As technology improves and more of us are able to slip off the shackles of a traditional office job and work remotely, one in ten Brits now choose to work from home. With this in mind, a comfortable and motivating office space can be a great addition for homeowners.
Tiger Sheds, the shed and log cabin retailer, has produced some helpful advice for those who would love a home office, but who haven’t got the space indoors, by demonstrating how a shed or a cabin can easily become the perfect environment for an office.
Having a separate area in the garden from your home as an office means you can create a natural and peaceful workspace without any interruptions from home life. Being based in your garden will also mean your morning commute is easier and less congested.
Initially, a plan should be drawn up or sketched showing the positioning of a desk, chairs and other equipment. It is vital that your WiFi connection is checked, as a booster may be required if the connection is weak where the shed is positioned. Security should also be at the forefront of the plan, especially if computers and other expensive equipment are to be kept in the outdoor office.
It is important to think of the location of the power supply and how you can ensure that this meets the necessary safety requirements. If lights and power sockets are needed, then it is best to hire a professional, as an electrician will be able to do the job well and safely.
Come up with a colour and design scheme that will motivate and inspire you when working from home. Plant some climbers to surround the windows and keep small potted plants inside and on your desk, as these will give the office a homely feel. Use blankets and cushions on the furniture to provide optimal comfort, and pin-up a bulletin board for important to-dos and meeting notes.
Light it up
Natural light is extremely important in a place of work as windowless offices can sap your energy. Wooden sheds and cabins are great in this respect, as they usually have big windows and light interior colour. Lamps and LED lights should also be considered, as these will really set the mood and atmosphere in your new office space.
Mind your neighbours
If extending an existing shed or cabin or doing any sort of building work, government guidelines must be checked as planning permission may be needed. If you plan to run a business from your shed or cabin, then planning permission will always be needed, however big or small the space may be. Check with neighbours first so that no complaints will be made and to ensure that the application will be accepted.
Consider any storage space that might be needed for the shed, cabin or office and factor this into your plans as early as possible. Filing cabinets and shelving can be essential for an office space, so the shed or cabin should be measured once the desk and chair are put in, so you know how much room will be spare for storage.
Comfort and the temperature of the shed should be considered, as if the office gets too cold during the winter, heating will be needed. The shed should also be insulated properly and efficiently, and be weatherproofed, as any leaks will be detrimental to the equipment and furniture inside. Many prefer the thicker cladding of log cabins as being better insulated for all weather conditions.