Garden Offices are highly sought on Google
According to https://keywordseverywhere.com/, there are 60500 monthly searches in the UK for Garden Offices, an increase of nearly 100% from the average number of searches before April 2020. One Estate Agent I spoke to recently advised that houses with garden offices were selling within days of going on the market, highlighting a new focus for a newly remote-working population.
I understand completely why a separate workspace is so important, whether you only work from home a couple of days a week or work remotely full-time. If you’re working from the kitchen table (or even in a home office) the boundary between home-life and work-life becomes blurred. If there is urgent work to do it’s difficult to ignore the laptop in the corner of the room outside of traditional working hours and may mean that rather than a fixed 9AM-5PM work schedule, that you are working far more hours per week. Not only can this have an impact on your stress levels, but it can also create the false impression that you are ‘available’ out of hours for your client work – work that previously they would have paid a premium for.
Make sure you MOVE!
Working from home can also mean that you have a significantly more sedentary lifestyle; even if you previously worked at an office in a relatively sedentary role, you would have moved to get to and from work, and potentially taken a walk/nipped to the shops at lunchtime. When work is only 10 paces away from your bed, it’s difficult to get the daily steps up – something which can dramatically help with physical and mental wellbeing. Long periods of uninterrupted sitting can lead to poor posture and result in joint issues. Eye strain can occur if you don’t take regular breaks from the screen. A 30-minute walk can have a positive impact on stress levels and help reduce blood pressure. There are so many benefits to getting up and about, something made easier if we have to move out of the house in order to work. Even if you don’t have space for a garden office, simply walking out and about in the fresh air for 30 minutes or so every day can really help to improve your overall wellbeing before you return to your dining room table hot desk!
Last year, I moved to Devon, and throughout the course of the lockdown have made a conscious effort to get out and about in the fresh air on a daily basis – I’ve attached some photos below to share the special places we’ve found nearby to relax and refocus.
So whether you’ve got the space and funds to invest in an outdoor office, or simply book in a daily walk out into your local area to find some hidden green gems, it’s important to put some physical distance between yourself and your work; your body and mind will thank you for it!