Working from home
Thursday, 04 September 2014
Homeworking isn’t restricted to the home anymore, not when you can convert your shed into an outdoor-office and take your work down to your garden.
Working from the shed?
Homeworking isn't restricted to the home anymore, not when you can convert your shed into an outdoor-office and take your work down to your garden. But why would you want to do this when you are perfectly happy working in your study? After all; in the house you're closer to your kitchen, you can see the TV and chat with your family whenever they want a word with you... Hmmm, maybe there might be a benefit to working in the shed after all.
Isolation is one of the key reasons why so many homeworkers are retreating to the shed, looking to find the peace required to keep productivity levels up. Having ample access to broadband across most of the UK is helping people make the move across the garden, and many are finding that shed-working can be much more preferable to sharing your workspace in the home (you don't have to clear away your work whenever it's time for the family meal, for instance).
Shed working enthusiasts also claim that there is a psychological benefit to working in your shed over working in your house or at your offices, as the actual act of going out to the shed is akin to the commute to work and puts you in the mind-set to begin working. The upside of only having to stroll up the garden for your daily commute is a massive reduction in travel costs and probably a dramatic increase in travel comfort. Though you aren't really going anywhere, just the act of leaving your house in the morning is likely to help you focus better than if you roll out of bed and begin work.
The additional benefit of being able to personalise your workspace to suit your tastes is another plus (albeit a small one) which can be hard to achieve at the office or even in your home when you share the space with others. This said, shed-working is not the cheapest option on offer. If you already have the ways and means in place to create a similar working environment indoors, you can save a few quid by doing so. Installing an external garden office or converting an existing outbuilding/shed can be more economical than erecting a conservatory or extension, but it still costs money.
Creating the right environment
The problem is that you can't really just clear out an existing shed, stick a desk and chair in, and start working immediately. You need to create an environment that you will be comfortable working in, which might involve taking steps to add things like heating for the winter and air conditioning for the summer. Unless you buy a purpose-built garden studio, there are a number of things you might need to do to make a shed a workable office solution. Security is a key concern, especially if you will be keeping important documents or expensive equipment in your office/shed.
When working from home (even if you are working from your shed) you need to check that you are covered with working from home insurance. Business contents insurance will not usually be included with a normal home insurance policy, and if you have business equipment in your home your cover may be invalidated. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for home working insurance that will cover your personal contents and your business contents alike. Business home insurance will not cover your business stock and you may need a number of additional insurances to make sure that you are properly protected. Insurance is not a substitute for proper security precautions, so a responsible approach is always required.