Working life has changed significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people are benefiting from their employers supporting more flexible remote working arrangements, including working from home. Many people are finding this makes a positive contribution to their quality of life, reducing commuting and enabling more time to be spent with families.
ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures show that the number of people working exclusively from home rose from 5.7% of the total workforce in January 2020 to 43.1% in April 2020.
By May 2023, 39% of working people in Great Britain had worked from home at some point in the previous seven days, with many of Britain’s biggest employers stating they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future.
However, when your working space is within your family home, things can be a little more difficult. It can be tricky to focus amongst the everyday processes going on in and around the home. Equally, it can be difficult to separate work from home once the working day is over.
If there is more than one person working from home in your house, separate rooms are best and home office space may be at a premium; creating the right conditions to work effectively and productively may be impossible.
So why not consider a new garden office? Available in a range of sizes and designs, low maintenance and fully insulated to manage all weather conditions, garden offices can be the perfect solution – and even add value to your home.
What is a garden office?
So what do we mean by a garden office? It can be so much more than a glorified shed, with electrics, heating, insulation and even the latest wi-fi connections to create the perfect home office.
Typically, a garden office pod is a separate modular building located in the garden of your home. They cost less to build than a traditional extension, and the process is far quicker, usually not requiring any planning permission.
Garden offices can be a really attractive addition to your home, with many contemporary design options such as elegant windows and bifold door choices as well as different external cladding materials. The perfect home office could be a garden pod!
Will I be warm in winter?
Absolutely! At Make Room Outside, all our garden offices are completely insulated on every side, including floor, roof, walls and double-glazed windows, making them comfortable all year round, and extremely efficient from an energy management point of view,” stated Ryan Crossley, a director at garden room specialists Make Room Outside. “Wooden buildings are by nature warmer than brick alternatives, so it’s easy to achieve the correct u value. We also offer heating packages designed to match the size and purpose of your garden office.”
What are the benefits of a garden office?
A garden office can make a real difference to your working life, increasing productivity and job satisfaction. The benefits are significant:-
A purpose-designed modern home office making the most of natural light, providing private space and office space
There is a huge range of sizes, styles and designs to choose from for home offices
You have dedicated space away from your home so you can effectively separate home life from work life and achieve the right work/life balance with an outdoor office
You’ll have privacy and peace to work effectively – no commuting and weather-related travel issues!
You'll benefit from more living space and a comfortable working environment just like a log cabin office
Garden office pods are an economical option, too – you’ll only need to power and heat a small, well-insulated space during the day if no one else is at home
If you’re self-employed, there can be tax efficiencies
Garden rooms are far more cost-effective than renting commercial space, and low maintenance too
A modern garden office can add value to your home and appeal to your garden space, as well as giving you more space
It’s far quicker and cheaper than opting for a traditional brick-built extension - the whole project can be completed on-site in less than a week.
“Our garden offices are an eco-friendly solution too,” explained Ryan Crossley. “We’re carbon neutral, using sustainable materials, double glazing and FSC-certified timber. Advanced levels of insulation also make our garden offices easy and cheap to heat."
What kind of budget will I need?
Make Room Outside offers highly competitive garden offices to give you extra space from as little as £9,980 including VAT, delivery and installation. As an example, an entry-level 2m x 2.5m small garden office will include a professional installation service, double glazing to windows and doors, internal plastering and wiring, flooring and skirting, fascia and accompanying trims, guttering and fall pipes.
If you want something a little larger, then a 4m x 3m insulated garden building will cost in the region of £16,500. 5m x 4m office pods giving you the space for small meetings will average around £25,000.
Compared with the cost of a traditional extension, the modular garden office or garden room is an attractive choice.
Why does adding a garden office add value to my home?
More space is always a bonus! As your needs change into the future, it’s an ever-flexible additional garden office building that can be used for so many different things. If you choose to move on, this will be an attractive benefit for anyone looking to purchase your home. As well as an outdoor office, it could equally be used as a garden studio, a hobby room, a garden bar or just a garden pod.
Perhaps more importantly, having a garden office addresses the changing needs of society and how we’re working today, be that working from home exclusively or adopting a hybrid approach.
There’s a ‘wow’ factor element too, with an attractively designed garden office adding to the appeal of your home.
Recent research shows this quick and easy option to create additional space in the shape of a garden room or office pod is the best way to add value to a property. It can cost as little as £10,000 to build but can add an average of 8.4% to the value of your home.
Will I need planning permission?
You probably won't require planning permission, but there are some things to consider, such as designated land status (conservation areas) and whether the main property is listed. A garden office usually comes under the auspices of a ‘permitted development’.
There are also restrictions on space in terms of the size of your proposed garden office, as you can’t cover more than 50% of the land around your home. Garden pods must be a single-storey building, and there are height restrictions depending on how close it is to the boundary of your property.
Permitted development rights state that your garden office can only be 2.5m high at the eaves, with a total height of 4m if it features a dual-pitched roof. This is limited to just 3m if it has any other style of roof.
If it's located within 2m of the boundary of your property, then the total height cannot exceed 2.5m.
It’s a good idea to speak to a local planning officer to discuss building regulations and what you propose doing in terms of garden office buildings. For complete peace of mind, if you are advised that you don’t need planning permission, you can apply for a Householder Certificate of Lawful Development (LDC).
So if you can see the benefits of additional space to house your home office, then a garden office is a great choice. It’s quick and easy to build, fully insulated for use all year round, costs far less than other alternatives like loft conversions, can be used all year round and can even add value to your home!
Make Room Outside has a great feature on the website where you can configure and cost up your perfect garden office. You can also see the quality of outdoor buildings in real life at the Show Village located near Halifax in West Yorkshire. Here there is an extensive range of garden office pods and similar garden-building options.
Feb 07 2024