Home Offices For The Garden
Working from home.
Working from home.
Don't forget, all our garden office designs are made-to-order, so if you can't quite find what you're looking for, our in-house designers will be happy to work with you to create your design, or you can try your hand at designing your own Garden Office Room with our easy-to-use configurator.
If you want a timber garden office, plan ahead, plan this year for next year!
Why do we say this? If you want a quality wooden garden office room that will endure, with electrics, plumbing and range of uses you really are considering a building project with a number of trades involved.
A Quick Guide:
So long as the planned home garden office is designed to meet the required rules as an outbuilding, then no planning permission is not required as they are considered to be permitted development. Please see our guide for planning permission for a general guide on outbuildings.
All of the garden offices that we supply and install are made-to-order, so should a room for use as a toilet or anything else be required, then it can be accommodated. However, note that living accommodation is not permitted as an outbuilding under permitted development.
The wooden garden offices are made-to-order and can be built to varying levels of specification. Certainly, roof, wall and floor insulation can be incorporated but would be considered at the upper end of the building specification. To justify the cost, it is important to consider will the office building be used all year round, as an office it may well be regarded as essential to ensure a stable, comfortable temperature all year round without wasting money on excessive heating.
The cost involved with designing, supplying and installing your own timber garden office can vary from approximately £3,500 up to £40,000. It all depends on what specification and purpose the garden room or garden building is to be used for and how large it needs to be.
All the Lomax + Wood timber garden office windows and doors are fitted with double glazing and key locking espagnolette timber windows and doors as standard.
Having a home garden office will provide the homeowner with extra usable floor space on their property, which could be diversified to be used for other purposes such as a gym or party room. Therefore, undoubtedly enhances the desirability of the property and therefore value.
The timber garden office building could be insulated to such a level as to make this an option but then it would seem that planning permission would be required and a necessity to meet building regulations to ensure safety requirements are met.
The Lomax + Wood timber garden home offices can be fully insulated to ensure a comfortable temperature is maintained all year round. These quality outbuildings are provided with double glazing as standard and an option to insulate the roof, walls and floor.
The unprecedented events that we all lived through in 2020 only accelerated a trend that was already well underway. The concept of the traditional office building as it has been known for the past 100 years or more is in decline, and we have entered an era in which working from home is becoming commonplace.
Flexible working, whereby domestic and business commitments can be dovetailed, and you don’t waste time, money and energy commuting into a busy town or city to get to the office, sounds idyllic. However, it is not always as easy as it sounds. All too often, these different demands on your life can compete instead of dovetail, resulting in neither getting your full attention.
It’s vital to demarcate between home and office life, and a garden office building can be the ideal solution. As well as providing the space and privacy for you to focus on work without distraction, a log cabin office or perhaps one of our more contemporary garden offices adds extra functionality, value and style to your outdoor living space.
Around the turn of the millennium, home broadband became commonplace, and the blackberry heralded the coming of the smartphone age. Executives joked that they could work from any beach in the world with these new tools, while freelancers started to set up remote offices from their spare rooms.
Over the subsequent two decades, the idea of working from home gradually took hold. Laptops and smartphones became standard office equipment for all, not just toys for senior managers. Why spend an hour at each end of the day sitting in traffic or on a train just to spend the day at a desk staring at a screen or talking on the phone when you can do it from home?
For those with busy family lives, the idea was incredibly compelling. School runs, childcare and household tasks could quickly be scheduled around work commitments. As the online age took hold, the notion of the traditional 9-5 became increasingly irrelevant, so the idea of flexible working, whereby staff would put in their working hours but might do so early in the morning or late in the evening, was compelling for business too.
So it was that when 2020 came around, more than four million people in the UK were fulfilling at least some of their work duties from home. That figure doubled as words like furlough and lockdown entered our everyday vocabulary. It has proved what many had already intuited – that with a smartphone, a laptop, a good internet connection and software like Zoom and Skype, the traditional office is becoming an irrelevance.
Remote working sounds idyllic, but without the right working environment, it can end up being harmful to both your domestic life and your work. Garden offices are becoming more popular as they provide a physical and psychological separation between these two aspects of your life.
It’s well enough to talk about converting a spare room into an office, so you are not working from the sofa or the kitchen table. But not everyone has a room sitting idle for the purpose.
When people started working from home, managers feared employees would “slack off” and not put in the hours required to complete their obligations. The converse is far more common, and if you don’t delineate between home and work, it’s all too easy to find yourself constantly “on duty” and responding to emails and writing reports late in the evening or at weekends.
One of the great things about garden home offices is that they allow you to physically “go to the office.” Just the act of putting on your shoes and walking out of the house across to your log cabin or summer house office gets you into the right frame of mind for carrying out your work tasks.
But that isn’t even the best part of it. What’s important is when you close the lid of your laptop or power down the PC. Head out into the garden, back to the house, and in doing so, shake off “work mode” for the day and focus on home life.
Today, your home is more than just a place to eat, sleep and spend time with loved ones. In many cases, it is also your place of work. Balancing these different aspects of your life and ensuring that they coexist in harmony is not always easy. Getting it right starts with having a working space that harmonises with your home.
