While working from home has long seemed impossible to most employers, the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to rethink their approach. The lack of trust in employees has disappeared as employers have realized that their employees can be productive at home – sometimes even more productive than in the office. Employees and the self-employed are also increasingly recognizing the benefits of working from home. However, space at home can be sparse and there is often a desire to keep living and working space separate. This is why the garden office has become a popular alternative to the traditional home office.
Read on to find out more about the benefits of a garden office, what you need to consider when building one, how a garden office can save you tax and which garden offices we offer.
Garden offices are self-contained workspaces in the garden that provide an ideal place for distraction-free working. Depending on the space available, they can be set up in almost any garden shed. While they are of little relevance to employees who are tied to a specific location, they provide an important retreat for the self-employed and employees who work from home at least some of the time.
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular. Parents in particular appreciate the flexibility of being able to seamlessly combine their working hours with their personal commitments at home. Not having to commute to work can save many hours a week, not to mention money, especially for people living in rural areas. If the commute to work is usually made by car, working from home also benefits the environment and makes cities greener by reducing the need for car parks.
The trend towards working from home also benefits employers, who can reduce their office space and save on rent and utilities. Some people are even more productive working from home because they feel more comfortable and are not distracted by colleagues in the office.
An office in the main house, however, has its own distractions: the ringing landline phone, the courier at the door and the children coming home from school. Even if they are taken care of by someone else or don’t need supervision, the closed office door creates a tension that is felt on both sides. Mixing home and work forces you to multitask and disrupts your work-life balance, which is bad for your mental health in the long run.
What’s more, not every home has enough space for a dedicated office. Working at the kitchen table often increases distractions from family members and thereby can lead to conflict, and working in the bedroom creates an awkward mix of retreat and workspace.
An office in the garden shed, on the other hand, creates a clear boundary between work and home, but limits the commute to a few steps through the garden. You can continue working here after school hours, and you won’t hear the doorbell – there’s often a safe place for parcels, anyway.
The first step is to choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of sunlight and is ideally connected to the house by a path. The location, together with your space requirements (e.g. number of desks), will determine the maximum size and ideal shape of your garden shed.
Before building your garden shed, you will need to lay a suitable foundation. You will also need to plan for electricity, internet and, if you are installing a kitchen or bathroom, water connections. When planning your garden office, think about insulation and heating if you want to use it all year round.
Even for people experienced in construction work, building a summer house can be a challenging task. The challenges start with the structural design and continue with the selection of suitable building materials, which must be precisely cut and prepared for assembly using specialist tools and machinery. Finally, a self-built garden shed requires a considerable amount of time to draw up the plans and procure all the components needed for assembly.
With a kit from Casetas de Jardin 24, you can save yourself the effort of designing your own garden shed, but still assemble it yourself if you wish. In our online shop, in addition to your garden shed, you can also opt for a suitable foundation, an insulation kit, an improvement of the wall thickness and a suitable roof covering. If you do not wish to assemble your garden shed yourself, you can have all or part of the assembly work carried out by our professional assembly team.
In Spain, most building work requires planning permission from the town hall. Each council has its own rules, so check your local building regulations before buying a garden office. Often it takes little effort to obtain planning permission for small structures such as sheds, but the penalties for building without permission can be severe. Be aware that you may also need permission for water and electricity connections.
If an employee is required by their employer to work from home, the employer is legally obliged to provide or pay for the necessary equipment or tools. In addition, companies are encouraged to reimburse their employees for the additional costs of working from home (electricity, gas, internet), but there are currently no tax reimbursement regulations for employees working from home.
However, self-employed people working from home can claim partial deductions for certain expenses such as water, gas, and internet. This is 30% of the cost proportionally the area of the home used for the business, unless you can prove the exact cost. A garden shed can be fitted with its own gas and electricity meter, which can make accounting much easier if it’s only used as an office.
In our online shop you will find a wide range of garden sheds. Compact models such as the Mini Hansa Lounge or the garden shed Eva D are ideal for small gardens. With floor areas of nine and twelve square metres respectively, there is plenty of room for a desk, shelving, and a sofa. Both sheds have large windows that flood the interior with natural light.
Our range also includes contemporary garden buildings such as Olivia and Grace Alu. They are part of our modern QUBE series and feature spacious rooms with large windows. Both models offer sufficient space for two or more desks.
Finally, we also offer large garden cabins that can be used by several people or double as a guest house. These include Stefan 3 with two rooms and a bathroom or Hansa Office II with two large bedrooms, a separate bathroom and toilet and a spacious entrance area.