When we think about a garden office, we often have an image of an amazing building, perhaps more luxurious even than a house. But we are sure it’s likely to cost a fortune.
It doesn’t have to be like that. It might be that you have the skills, materials, finances, tools and time to make your own office from scratch, but that sort of expertise is rare and if you don’t have it, you can easily end up making an expensive mess. So, this article is aimed at those of you who need a little help with your builds. Depending on your budget, you can choose what suits you best from a number of possible solutions.
We have collected different options that can cover most budgets, and we’ve added a few ideas to help you get the best out of them. Do note that the retailers listed aren’t a recommendation from A Room in the Garden. This is just what our research brought up when we were thinking about these office types, and we wanted to give you a rough idea of suppliers and prices. We recommend you to do your own research and read review before buying any online shed. We promise you, we do not make money from promotions!
Imagine a day in which your journey to work involves going out into your garden, walking down a path among beautiful plants and trees, opening the door of your garden office and sitting down behind your desk. All in a total of maybe 20-30 seconds.
If you run your own business, or even one with a few employees, or you work for a corporation that allows you to work from home, and have your own garden, the idea of having a proper working space in your garden must already have crossed your mind.
In case you are still wondering whether it could work, let’s push you in the right direction with 5 reasons that you really should invest in your own garden office.
1. You will have more time for you and your family (goodbye commuting!)
Think about it. How much of your day do you spend commuting to work? 1, 2, 3 hours? An article published in The Guardian in November 2016 states that 3.7 million people in the UK spend 2 hours or more commuting to work. This has such a negative effect on work life balance, increasing the level of stress and, consequently, reducing productivity.
Think what you could do with those 2 extra hours (without even considering the whole extra hour in bed in the morning!) Start that Italian cooking course you always wanted to do but never had the time for. Join (or start going to) the gym. Finally crack on with some serious gardening to get the garden in shape for the summer. Spend some quality time with your children (instead of rushing home just in time for the bedtime story). Or simply lying on the sofa with a nice cup of tea to watch that new series on Netflix!
2. You will save yourself a lot of money
You may object: “Ok, this is all well and good, but think of the cost! To build an office space in my garden, even if it’s small, would cost me at least £10-15 grand!” Yes. You are right. To build a small office room, you will have to invest a bit of money, but let’s do some maths. Write down the cost of your office space elsewhere. Now calculate how much you spend in travel expenses each month (fuel, parking, train/bus travel card). Finally, write down the average monthly cost of your lunch. Add that all up and multiply it by 12.
How many years would it take you to make up for the cost of your office? I made a calculation based on the Brighton and Hove area, and the answer was 2/3 years on average. From that moment, that nice sum you have on your piece of paper in front of you is no longer coming out of your pocket which will, of course, actually make you richer. That’s the summer holiday paid for!
3. No more cute surprises and vanishing papers
You go back to your room and your little girl has had a good time playing her game, but now your keyboard is covered with chocolate! And then her brother comes to argue, and that’s their juice all over your computer! And when you finally get to work, you find that your nicely packed briefcase has been quietly unpacked and is now full of plastic soldiers.
Oh, and do you remember the time you were sure you had stored that essential letter in the first draw of your desk, and now it just can’t be found anywhere? Well, you should probably have a look through your child’s pile of pictures… there is a good chance you will find it there. It may have some extra colourful drawings on it though!
Having a completely separate space from the rest of the house (which you can lock up securely when you are not working) will protect you, and your work, from those little hurricanes called children!
I know it might be a bit difficult on a windy, wintery morning, having to leave the comfort of your home to cross your garden to your office, but hey… I am sure you agree with me, it is worth the effort! Plus, well insulated and heated garden building will fill warm and cosy anyway.
4. You will improve your productivity and calm your mind (home and work are better kept separate!)
When working from home, work and family life tend to mix with each other causing distractions while we’re working, decreasing productivity, and therefore making us more stressed and nervous when we’re with our loved ones. Pretty much a disaster on every front!
I worked from home for many years, and my typical day looked a lot like this: Answer some email. The washing machine just finished its cycle. I better hang the clothes to dry now; it will only take me 5 minutes and I can do it with my phone hooked under my chin (not true – 30 is more like it!) Then I have a skype call with a client. That pile of paper over there is really getting on my nerves. As soon I hang up I have to sort it out. And now I’ve found my daughter’s homework under it and she needs it today. I need a break from this Excel document… I might quickly make the beds. And so on. Final result: the day reached its end, and the house was still in a mess, I had not finished that PowerPoint which my boss was expecting by the next day, and while my body is playing hairdressing with my little girl, my mind is jumping between home chores to work deadlines while feeling guilty for not really interacting with my daughter!
Working from a garden office that is completely detached from the rest of the house eliminates all those distractions that generally occur when working at home. As they say, out of sight, out of mind!
Also, you will be surprised how simply going out of your home and entering a different space dedicated exclusively to work will psychologically help you to enter in a working mood. This will then increase your concentration and will therefore make you more productive. This will leave you happier and with more time to dedicate to your home and to your family.
5. Your business meetings will have better results
A while ago we had an important meeting with a potential client. Because it was a very sunny day, we thought it would be a shame to close ourselves in an office. So, we decided to have the meeting in our garden. It was a great success! Being able to sit in a garden with a nice refreshing drink put all of us in a very relaxed and happier mood.
The same will happen to you. Scientists have proven that after just 5 minutes of looking at trees, green plants and being out in the fresh air, your heart rate drops and your mind is more relaxed. Imagine sitting in an office with a great view of your garden every day.
Your clients and employees will appreciate it too. It’s a much friendlier atmosphere, which will deliver better results, happier people and, as a result, better returns on your investments.
Any more questions?
Do you need any more convincing than that? Or do you need someone to help you answer any questions regarding sizes, prices, planning regulations and how to start? If so, browse our website and see if we look like a company that might be able to help you. If yes, contact us or fill in our questionnaire, and we will be in touch shortly.
Cover photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash