Working from your shed: the options

What are the benefits of working from home, especially in the shed?

The benefits of working from home are numerous: no more early rising to factor in the commute; no traveling costs; perhaps the choice to work in casual clothes; access to homemade food rather than expensive shop bought lunches; less disturbance from unnecessary chatter in the office...

However, if you work from home in the main area of your house you will replace these benefits with a few cons: distractions from family members; temptation to get on with household chores; sacrificing a guest room; taking over a dining table that then has to be cleared away at mealtimes. None of these makes for an optimal working environment.

This is where the advantages of shed-working take effect. Creating a physical separation between your home and work life, be that only a matter of metres, makes a big difference. You're able to escape the distractions of home life, whilst retaining the benefits of home working.

Who would suit shed-working?

Once suited to only freelancers and artists, working from home is much more accessible with flexible work schedules more the norm. Faster internet, Skype meetings and paperless offices all mean that the shed-working life is now achieveable for far more workers.

From the relative isolation of your shed, it is far more simple to maintain your motivation. If you feel uninspired, you can have a walk in the garden or look out the window to regain your focus. You can easily personalise your work space to suit you and your needs. If you run your own business you can use your shed as a call centre, housing yourself and couple of other staff members. Opt for one of our log cabins and you could even hold meetings and greet clients.

If you run your own business, you don't have to be completely isolated. There are several online business networking schemes in place to help you, such as ihubbub.

The options

You could just build bricks-and-mortar extension to your house, but this is expensive, takes time to complete, requires planning permission and doesn't provide a separation between your work and home space.

A converted shed

You could easily retro-fit your existing or new shed, garden building or other outhouse. You will need to consider what to do with your garden equipment, if any, that is stored in your shed. You will also need to think about installing suitable insulation and heating – to create a comfortable working environment. You may also need to consider inserting sky-light to improve the levels of light within the shed. Here, Stephen Waddington describes how he converted his pig shed into a fully functional office.

A new shed

Here at Shedstore, we have an extesive range of large sheds which are big enough and suitable for use as a garden office. Keep that old shed for storage and dedicate your new shed to helping you achieve that work-life balance we all dream of. Consider some of the options below. Just click on an image for further details:

8x6 Traditional Heavy Pent Shed

9x9 Rowlinson Workshop10x6 Forest Pent Overlap Pressure Treated Shed

10x7 Windsor Shiplap Apex Wooden Garden Shed12x8 Forest Overlap Apex Wooden Shed - Double Doors14x10 Shire Bison Heavy Duty Double Door Workshop

Log cabins

Log cabins are extremely versatile garden building which can easily be used as a garden office. If you're running a retail business, a log cabin you could offer ample space to store your stock. Some of these even feature a handy built in shed-area for extra storage – so if you're replacing a shed, you won't need to re-house your gardening equipment.

Like sheds, log cabins often don't need planning permission as long as the eaves are no higher than 2.5 metres. However, it doesn't hurt to check with your local authority.

Here are a few of our log cabins. Just click on an image for further details.

9x13 Forest Seddon (Pickering) 34mm Log Cabin

11x10 Windsor Kielder 19mm Log Cabin

forest mendip log cabin

15x11 Palmako Lisa 44mm Log Cabin16x11 Forest Marlborough (Wrekin) 34mm Log CabinWindsor Home Office Elite log cabin

If you want to see more uses for log cabins take a look at our video below and see how else you could use that extra space.

Further points to think about:

Adding power to your shed

You will most likely need a power supply for your PC, chargers, kettle lights, etc. If so, you will (legally) need to get qualified electrician to install this for you.

Heating and cooling your shed

Look for wall thickness on log cabins and timber thickness on sheds. You may need to add insulation. Many of our garden buildings offer this option or you can add your own. Opt for opening windows to allow for air flow.

Getting your shed connected

Do you need a dedicated phone line or broadband? Will your existing wireless connection reach your shed? Or do you need to run an Ethernet cable?

Shed security

Opt for models with a lock and key to keep valuables secure. Security lighting - there are solar options - is a good idea too.

Planning permission

Generally, a shed or log cabin does not need planning permission, but always check with your local authority.