Top Tips: buying a garden office
A garden office solves many problems: commuting, home clutter, annoying colleagues. Based on almost 2 decades of designing and installing them for our customers, here are five golden rules to help you ensure you get the very best from home working.
Rule Number 1
A garden office means no hassle – but think through your options. It’s so much quicker to have a garden office installed in your garden than extend your home, usually without needing planning permission (give us a call if you're not sure). Still, it’s important to take good advice and think through all the things you want from your garden office before you decide.
Size, design, specification, heating, utilities, built-in storage – there are plenty of options and your decisions depend on your budget and what you need, now and in the future. It also has to fit in with your garden, and enhance the view from your house. Visit a show site like ours to see the quality of a building for yourself and be wary of buying cheaply off a picture on the Internet. Its a good idea to check the quality of the timber plus the doors & windows before you buy.
Rule Number 2
A garden office means no commute – so plan to use your time effectively. Not spending two hours a day in traffic or on the train is always a winner, so think about how you use that time instead. You might choose to work more hours in the morning or evening, if that’s when you’re most effective, and take a break when your brain needs it.
Few of us would choose a run to the bus to keep fit, but working from the garden can limit the exercise we take as part of our daily routine, so use your extra time to do active things you do enjoy, like gardening, or taking the dog out: “I decided to book a daytime exercise class and treat it as an appointment that I won’t miss,” said one customer. “I might as well make the most of working flexibly, and I want to make sure I don’t get lazy!”
You could spend the hours you’ve gained on work, or other tasks in the home or garden, being with family, doing a hobby or reading. If you’re focused about it, other people won’t take up your time with their own ideas about what your priorities should be!
Rule Number 3
Your garden workspace reduces conflict with home – but guard your space and time. Anyone who has worked in a back bedroom or at the dining table knows it’s near impossible to fit work and home into the same space and preserve sanity! It’s hard to keep things tidy, and it’s tricky to leave work behind for the evening.
A garden office means you’re separating work and home, which is better for everyone. And in the design stage we can advise on the best use of space to maximise this advantage.
One customer sent us some photos of a recently installed garden office. “There are still a few bits to organise inside but most of it is sorted out now; it just takes longer than expected with a new baby in the house! Anyway, I love my office / library space and the storage area is fabulous – the house feels bigger again!”
Being close to family is great, but you will need to establish some basic ground rules, like only being called on in an emergency during working hours, no small children in the office, and finishing work to re-join the family at a reasonable hour.
A business consultant who has one of our garden offices in a courtyard garden said it made both working and parenting easier. “When I’m working, I’m working, and when I’m being dad, I’m being dad. Lock the door, walk away, it makes it so easy."
Rule Number 4
A garden office is quiet – but you don’t need to be isolated. Making a move from a busy workplace to home-based working is often a welcome break. No more interruptions, no more office politics, no more catching colds from the air conditioning.
Still, plan for times when you get to meet people you do like. There are bound to be friends nearby who’d also enjoy meeting up, or you might prefer connecting with local business networks, social media meetups or community organisations to bounce ideas around and even spot new work opportunities.
Then when you’ve had enough of your fellow man, you can come back to the welcoming workspace nestled in your garden and carry on quietly!
Rule Number 5
A garden office is yours – so don’t compromise! How many times in your life do you get to design your very own space, just to meet your own specifications? For most of us, it’s a rare opportunity to stamp a bit of personality on a room which will also help us be efficient and enjoy our work.
Even on a tight budget you can create a garden office that says something about you, be it Zen minimalist, shabby chic, quirky or practical, sleek or traditional. Yes, you’ll need deskspace, lighting, seating and storage, but they come in every style and shape. The pictures on the walls and inspirational objets d’art are all about the busy worker who’s looking at them.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in here, so your garden office is the place to express yourself. Follow these golden rules and look forward to happy and productive times in your own beautiful garden office.
For your own garden office, made to measure to suit you give us a call NOW on 01225 774566 and we will help guide you every step of the way. OR contact us.