your garden office is up, it’s time to kit it out into a useable workspace. Some designs have built in desks, but there are other items of office furniture that you will no doubt need. A good quality, ergonomically designed chair is essential for anyone who works on a computer, and installing some bookcases or storage solutions will make it easier to keep the space neat and tidy, and well as creating a cosier atmosphere to work in. Your furnishings should allow you to be comfortable, but should keep more personal touches such as cushions and curtains to a minimum. This will allow your mind to distinguish between work and home, and ensure the office stays professional.
If you’re not keen on the styles of home office, then there are lots of ways that you can minimise the visual effect of the building, allowing you to still enjoy your garden. They can often be erected in a corner of the garden, meaning you can utilise some unused or neglected space, and ensuring they don’t ruin the flow of the garden. You can also use shrubs, trees, and bushes to surround the building, hiding much of the exterior, and giving yourself a nice natural view when you work in your office. Painting it to match your fence panels can often make it more subtle, and choosing the right style will go a long way to help it blend in.
If you are setting up your own business, or have a job that allows you some flexibility in terms of location, then working from home or telecommuting could be an ideal way to get a great work and life balance. However, you’ll need some clearly defined work space in order to be productive, and if you don’t have room in your house, then your garden can be an excellent choice. Garden offices are cost effective, pleasant to work in, and could even improve the value of your home.
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