You Can Work From Your Garden: Seven Things To Consider
22nd August 2022
With home working becoming much more commonplace, it is unsurprising that there has been a surge in people wondering about building a home office in their garden. Here’s what you need to consider if you want to from your garden.
1. Do you have the space to work from your garden?
Do you have the space to give up in your garden for a garden office? Although you can get a range of compact garden offices if you wish to work from your garden, you will need as a bare minimum several metres square. If you have a postage stamp garden and a garden building would take up more than half you space, then it might not be the solution for you.
2. What about the location?
Although garden rooms are all insulated and of course you can get heating, air conditioning and light to your garden office, they do tend to have large windows so ideally you need a location where it isn’t in baking sunshine all day, but still gets enough natural daylight so you can work comfortably and avoid straining your eyes.
3. What level of noise is acceptable?
For most people, working from anywhere means getting your head down. If you garden is fairly peaceful this is likely to be easy enough; however if you live next to a school then maybe not!
If you have kids around that play in the garden and might distract you or interrupt important phone calls, then a garden office might not be the ideal solution as no child wants to be told to stay indoors when the sun is out and it really isn’t fair to expect neighbours to keep quiet for your benefit.
Noise cancelling headphones are one solution to aid concentration if you don’t have a quiet area.
4. What facilities do you need?
Although it is possible to plumb in a garden room to provide toilet and kitchen facilities, it makes the process more expensive and you need to put additional time aside for the build to take place. In your own back garden you will, presumably, have access to your house in order to use the facilities but do think about whether this traipsing back and forth is practical before you commit to working from your garden.
5. Check out changes to insurance
If you decide to work from your garden then you need to check with your home insurers to make sure that you are still covered. If self employed, ensure that any expensive equipment for example laptops, printers etc is covered by your policy; employees will generally be covered by their employer.
6. Think about tax breaks
If you’re self employed, some of the costs of the build may be claimable on your expenses. Make sure you know what you can claim before you invest. You can also claim some of the ongoing costs for example a portion of electricity bills, internet etc. Talk to your accountant about this!
7. You might have to set boundaries
Something you might not consider but could cause issues with homeworking, is that when working in the garden you might have to be stern with friends and family about setting boundaries. Just because you’re working from your garden doesn’t mean you’re available to them and they can turn up unexpectedly, or use you as a parcel collection service, but they might have to be told this explicitly! Make sure they know you’re busy and if they want to see you, they’ll have to call in advance!