Home Office Vs. Garden Office – Which Should You Choose?

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Over the past year, more people than ever before have been working from home. What began as a necessity due to the pandemic has now become a convenient and cost-effective choice for many individuals and businesses. As many people have learned the hard way, productivity depends on having a suitable home working environment. This post compares the more traditional home office to the contemporary garden office to see which comes out tops.

The case for a dedicated space

For those who have partners, children or housemates at home, it goes without saying that a dedicated workspace is essential to avoid frustrating distractions.

If you live alone, you may think you don’t need a dedicated workspace as you don’t have other people making noise and interrupting you. Whilst this does make for fewer distractions, working from your living environment often proves unproductive due to the temptation of your home comforts. This is the space you’re used to relaxing in; your TV, fridge and sofa can all provide temptation to slack off.

A dedicated workspace can be set up to help you to focus. It also provides the boundaries between work and relaxation time that often get blurred for homeworkers.

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Home office

A home office is a room in the main house that is dedicated to work or study. People often choose to use their smallest bedroom as an office. Some people use their dining room whilst others are fortunate enough to have a large property with plenty of space to choose from. Building an extension or loft conversion is an option for those lacking space, although this may prove costly, stressful and disruptive. Home offices are a popular choice for those who are employed and work flexibly, both in the office and at home. Part-time freelancers often choose to use existing space because the investment of an extension or garden room is not warranted.

Pros:

  • Using existing space is the cheapest option
  • You’re incredibly close to family members if they need you
  • An extension/loft conversion will add value to your property

Cons:

  • You’re extremely close to family members if they’re disruptive or noisy
  • Building an extension could involve planning permission
  • Building works for an extension/loft conversion can be lengthy, disruptive, and costly
  • It doesn’t have its entrance, so clients and visitors have to come through the main house

Garden office

 

eden curve home office

eDen Hub Curve

A garden office is a self-contained workspace in your garden. There are many different sizes, styles, and providers to choose from, which means there is an ideal option for everyone. You can even get tiny office pods, (like the one pictured above) for those with smaller gardens, so you don’t lose too much of your outdoor space. A garden office is not only a wonderful home working space, but also adds an attractive feature to your property. Garden offices are a popular choice for people who run their own business as it provides a dedicated, professional space to work, hold meetings, and collaborate with others. They are also popular amongst those working in professions requiring a studio-type of environment, such as fitness instructors and artists, as well as people who work regularly with clients such as hairdressers, beauty therapists, counsellors, and consultants.

Pros:

  • Because it’s self-contained, disruptions from family members are minimised
  • You’re close enough to family members if they need you
  • Separates work and home life
  • No planning permission required
  • Vast choice of sizes and styles means you can create the ideal workspace
  • Views of the outdoors
  • Cost-effective options that can be much cheaper than an extension/loft conversion
  • Adds value to your property
  • Provides a professional space to hold meetings/work with clients
  • Options available that are larger than a box room or extension

Cons:

  • It’s more expensive than using existing space
  • Takes up space in your garden
  • Requires heating, insulation, and electrical hook up (although this is often included)

Conclusion

Whether a home office or garden room will suit you best will depend on your individual circumstances, including your income and living situation, as well as what you do for a living and when and how you want to work from home.

When weighing the pros and cons, the contemporary garden room comes out tops. If you dip your toes in and out of home working, a home office may be enough to meet your needs. If you’re serious about homeworking for the long-term or building a small business, this is the option to go for because it will provide a dedicated, quiet and professional space that is designed to meet your exact needs.

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Shed Quarters – The New Normal?

Already halfway through our second national lockdown, it’s clear that home working is here for the foreseeable future. Some businesses may permanently offer staff the option to work from home now that the benefits and savings have been realised.

Research by insurer Direct Line has found that a million people have invested in a shoffice, and another 1.1 million plans to do so in the next year.

Since the first lockdown, many creators of garden rooms, cabins and high-end sheds have found their order books filling fast as people realise the potential of some extra space in the garden.

These buildings dubbed ‘shoffices’ or ‘shed quarters’ are likely to be in demand indefinitely. Below, we take a look at some of the key considerations and frequently asked questions of those looking to invest in a garden office.

Do I need planning permission to build a garden office?

In the majority of cases, no planning permission is required to install an office in your garden. Outbuildings can be built under permitted development rights. Providing it’s single-story, does not exceed 2.5 metres in height and is not intended to be lived.  There are exceptions, so always do your research first. You can find out more about this here.

Will my garden office be covered by home insurance?

Of course, being away from the central living accommodation, you will worry about leaving expensive IT equipment in an outbuilding. The good news is, the majority of home insurance policies will cover outbuildings both in terms of buildings and contents. Of course, you should always advise your insurance company of the value of the contents in the outbuilding to be on the safe side, and check that you will be covered.

Does the cost include utility connection?

Most people will require electricity and an internet connection to be able to work from their garden office. Some companies offer a complete solution which includes electricity connection and internet connectivity. The majority, however, do not so this will be an additional consideration.

Options to keep the cost down could be a WiFi booster to boost the strength of the WiFi to your outbuilding. Alternatively, an armoured electricity cable and ethernet cable can be run from the home along a fence, for example.

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Can I have a bathroom installed in my shoffice?

Many garden room creators offer a bespoke service. This means you could potentially opt to add a bathroom or running water to your outbuilding. This will incur additional costs and require the services of a plumber, so in most instances, people choose to use the facilities in their home.

What’s the average cost of shed quarters?

The price can vary greatly, depending on your requirements. For comfort, we would recommend ensuring your garden room is fully insulated and weatherproof. So, while you could potentially pick up a shed for sub £1,000 – it won’t supply the comfort necessary to work in year-round.

As a minimum, you should expect to pay around £2,500 for a small office space. There are numerous options that vary in size and features. Some garden rooms provide dual-use such as office and storage; others are compact and offer a small area to work. You can start by considering your needs and requirements. Our suggestion wizard can help you find solutions. Try it out here.

If you’re looking for something small the Lugarde Napoleon Garden Home Office. This is a minimal space, purely dedicated for working. For those that require a little extra space, a mid-range garden office will set you back just over £7,000 like this Modular Garden Room by Urban Décor. For anyone looking for the complete solution. £10,000 will get you an eDen Hub which is ready to go with electrical sockets and an internet connection point.

For those that prefer something bespoke, eye-catching and unique the Anthropod GO! Or the Archipod are beautiful solutions.

There is something for everyone, with such a large range of options and sizes available. You can even. choose from different cladding options to blend into your garden with ease. You can browse a vast range of shed quarters here.

 

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