Move over home office – it’s time to make way for the garden variety.
Home offices were big news during lockdown as people redesigned personal home space to allow for work stations, desks and office equipment.
At the same time, gardens were rediscovered as we looked for outdoor solutions to staying healthy and happy. Garden bars, patios, seating spaces, barbecue pits, hot tubs and sheds all became popular – and now the two trends have combined to create garden offices.
Keen to keep work outside the home, people have repurposed garden sheds, making the space personal and unique, and geared towards optimum work performance.
Recent search data from April 2020 and April 2021 found that garden-office-related internet search terms dramatically increased in popularity. The term “garden office shed” increased by a whopping 200%, along with the term “garden office pod” increasing by 180%. In Scotland, Google trend data shows a clear uptick in July.
Why invest in a garden office?
Some of the benefits of a garden office include travel time being reduced, saving money and commuting hours, and the separate space creates a better work-life balance. In addition, distractions and work conversations are managed more effectively at a distance. Garden offices make it easier to concentrate on tasks, allowing you to be more productive and efficient.
Flexibility and the ability to create time for normal day-to-day tasks is greatly improved with home working, reducing stress and pressure to meet deadlines, store-closing hours or collecting the children from school.
What will it cost?
The cost to create a garden office can vary from £5,000 to £25,000 for upmarket, bespoke models, but if you’re not too fussy about size, a small garden shed can set you back as little as £865 (2.4m x 1.8m) with lots of local suppliers available to deliver, erect and finish the shed for you.
Claire Hughes, from Caithness, recent winner of the Wickes Home Office Awards, is a perfect example of what can be achieved with a little ingenuity, saying the space had now become a “sanctuary of peace and quiet” to work in.
Her design aesthetic shows what it’s possible to do with small spaces and the conversion process really gives you the time to think about how you work and when you work best. If you’re an early riser, why not (safely!) add a small coffee maker to your space? Or if you work better late in the evenings, the addition of solar-powered lights suitable for outdoor use can create a cosy night-time setting to work in.
Whatever you choose, design a space that helps you reach your creative best – and make sure you’re insured before you get to work.
A spokeswoman for Garden Affairs shed suppliers said: “We have seen a massive surge in interest in shed offices since lockdown now that everyone is working from home.”
Pads Sheds in Keith told us that as of yet there has been no real significant rise in enquiries for garden offices – but with data showing clear upward interest, that is likely to change in the coming months with the trend set to continue.
And if you need another incentive: adding a garden office can add as much as 5-7% to the value of your property, so if you have the space, why not make the leap and get your garden office going?