Scotts’ clients regularly ask us whether our summerhouses and garden buildings are suitable for use as home offices and whether the trend to work from a base in our gardens looks likely to continue.
Our answer is always an overwhelming ‘Yes’. Legal & General points to research that demonstrates a 22 per cent uplift in the number of online searches for ‘garden office’ since the pre-pandemic period.
There is plenty of data suggesting that property purchasers are attracted by the availability of an outbuilding in the garden that can be used for many different purposes including a home office. The presence of a garden building is likely to add value to your property and make it more likely to sell quickly.
Garden offices are suitable whether you’re working from home as part of a hybrid job role, whether you’re self-employed, or run your own business from a home base. An office in your garden is a particularly good investment if you choose premium brand that delivers high quality, and we will explore what that means below. A garden building is often more cost effective than adding an extension to your house or the addition of a garden room or conservatory, and the installation project brings a lot less disruption.
Why create a garden office?
One of the most attractive elements of a garden office is the ability to save valuable space inside your home and can restore your dining room or spare bedroom to its original use, enabling more room for the family and your occasional guests. Setting up your office in the garden enables you to get away from any distractions or noise so that you can focus on your work for maximum productivity. This might mean you can get jobs done more quickly enabling you to have longer breaks or even finish work earlier each day!
If you set up a garden office you will give yourself the gift of a 30-second commute providing you with more time at either end of the day to relax or carry out useful chores without eating into your working time. One of the most appealing aspects of working from your garden is that during your break you can step outside and immerse yourself in the natural world by being surrounded by trees and grass, plants, birds, and flowers. Take a breath to bring inner calm and reduce any work stress.
Your garden office layout can be as flexible as you choose, and you can design the space so that the trappings of work can be easily hidden, enabling your garden office to become a relaxing summerhouse during the holidays.
Or you might create a dedicated space that remains set up as an office at all times enabling you to lock the door and walk away from your responsibilities during your time off. The space is yours alone and can be entirely flexible according to your requirements.
Perhaps the most important element of creating your very own garden office is the ability to bespoke it to create the ideal environment according to the type of work you do. Instead of a standard office scenario with dreary vertical blinds, utilitarian furniture, and the glare of strip lights, you can introduce your own contemporary furnishings and can add personal touches to create a carefully curated space that you could never achieve in the workplace.
Select a standard summerhouse or garden building model from the Scotts range or go one step further and design your own garden office from scratch. Scotts has a huge amount of experience of working with clients on individual orders and is able to respond to any brief. Simply talk to our expert team about your vision and we will advise you on how to bring it to life.
Tips for a premium garden office
For a truly luxurious garden office we suggest that you avoid the DIY route and enlist a specialist like Scotts that has over 100 years’ experience in crafting timber buildings many of them bespoke for our individual clients. Choosing a company like Scotts means that you will get a better return on your investment because we use only the highest quality materials. Our garden buildings are made from a sustainable hardwood called Red Grandis that will last up to 30 years.
Planning permission is not usually required for garden buildings depending on their size, proximity to your house and to your neighbours’ boundaries. Before you start your project, we suggest checking on the planning portal to make sure that your building project meets permitted development requirements.
You will need a firm foundation for your garden office so be sure to get the ground prepared before installation commences. The firmer and more stable the base, the longer your garden building will last into the future so if you’re not competent to do this yourself, engage reputable groundwork professionals who can set up a concrete base or perfectly-level wooden deck onto which your garden building can be installed.
Before you plan your base layout, you will need to choose the type, style, and size of garden office that you wish to install. Scotts offers octagonal and corner summerhouse as well as lozenge-shaped sunrooms as part of our range and you can opt for any shape if you choose our bespoke service. The beauty of a garden office is that it is usually only used by one person and so does not require huge footprint. However, if you want to incorporate other elements of your life into the office to provide some interest and stimulation, you might allow space for shelves to house your record collection or favourite books.
As you will spend many hours working in your garden office, it will usually be important to install electric power at the building installation stage. This will enable you to run a PC and any lighting, and to keep the garden building heated in the winter so that you can use the office all year round. We always reiterate the importance of engaging a professional to install electricity and this will need to be signed off and certified as safe before you move in. If you only want to use your garden office during the warmer months, you may not need electricity and could power your devices using a modular portable power station. These can be fully charged quickly, offer a range of plug sockets including USB and lightning ports, and provide access to at least 600 watts of power that will support six devices or more simultaneously.
Garden offices can be used all year round if you have specified the installation of double glazing and insulation. Scotts uses Low E energy saving glass with plain panes or leaded decoration. Insulation is installed behind tongue and groove effect wall lining and in the roof panels to keep you snug in winter.
The type of external roof you choose for your garden office is key to keeping you warm and dry for years to come so ensure that you select a roof that won’t leak and requires minimal maintenance. Scotts does not use flat roofs on our timber buildings and our range is fitted with pitched cedar shingle or moulded composite glass fibre roofs that will retain their appearance and quality for 20 -30 years.
The beauty of working in a garden office is that you have immediate access to any facilities already installed in your garden enabling you to enjoy your swimming pool or hot tub. Can you imagine a working week in the summer when you take a dip at lunchtime, and are back at your desk within minutes?
Working in a garden office further facilitates wellbeing by encouraging outdoor exercise. As you are already in the garden it’s a short step to take a walk down your street, pop out into the countryside for a breather, or simply roll out a yoga mat onto the decking outside your office door for a quick stretch.
Style it out
As you have the freedom to curate your garden office space to exactly meet your own personal requirements, there is no limit to the accessories and useful items that you can include to make your working life easier and more comfortable.
Choose a desk that gives you plenty of space to spread out and incorporates drawers or shelves so that you can easily access small items that you might need through your working day. You might choose a flexible standing desk to help mitigate the risks of sitting down in the same position all day.
As you have broken away from the corporate environment there is no need to sit in a boring cookie-cutter office chair. Take a look at the latest alternative seating options which might include a kneeling chair, saddle stool or medicine ball. This type of seating helps you to keep active and provides better alignment for the spine reducing the risk of lower back pain. Alternatively, you could place a portable elliptical machine under your desk or keep a balance board handy and take regular breaks to move around.
In addition to your working space, it will be important to create a breakout area and you can do this by choosing comfortable reclining armchair and side table.
If there’s room for a sofa bed your garden office could double up as extra space for weekend guests when you are entertaining.
In conclusion there is no doubt that the popularity of the garden office shows no sign of diminishing. As demand increase, options for office designs as well as the range of accessories that help you to work outdoors will only continue to expand.
We invite you to take advantage of the true freedom that designing your own garden office space will bring you.
Contact us via our website and we will be in touch to help you design the ideal working space for you and your property.