Keep this in mind when choosing an office for the garden. At Lomax + Wood Garden Rooms, you’ll find a range of standard designs but also a whole set of templates from which you can design your garden office rooms according to your needs, aesthetic tastes, budget and available space.
Outdoor offices come, quite literally, in all shapes and sizes. There are compact gazebos, corner garden offices, classic designs like log cabin offices or summer houses, and more. When you are ready to start, you can look at the options and design your dream office from scratch.
There are two crucial things to think about here. The first is to ensure your garden office meets your working needs, while the second is to choose something that is visually in keeping with your home and garden. Let’s consider each of these aspects in a little more detail.
Choosing garden office rooms that will blend in with the surroundings and be a genuine asset to your property means thinking carefully about the design of the walls, the type of roof, the shape and position of the windows and so on. Of course, we are more than happy to lend our expertise here. Please view our website for ideas, try looking at existing designs or configure your own within the Lugarde configurator. In addition, we have various models on display that can be viewed with an idea to understand the options available. The timber garden rooms are made-to-order, so we would hope to accommodate any requests you may have.
Several standard designs are always popular for office garden buildings, such as summer houses or log cabin offices. We’d certainly recommend that you look at these carefully and consider them. In the first instance, though, why not use our custom configurator to try out a few different design ideas of your own? Let your imagination run riot and experiment with different shapes, window designs and roof pitches. You might surprise yourself by finding a design that you and the family love but that nobody had thought of! It’s a fabulous tool, and you can always try a few different designs and canvass the opinions of family and friends. After all, you’ll be spending plenty of time in your office garden, so it’s worth taking some time to get it just right – and that brings us on to the next point.
When we talk about the convenience of remote working, it’s easy to blithely say that all we need is an internet connection and somewhere to sit. When you think about it, you need a lot more than that to work effectively and to replicate the facilities and advantages that a traditional office brings.
Here are a few of the points you need to think about – they will have a direct bearing on your needs in terms of garden office rooms and, therefore, on the overall design.
It should be clear by now that there are more things to think about than you might have realised when designing a home office for the garden. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, which is why we emphasise bespoke design. To understand your ideal garden office, you need to take a long look in the mirror and think about how you work.
For example, if you are improvising with your current work from home arrangements, where do you find yourself most comfortable and able to work best? Do you shut yourself away in the dining room? Take over the kitchen table? Or are you happy reclining on the sofa with your laptop in front of you on your knees and the TV on in the background?
If it’s the latter, there’s no shame in it; some people work better that way. But there’s no point setting up a traditional desk and office chair if you’d actually feel more comfortable and work more effectively with a leather recliner and a side table or two.
Another question to ask is whether your work is very paper-intensive. Even in this web-based age, you’d be amazed how much paper businesses still use. Make sure you factor in filing space and a place to deal with paperwork – especially if you eschewed the traditional desk when considering the previous question!
Then there’s the question of meetings and teleconferences. Do you hold many face-to-face meetings? If so, how many people usually attend? Are they formal or informal? Do you typically need to go through physical paperwork or look at information and presentations on a screen? If the answer is once in a blue moon, then you probably don’t need a dedicated meeting room at all.
On the other hand, if meeting clients and giving the right impression is core to success, this is the most important consideration of all. You might even want to consider a small outdoor seating area or to incorporate a terrace where you can sit and enjoy an early evening drink during the summertime if your business meetings are more informal and social in nature.
A generation ago, people dreamed of not having to go to the office and of just being able to do their work from home. If we could speak to them from the 2020s, we would probably tell them to be careful what they wish for, as it might just come true!
Sure, it’s great not to have to sit in traffic for hours, and nobody misses standing sardined on a train that’s going nowhere due to yet another points failure. But home and work life don’t always fit together. When the kids want to play, or the pile of ironing is glaring at you across the room when you’re already running late preparing a report, you can find yourself longing for the professionalism and relative calm of the office.
Creating a garden office is ideal for keeping home and work separate but adjacent. You can still work flexibly, taking time out from work to run the school, walk the dog, and return to the office later. It just means each part of your life has its own compartment, so home and work are less likely to compete for your time and attention.
What’s more, a home office that is professionally constructed from quality materials, thoughtfully designed and in keeping with the rest of your property is a valuable asset. As we mentioned earlier, there are millions of flexible workers in the UK today, so if you ever decided to sell, garden offices would undoubtedly add value and marketability to your home.
Best of all, there’s no need to compromise or settle for other people’s vision when you have your own bespoke garden office building. Flexible working should be just that, so from the type of seating to the shape of the windows, you are your own boss and can create the working environment that is ideal for you.
There’s plenty to think about, so why not take the first steps today? You can get in touch with us at Lomax + Wood Garden Rooms by phone or email. We are no strangers to flexible working ourselves, so drop us an email any time, or give us a call for an informal chat. We’d love to hear from you.
If you are local to our display sites in Billericay or Mountnessing, we’d be happy to arrange for you to come and have a chat in person while you look at some of our most popular designs. At present, we operate an appointment-only policy; that way, you can be assured of our undivided attention and no distractions.