Working from home? If you’re struggling for space, it’s time to move your computer off the kitchen table and set yourself up in a dedicated garden office.
Work in a warm and well organised space that you can lock up and leave when it’s time to call it a day. Here, some of the best lifestyle bloggers share practical tips on how to turn an insulated garden room into a professional, productive new office...
The benefits of an office in your garden
A garden room office is convenient, saves money and sets you free from long commutes. What’s more, research conducted by scholars at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the cognitive performance of those who worked in “green” environments were, on average, double those who worked in conventional offices.
Feeling connected to nature and enjoying a view over the plants and flowers in your garden is one thing, but Kimberly Duran of Swoon Worthy says the trick to creating a successful office space is also about making it your own. She says: “It’s not some crappy personality-less office cubicle. So decorate it as you would the rest of your home and breathe some of your own personality into the space.”
After installing his own garden office in south east London, architect Neel Dakshy described the benefits:
I’ve spent less, but more productive time at my desk, not being tempted to work up until bedtime ...and I’m less likely to check emails and do ‘just one thing’...at night. If I do choose to work late, when I finish, I can just close the door on everything.
Most important considerations for a garden room office
You’ve bought an insulated garden room or log cabin ready to set up an office. Aside from local planning regulations, what else do you need to consider?
The position of your garden office is important. Do you want to make it a striking focal feature in its own right, or tuck it away in a quiet corner? What view would you like to enjoy from your office windows, and how could you angle it to make the most of the natural light?
To work comfortably and efficiently you’ll need amenities like heat, light and connectivity. Neel Dakshy recommends getting qualified tradesmen in to do the specialist work:
Electrics are one area where you need to know what you’re doing...A garden room of under 30m² does not require Building Regulations, although any electrical installation will do.
An outdoor security light will help you get to and from your office in the darker winter months, but interior lighting is the best way to add ambiance and personality to your new work space. Rachel of The Ordinary Lovely says:
“I tend to work early mornings and late evenings, pre and post the boys being up and about. A desk lamp is essential but with space at a premium, I had to hunt down a super slimline but still stylish-looking one.”
Jen of Love Chic Living says that a clever office also includes: “desktop storage, decent seating, a noticeboard, shelves, and a filing system.”
Which garden building makes the best office?
When choosing the best garden building for your office, Lily Bernheimer of Space Works consulting says: “If you are planning on working in your home office through the winter months then you’ll need to make sure the structure is well insulated and that efficient heating and ventilation options are in place.”
An affordable option for a garden building that can be used all-year-round is a log cabin with 44mm timber walls and double glazing.
If you have a little extra to spend, the premium all-year-round option is an insulated garden room. At Waltons, insulated garden rooms have 72mm double skinned walls filled with Eco Quilt insulation and double glazed doors and windows – a comfortable work space during hot summers and cold winters.
How to plan your office layout
Lily Bernheimer of Space Works has the following advice when it comes to setting up your garden office layout:
- Keeping a decluttered space will help you get on with your day smoothly.
- Designating an area to relax can also help productivity – add a sofa or a comfortable armchair.
- Position your work station against a window to avoid screen glare.
Katy Orme of Apartment Apothecary says:
I’ve always loved the idea of having a square, central work table that can be completely flexible, you can walk round it, other people can sit round it with you, and you can access projects from different angles. That is what I want to create – [my partner] Jules can have one side and I can have the other.
What makes the dream garden office?
While everyone has a unique perspective on what makes a dream workspace, there are a few tips and tricks that can help make yours even more special.
“Storage and more storage is definitely the way to go,” says Jen of Love Chic Living. “Arriving at your calm and clutter free desk first thing in the morning will be motivating and inspiring.”
Rachel of The Ordinary Lovely says that fragrance has a part to play in creating the perfect ambiance:
A few stems of eucalyptus popped in to a pretty, pearl vase offers not only something beautiful to look at but the most amazing smell while you’re working. Plus, eucalyptus lasts way longer than flowers and dries really nicely, too.
Moving your desk out into a garden room office is a great way to reclaim your spare bedroom and improve work-life balance. What’s more, a closer connection to nature helps to improve your health and wellbeing. Check out Waltons range of log cabins and luxury insulated garden rooms to see which building works best for your needs.