By: Karen Bell and she is the Creative Director, David Salisbury
When the pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, millions of people were urged to remain at home. Although remote working has always been an option for a small sector of workers, the proportion of those working exclusively from home rose from 5.7% (January/February 2020) to 43.1% by April 2020.
Some workers may have already had an office space or spare room to facilitate a working environment within the home, making the transition to remote working much easier in comparison to those lacking spare space. Others needed to make quick adaptations to their home to facilitate the remote working model, however, a large number resorted to working from their dining table, or even sofa, which isn’t ideal.
In February 2022, 78% of those working from home said that remote working has improved their work-life balance, with 52% reporting they find it quicker to complete work and 53% claiming they had fewer distractions in comparison to working in an office. These statistics show that only half of those working from home have found an increase in productivity; could these statistics be improved by workers investing in a ‘shoffice’?
What is a ‘shoffice’?
Since more of us than ever are working remotely, many have opted for home extensions or additions, hence the rise of the ‘shoffice’. The word ‘shoffice’ was coined prior to the pandemic by combining the words ‘shed’ and ‘office’, but the popularity of building a ‘shoffice’ at home shot up throughout the pandemic, and the want for these builds doesn’t seem to be dwindling now either.
The word ‘shed’ can paint a rather bleak picture in your head of a rickety wooden structure at the end of the garden – but fear not! With modern garden rooms acting as a sophisticated extension of the home, you can create an enclosed office space in your garden built from luxury materials, with mains electricity, insulation and heating. What more could you need from a home office?
Creating a dedicated workspace that is entirely separate from the home has been beneficial for many, allowing workers to uphold a healthy work/life balance whilst working from their own homes. An office extension provides a physical and mental separation between work and home, as well as fewer distractions.
Why a garden room makes an ideal ‘shoffice’
If you have the garden space to exploit and the need for a dedicated workspace, a ‘shoffice’ could be the ideal solution. Opting for a glazed extension or freestanding build, such as a conservatory, orangery or garden room, gives the feeling of being closer to nature, as well as the benefit of increased wellbeing and productivity from the natural light it provides.
A bespoke garden build is designed with your existing architecture in mind, to seamlessly integrate the build with your home. They’re designed to be used and enjoyed all year round, with optional extras such as underfloor heating to ensure the build is usable throughout the colder months, and large bi-fold doors creating an open and airy environment in the summer.
Many homeowners are also introducing smart technology into their conservatories and orangeries, whether that be remote control blinds or temperature controls, for example, to experience the feeling of indoor/outdoor living, while still enjoying the benefits of modern life.
How to style a ‘shoffice’
The top priority for styling a ‘shoffice’ is ensuring that the space is styled with its purpose in mind; adequate space to work comfortably at a desk whilst having enough storage for all work-related materials is essential. You may choose to create a dedicated hot drinks station within the office, with all the necessary equipment to keep your caffeine intake up throughout the working day.
When styling a garden office, simplicity is key. A bespoke glass build allows for a bright and airy atmosphere, making the most of the uninterrupted light and seamless link to the garden. Experimenting with plants also helps to enhance the natural theme. You could even add a standout feature such as an orange tree, to introduce a splash of colour and a focal point for the eye.
A freestanding garden room office can become a multi-functional room that doesn’t need to be committed to an office space. You may use the room as a workplace throughout the week, and then for recreational purposes in your free time. A garden build can open many opportunities for utilising your home space.
About the author: Karen Bell is Creative Director at David Salisbury, a company manufacturing and installing top of the range hardwood conservatories, garden rooms and orangeries for over 35 years