With a growing number of self-employed people setting up home-based businesses, it can often be hard to concentrate on work when you have family members and friends talking to you throughout the day.
At a “typical” place of work, you would simply make your way to your firm’s premises, but when you work from home, your place of work is usually the living room or your bedroom! One way to distance yourself from other householders or interruptions throughout the day is to build a garden office.
Photo Source: Flickr (credit: mattshomes)
What is a garden office?
A garden office is essentially a small building such as a shed, like the one pictured above, which is your own dedicated office space in your home’s garden.
If you live in an apartment, this blog post isn’t for you. But if you have a fairly spacious garden, you will be able to construct your own garden office.
Why use a garden office?
There are three main reasons why people that work from home should consider investing in a garden office:
- Fewer distractions – if you have a strategically-placed office in your garden that is far enough from the house to minimise the risk of distractions but is close enough to go “home”, you will literally benefit from the best of both worlds;
- Cheaper than a traditional office – have you seen how expensive it is to lease an office these days? The only times you can lease a “cheap” office is by leasing something that isn’t much bigger than your utility room at home, or is located somewhere dodgy or far away from your locale;
- Cheap to build – some people opt for building extensions or conservatories in their homes, but the problem with those two approaches is that you will still get distracted by people in your home, and they cost significantly more to build than garden offices.
Considerations for your bespoke garden office
The temptation might be there to build your garden office from scratch, but from both a time and financial aspect, it is quicker and cheaper to use a garden shed or summerhouse as your starting point.
Make sure that you opt for a concrete base before setting it up, so that your garden office doesn’t suffer from damp or wood rot issues.
Visit a few retail sellers before making your buying decision, so that you can effectively visualise how big your garden office is going to be, and the likelihood of being able to fit your furniture and IT equipment inside of it.
You will also need to utilise some stainless steel to serve as a conduit for power, telephone and networking cables that you run from your home. There are different grades of stainless steel tubes for industry and DIY, so you need to ensure you buy the right grade for your needs!
The eco-friendly aspect
When you are choosing your garden shed or summerhouse ensure you opt for one that offers the most amount of natural sunlight into your soon-to-be garden office. That will save on having to use electricity to power any lighting.
You should also position your garden office in such a way so that you can access the most amount of sunlight for one or more photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof.
Solar PV panels can be utilised to generate electricity for your computer, lighting, heating and hot water within your garden office. In fact, you could probably work off-grid if you use position your garden office correctly and use energy-saving devices such as laptops and LED lighting!