Your Outdoor Office

Choices galore for home offices

If you are thinking about setting up your own home office, you may be wondering where to start or be concerned about how productive you would be, particularly with constant distractions such as family, pets or television! But setting up your office in the comfort of your own home comes with significant benefits and with evidence of success for many home office residents before you, read on to find out how to get the balance just right.

Build a home office in your garden

One of the best ways to reap the benefits of home-based working but avoid the distractions is to set up a home office in your garden.

This is becoming an increasingly popular option with space-conscious entrepreneurs, and luxury garden offices are kind to the planet as well as stylish and space-effective. If you’re considering this option, you’ll probably already be aware that home offices are cheaper than renting an expensive office and you can choose the size and specification to fit in with your outdoor space. Having a home-based work space in your garden is a perfect way to keep your commute to a minimum while being able to shut the door on your business at the end of the day and keep your home life separate.

Create a defined workplace

Most homeworkers agree that it’s very important to create a defined workplace rather than trying to get your job done in front of daytime television with a laptop, or somewhere you are likely to be distracted by household chores or the general hubbub of family life. It needn’t cost the earth; there is a wide range of home office furniture available to suit any budget, layout and space. For start-up businesses, buying second-hand office equipment could save you a considerable amount of money; alternatively, leasing is an increasingly popular tax-efficient option which requires little initial outlay.

Keep to a work schedule

Once you’ve chosen from amongst the wide range of home offices on offer, make sure that you keep to a work schedule that protects your work-life balance. Take a decent break for lunch, and try to go outside and get fresh air if you can. Tell friends and family which days you work from home to avoid them calling or dropping in, and give yourself a finish time after which you won’t check emails or work phones again. By sticking to a work schedule, you can reap the benefits of home working but still have a healthy life outside of the office.

The creation of home offices isn’t really a new idea, nor the preserve of writers; architects John Seely and Paul Paget enjoyed their summer drawing house at Mottistone Manor on the Isle of Wight. Their garden working retreat, The Shack, inspired their work as architects and the space they created was ahead of its time in terms of design and functionality. Their summer workspace in the garden had hidden features like panels concealing a cooker, sink and fridge. Before Seely and Paget, British playwright George Bernard Shaw commissioned a most original garden home office which revolved to enable maximum natural light while Bernard Shaw worked. A prolific playwright and social commentator, Bernard Shaw attributed his success to the calm of his revolving writing shed (at Shaw’s corner) away from the hustle and bustle of their main house.

In the 21st century, the desire to find a quiet space to focus is ever present and creating home offices in our gardens is a realistic option for many.

Once you get the details right, setting up your home office comes with so many benefits – no more endless commutes, office politics or tedious board meetings. You can enjoy a more productive working life from the comfort of your own home. And depending on what you create or produce from your new home office, you may find that one day the work space becomes the subject of a book as it did for Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut.