Dedicated home office or studio spaces have been gaining in popularity in recent years. Telecommuting has become popular with many sectors of the population as technology has made working from home easier than ever.
This trend preceded our current reality in which families are learning to navigate working and studying at home. Nowadays the question may not be if a home or studio is right for your home, but when and where it should ideally be situated and how it will be used.
Global Workforce Analytics research found that around 50% of workers hold a job that could be at least partially compatible with working from a home office and over 80% of participants said they would like to have the opportunity to work from home at least part of the time.
Telecommuting — the New Normal
Now that the global pandemic has made working from home a necessity for millions of people, it’s predicted that many employees may never return to a daily commute.
Stanford University researcher Nicholas Bloom has been studying the “work-from-home economy” for a number of years. His research shows that working from home trend is likely to continue well after the Coronavirus pandemic ends. With that in mind, many homeowners are looking for ways to expand their homes to include dedicated office spaces.
Indoor Space Is at a Premium
Since many students are now attending remote or virtual schools, space inside homes is becoming scarce. Many homes simply don’t have enough room to ensure each family member has a quiet space for work and study. Noise, distractions, and interruptions can make it hard to focus with multiple family members under the same roof all day.
And with everyone spending more time indoors, many homeowners are looking outside for additional living areas and workspaces. Hence, the backyard office!
There are several advantages to a backyard home office. One of the hardest things about working from home is often the lack of separation between home and work. Physically leaving the house helps many people get into a work mindset. And a separate space almost guarantees better focus and productivity.
Backyard Office Ideas
There are several ways to create a functional workspace in your backyard. Depending on the layout of your backyard, you likely have several options to consider. If there’s a patio, deck or another outdoor area in your yard, it may simply need an update to become a functional workspace. Or you may opt to have a new structure built specifically for your office.
- Cover it up. Adding a cover to an existing patio provides protection from sun and rain. With the addition of a ceiling fan, adequate lighting, and power for laptops and other devices, a patio can become a pleasant outdoor workspace for several months of the year.
- Close it in. A screened-in porch can be converted into a three or four season room with the addition of insulation, windows, and a heating/cooling system.
- Convert it. If you already have an outdoor shed or detached garage, you may be able to turn it into a functional home office space.
- Add an outdoor enclosure. Adding a screened-in room under an existing deck is another way to add additional living space without the expense of a major home addition.
- Build a new structure. Some homeowners are opting for the addition of entirely new structures usually referred to as backyard studios or offices. Tiny home builders and garden shed companies have begun to market structures for backyard home office use.
Think Creatively and Adapt
This coming winter we are going to witness the trial and error of innovative solutions for extending outdoor dining through our Minnesota winters. Notice what’s working and consider how it can be adapted to your outdoor workspace project.
There are many ways to heat and cool spaces and you can expect to see new hybrid combinations as thousands of restaurants innovate to ensure their survival. What works will gradually go mainstream and when it does its sure to attract innovators seeking to refine them further.
Remember that obstacles are often the way if you treat them as such. For example, if your building space is tight you may have to build up for creating storage, space for infrastructure, and airflow to maintain the desired ambient conditions.
Partner With Professionals
If you decide to build a new structure for your backyard office, it may be tempting to economize by ordering a DIY kit. Adding a new outdoor structure is a significant undertaking with hidden obstacles that sometimes even trip up the professionals.
Building codes, permits, and other legal requirements are important factors to consider before adding a permanent structure to your property. If you are capable, patient, and committed to building your own backyard office space, considering partnering with a local company that has the experience to help you manage the project.
Not every contractor will be interested, but the right one will prove to be invaluable ensuring a finished product that meets both practical and aesthetic needs. You only need to be clear about taking full responsibility for any liabilities you may incur.
Get Your Project Started Right
You don’t need a massive backyard to add an outdoor workspace to your property but it does take patient planning. The addition of a separate backyard office will impact the functionality of your indoor and outdoor environments, so take your time considering how they can best integrate.
Working with an experienced landscape architect or contractor helps ensure there is a balanced flow throughout your interior and exterior living spaces. Instead of thinking of them as separate, have the mindset for achieving an outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Carefully planned and well-designed outdoor living spaces should feel like a natural extension of your home’s interior. One of the best things about a custom-built backyard office is that it can be designed to complement your home while best serving your unique needs.
Hire The Experience You Need
At Architectural Landscape Design, Inc., we are experienced with a broad range of custom carpentry options including outdoor offices, studios, and unique spaces. If you’d like to learn more about the custom carpentry options that we offer, please give us a call or contact us online. We look forward to working with you.