Having an office pod at the end of your garden is one of the signs that you’re making it in your home business. At prices ranging from a few hundred for a homemade version to 30k and upwards for a post-apocalyptic work pod, there are lots of versions for all levels of professional success. One of the most notable of these is novelist, Neil Gaiman’s garden office in Wisconsin, North America.
Garden offices are now particularly popular because of the rise of small but successful independent businesses, and give people an opportunity to develop a greener environment within their homes and pilot new ideas for greener living on a small scale before they take the big step of using the same techniques for their actual house.
Why do people want them?
For many people, a study within their home will suffice as a workspace for them, but the problem with an in-house office is that it’s mentally and physically too close to relaxation and home life, which can mean it’s difficult to separate the two things. Any role that involves meetings with business partners or clients can also be stressful if it’s in your home while the rest of your family are there, posing a threat of random noisy outbursts to put you off your meeting.
Outdoor offices obviously cancel these things out. They provide a professional environment for you and your colleagues, while helping you to separate those things from your private life.
Making it green
There are measures you can take to make sure that your office garden is greener than normal. Most office gardens will be built with full insulation, but most places in England will require you to use an electric heater or radiator in the colder points of winter. There are extras that should be considered such as EcoGain windows, which uses sunlight to heat a room and keep the heat in there.
Unless you’re building a very small office pod, you’ll probably need planning permission for your garden office. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re building within enough land, but another element of this that should be considered is an on site tree survey.
Gardens that look anything like Neil Gaiman’s, and a few with a lot less foliage, will have a lot of trees that should be considered before building around them or in their place, not only for the care and preservation of the trees, but to make sure that your office will be safe and structurally sound in years to come.
There are a number of different surveys which are needed for situations from mortgages to safety and planning, but all of them look at things like the size and potential growth of a tree, things which are particularly important when considering whether you should build near them or not. You definitely don’t want to have a tree stuck through your desk five years later on.