Homeworking has drastically increased over the past couple of years and employees are advocating for remote work to continue. As a result, a huge number of people are setting up permanent office structures in their backyards. 

Having researched the best work-from-home set-ups, we have put together the best ways to set up an all-year-round home office outside. 

Do I Need Planning Permission? 

For many people considering a home working outside space in their garden, planning permission is a big question. For most, working from home is a solo activity in which case planning permission isn’t usually needed. 

However, if you will be working remotely with a bunch of staff joining you day in and day out, you may need planning permission before you can start construction. This is because your office space will be closed for business use and with people coming and going, it might be considered disruptive to your neighbours. 

Choosing a Design that Works

A big aspect of designing a functional home office outside is the design. The good news is that there are so many design options to choose from that will suit both your needs and your budget. 

Below are a few design options to consider for the perfect work-from-home office space. 

Self-Assembly: for easy installation, you can opt for a self-assembly kit and simply follow the instructions for an office that is ready to work within a matter of hours. 

Roof: flat roofs are a popular choice, as are green roofs that merge into the surrounding landscape, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. Flat roofs are also very popular because they are considered to be the most permitted development-friendly option. Fiberglass sheeting is a low-cost but durable option for your garden office roof. 

Materials: the materials you choose for your outdoor garden office will impact the overall cost of your build and the time it will take. Perhaps the most popular choice of material for garden office buildings is timber due to its easily treatable surface and weather, rot, and UV resistant surface. Weatherboard cladding offers a visual appeal while also providing a long-life expectancy, 50+ year life expectancy, so you can enjoy an office space that works and functions beautifully for many years to come. 

Design a Functional Layout 

Your office space needs to work for you. As such, it is important to consider a design that’s not just visually appealing but is also functional. 

An easy way to assess your needs is to consider the BALANCED checklist. This acronym stands for 

  1. Biophilia (natural environment)
  2. Atmosphere (the view from your desk)
  3. Layout, 
  4. Amenities
  5. Noise, 
  6. Cohesion, 
  7. Energy
  8. Design. 

You should also consider the quality of air, light, and temperature for an office space that works perfectly for your needs. 

Think About Natural Light 

The amount of natural light available in your office space will play a huge part in your productivity, health and wellness, and office usability. It is important to have good levels of natural light throughout the day, so be sure to consider this when thinking about the door and window positionings. 

Transforming Sheds into Offices 

For many, taking to the garden shed is the only way to work in peace and quiet. However, as remote working is maintained by many businesses, workers are now looking at transforming their sheds into functional office spaces that suit their needs. 

If you have a shed that you are considering adapting into a long-term working space, you will need to consider insulation to help control temperatures across all seasons and prevent the negative effects of condensation. 

You will also need to consider sound insulation, double glazing, heating, lighting, and mains connections for water and electricity for an office that is fully equipped with everything you need to get your job done. 

Office Security

Many people building home offices outside don’t give a thought to security because they are essentially building space in their backyard. But backyard offices are just as prone to break-ins as large commercial offices, if not more so, as they are an easy target for burglars. 

Including security measures such as door and window locks, together with an alarm system, are all important security considerations to make. 

Interior Appeal 

In addition to the external elements of building an all-year-round office space, it is important to consider the interior appeal. Having the right layout and aesthetic inside your office space will impact how you feel about spending time there. 

For example, if you spend most of your time doing office work, a desk position by the window will help you make the most of the daylight and those gorgeous garden views. 

Depending on the size of your office space, you might consider including a small sofa area to relax in or hold meetings, or perhaps a small table and chairs as an alternative seating option for when you need a change of scene. 

It also pays to carefully consider your colour choices as colours can directly affect mood and hence, productivity. For example, yellow is a great choice if your role requires a lot of creative input. An example would be art direction and design.

On the other end of the spectrum, blue is capable of really boosting your productivity. 

Orange is very welcoming while green is calming. Of course, green can be added easily by the addition of some indoor plants which – in turn, can improve your mental and physical health!

To really make the most of your small office space, treat it like another room in your home and you will end up with a finished space that you love. 

Final Words 

Working from home doesn’t have to be a chore. With a brand-new office space surrounded by nature, you will get to enjoy every moment. We hope the tips above have provided inspiration and given you the boost you need to get building.

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