Working from Home with a Garden Office

Working from Home with a Garden Office

Often they’re in spare bedrooms, lofts or perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated study – but many are little more than a corner of a living room.  How wonderful it would be then, to have an office in the garden… and although there is an initial outlay, the savings on office rental and transport costs will soon start to add up.

An Office to Fit Any Garden
Most companies who supply garden offices will have something to fit anywhere, with some as compact as 10 cubic metres in volume, others made to fit a corner. Ideal for one person, they’ll still comfortably accommodate a desk, chair and shelves with all their associated office bits and bobs.

Then, for the garden purists, there are log cabins and beautifully clad or painted designs – even ‘green’ roofs, which not only look beautiful and blend seamlessly into your garden space, they’re a haven for wildlife, offer excellent temperature regulation and sound insulation, tend to outlast other roofing material, help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and are frost hardy.

Of course, if your space and budget allow you can let your imagination run wild, with many garden office specialists offering a full design and planning service.

Where to Start
You’ll need to run electricity in there obviously, opting for plenty of plug sockets and enough light, and perhaps a signal booster for your Wi-Fi. Consider if you’ll need a telephone point, or will you just use your mobile? If you’re converting an existing shed it will need thoroughly waterproofing and insulating, and ideally double-glazing (although secondary glazing is relatively effective otherwise). Make sure there’s space for suitable heater or if buying purpose-built, underfloor heating is an effective and unobtrusive solution. A completely level concrete or paving stone base is a must, although proper foundations are also possible. Ensure compliance with building regulations – if it’s close to the boundary it must not exceed 2.5m high.

Keep it Safe
If you have valuable computers and other technology in there it HAS to be kept secure – not only would losing everything be inconvenient, your insurance company would probably not be much help if you’d just left the shed door open. You’ll need secure windows and sturdy doors with insurance approved locks.

Light and Airy
It’s probably number one on any office based worker’s wish list – a light and airy space, ideally with big windows for natural light, and good ventilation – so make sure you maximise the light with enough windows, perhaps even roof windows and, if appropriate to size and style, French doors which you can throw open in Summer to really let the outside in. Of course you’ll need suitable window treatments to reduce glare on screens and protect soft furnishings and artwork from UV damage.

A Room With a View
Think carefully about where to site your garden office. Away from the house is probably a wise choice to avoid any blurring of the boundaries between work and home, better still if there’s a natural barrier such as a hedge, tree or wall. Position it to make the most of the view – if you have any particularly impressive flowerbeds, or a relaxing stream or water feature, you’ll want to see them.

Working from home AND making the most of your beautiful garden. That really is the best of both worlds.

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