It’s often said that living quarters and working areas should be kept entirely separate to strike the right balance between productivity on the job and a happy home life.
But not everyone has the luxury of an extra room, and even if they do, its primary function may already be determined as the guest room, laundry room – even an at-home gym.
If the thought of using a bench press for a desk doesn’t appeal to you, or you find it a challenge to conduct yourself with an air of professionalism while still in your pyjamas at 3 pm, it might be time explore alternative working space options.
But before you clear out the split compost bags and car jacks to make room for your ideas board, here are some practicalities you’ll want to mull over:
1. Shed or office?
While the idea of transforming the humble garden shed into a separate workspace that’s completely removed from your living quarters is an exciting one, the reality is a lot of planning and hard work in order to make it functional.
A shed is a basic structure that will become dirty quickly, is difficult and potentially dangerous to heat in the winter months, and comes complete with inevitable power supply and connectivity obstacles.
Fortunately, if you’re serious about your “shoffice” or “shtudio”, there are companies who provide dedicated garden rooms or offices which are far more conducive to productivity – while helping to keep hypothermia at bay.
High-end models use the same principles in windows and doors as homes, rather than just flimsy acrylic, and offer insulation, electrical outlets, and internal fittings that can actually be held up by the walls. Ever tried fitting a floating shelf to a 19mm thick piece of timber?
2. Reshaping the role of the shed
Now you’ve reached the sensible conclusion that a folding desk in a cramped, cold log store isn’t going to cut it, think about the purpose of your shed, and what you need the space for. Does it need to be multi-functional? Is a good internet connection essential? If so, you might need to think about its proximity to the house, or check on which internet boosters meet the mark.
3. Protection beyond a padlock
Tying neatly into the above consideration of how you’d use your work haven, is how you make sure it’s protected. For instance, do you expect clients or customers to visit your office, and if so, how is your access? An uneven path or boggy terrain could be a twisted ankle and a smashed laptop waiting to happen.
And think about expensive equipment kept in your office overnight. If you have a full film-editing suite set up, investing in some tight security measures will keep both you and your insurance provider from worrying about break-ins.
Ready to move your operations off the kitchen table and into the garden? Speak to the team at NC Insurance to find out what insurance options are available to you and how they serve your visions for a home office with a difference.