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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.[adsense]
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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)
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.