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Around 43% of working Americans work from home according to recent media reports, and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that in the future remote working will make the majority of the workforce in many countries. One study suggested that around 75% of employed people will be mobile to some level, within the next five years.
Remote working is definitely on the rise, and with that, comes an added pressure for remote workers, to have adequate workspaces to rely on. It is all well and good working in a coffee shop on the last pieces of a project, or on a bit of planning, but speaking on a conference call, or truly focusing on really detailed work does not go well with screaming children, the sound of blenders, cutlery clinking and worst of all, unreliable internet connection. It is so important as a remote worker to have a dependable home working space you can rely on to be quiet, well-equipped and comfortable.
But what if you don't have a spare room to transform into an office? If that is your situation, not to worry, you can easily convert a shed or summerhouse into a wonderful home office. In fact, it is likely better for you than working in your house. You have that physical distance from the home you rely on for downtime, and according to an Australian conservation organisation who back 'greendesking', having views of nature boosts productivity and decreases stress.
There are plenty of gains to be made from working in your garden structure. Here are the vital steps to follow to turn your shed or summerhouse into a peaceful, practical working space:
It is important to have an idea of what it is you're trying to create. The kind of job you have will dictate the kind of working space you need. If you are on the computer a lot you will need electricity for it, if you are an artist you will need excellent lighting and storage for your equipment - you will know the specific equipment and setup you require and the type of environment you need to create.
Thinking About Your Needs
Once you have an idea of how you are going to be using your garden office, you can get a solid list of requirements for the building together. Think about utilities, furniture, accessories and storage so there are some basics you can use when you design the office. Don't forget to think about the office as a seasonal space, so even though you might not need lighting or heating in summer, come winter you will. Or if you live in a very hot climate, air-con might be an absolutely must-have in the hottest months.
Before you can put anything in the office, you will want to make sure the building itself is weatherproof. Insulation and waterproofing are important steps to take before any other office adaptations occur.
Lighting, Electricity, Heating, Water
After the building has been waterproofed and insulated, you will want to add essential utilities. Only you know what your office will need, but at the very least it is a good idea to have a reliable supply of electricity. Have an expert wire the building up for you, or if you don't want to pay out for that, consider getting a generator Adelaide from the nearest reliable generator stockist near you. It could also be worth looking into solar power for the office, like panels or ground source heat pumps for that extra eco-friendly touch. With other utilities, it really comes down to how much you want to pay. You can also include underfloor heating and a proper corner sink/ mini kitchen unit for making refreshments, or just think about the basics such as an electric heater and bringing bottled water from your house. It all comes down to how much you want to pay.
The Internet Matters
This is a priority if you take conference calls and work online. A bad Internet connection is extremely frustrating, and reduces productivity. If you use something like Google Drive, or Skype a lot for work, bad internet connection directly impacts how much you can get done. Luckily it isn't hard to extend your WiFi from your home. There are various methods to get your WiFi extended, and this YouTube video gives a really good example of a creative way to do it. There are also many articles and Youtube videos offering various ways to do it. If you need help, get a professional on the job to make sure everything is setup properly.
Once you have all the utilities in, the fun begins. You get to add your desk, chair, table, storage, and whatever else you want in your very own office. No rules from an employer or family members telling you how it should look, this is your working space so your rules. Pinterest has some drool-worthy garden office inspiration to look through, and it is worth taking your time with your design, so you get it right. After all, you could be spending most of your day in this space, so it has to be practical, ergonomic and comfortable.
Wherever You Work, Make It Work For Your Needs
Your garden surroundings will be lovely, especially if you place windows in your shed or summerhouse, and with the right planning, all the utilities you need will be in place to enhance your working experience. With individual planning and design, your garden office will revolve around your working needs so you can be as productive, hard-working and inspired as you need to be.
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