New businesses can take many forms but they all have to start somewhere. Whether you’re working as a writer or IT consultant, accountant or web designer, you need to find office space that won’t cost the earth and won’t get in the way of your home life. Renting commercial office space may be a step too far when your business empire is only at the fledgling stage, while the spare room doesn’t give you enough distance from the family.
Increasingly, new business owners are looking to garden buildings or log cabins as a way to provide a designated space for work. Garden offices may be the perfect answer to square the circle between home and work. And with log cabins available in a wealth of different designs and sizes, all customisable to your particular needs, it’s easy to see why they’re such a popular option.
1. Cost saving
Designing and installing your log cabin is an investment into the future of your business. Go for the best quality you can afford, with full insulation for year round use. Don’t be put off by the capital outlay since you will soon make your money back from all the things you’ll no longer have to pay for.
If you’re a car owner, just think of the amount you could save over a week/month/year in fuel, parking costs, wear and tear, tax and insurance if you didn’t need a car to get to work. If you currently commute to work by train – expensively, no doubt – the savings are even more immediate.
In addition, there’s the office rent you wouldn’t have to pay if you worked out of a log cabin, plus all those little daily treats like the morning Starbucks or lunchtime nip out to the shops. Over time, it all adds up to a shedload of money!
2. Time saving
According to recent ONS figures, the average daily commute is 57.1 minutes, with 3.7 million workers travelling for a staggering 2 or more hours every day. That’s a huge chunk of personal time taken out of your day, every single working day. While long periods of travelling to and from work seem to have become an accepted part of many people’s daily routine, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Not only are there no traffic jams, inconvenient train delays or large crowds of people in your back garden, ‘commuting’ to your garden office will free up at least an hour a day for extra activities – more sleep, more work, more time with the kids, more time for hobbies and socialising with friends. It’s a healthier way to live and work.
3. Peace and quiet
The problem with working in your home is that there’s no clear demarcation between the two. Whether it’s the children constantly demanding attention or visitors spontaneously popping in just because they know that you’re physically at home and therefore must surely be available, you need to draw a line in the sand.
Then there are other distractions such as the undone hoovering, piles of washing and all the other household chores that are beckoning when you’re working from the dining table. Having a dedicated work space that’s at home but not in your home will provide the necessary separation between your home and work life.
Going to the office, even if it’s only a few steps to the log cabin in the garden, will signal to others that you are now not to be interrupted, and allows you to make the switch from ‘home mode’ to ‘work mode’ both physically and mentally.
4. Dedicated work space
Wouldn’t it be great to have a separate space that was safe from the kids/partner/family dog? If you’ve ever hunted around for an important letter that you left on the table only to find it disappeared 5 minutes later, or a work proposal mysteriously covered in coffee stains or crayons, you will appreciate the concept of having dedicated work space at home.
Choosing to work from a log cabin will give you the chance to create a space that is unique to you and your business needs; it’s where your business comes first rather than having to fit around the rest of the family. You can decorate it in a way that represents your brand and furnish it to take account of your personal comfort needs. Add a log burner or a mini fridge, a flat screen TV or air conditioning to make your home office work for you.
5. Flexible working
Sometimes, it can be difficult to juggle the demands of work and home, particularly if important phone calls, client meetings and last minute requests need to be accommodated. As a self employed business owner, you can choose your own hours (well, up to a point) and if you do need to nip to the office for anything urgent, it’s no big deal.
Not only will your log cabin office offer the chance for a better work/life balance, you will find that you have a lot more time to get everything done in the office and be able to finish in time for an early Friday beer.