Creating the Ideal Outdoor Office for Working at Home

Many companies now offer the option to work from home or under a hybrid arrangement where employees only have to go to the office a few times a week. This could be great as you save time and fuel because you do not have to commute, you spend more time with the family, and you work in an environment that you are most comfortable with. To be as productive as possible, you need some sort of office. You might not have the space inside the house or there may be too many distractions that make it hard to concentrate. If you are looking for an alternative space, why not create an outdoor office? To help you out, here are a few things to keep in mind while you do so.

Dealing with the Legalities

Before you can move on to building the outdoor office, you need to ensure that all legal requirements are met so you do not get in trouble with the government and your local council. The first thing to check is whether you need planning permission. 

Planning permission is not required for outside offices in most of the UK, but it is still a good idea to check with your local council, especially if you live in an area where there may be habitats for protected and endangered plant and animal species. 

If you will be extending your main house and adding an area of less than 15 square metres, you will not need a planning application. The exception is spaces that harbour any sleeping areas, but your office will not be such a space, meaning you do not need to worry about that.

The other important thing to think about is biodiversity net gain. The UK government now mandates that any developments must leave the environment and biodiversity better than when the development started. 

Because of this, you need a biodiversity net gain survey. The survey will determine how much harm your development will do to the surrounding habitats and help map out a strategy for ensuring biodiversity improvements during the development and after it is done.

To meet the biodiversity net gain requirements, you can get in touch with the experts at Biodiversity Net Gain Plan who will not only do the required surveys but will also put a plan together to help you achieve biodiversity net gain. They offer same day and next day services so you can avoid delays with your project.

Get the Right Setup

The design of the office does not matter as much; it only has to be comfortable enough for you. The first step is ensuring the place is well ventilated and can be adequately cooled and heated as you require. For this, you will need enough windows, which have the added benefit of letting natural light into the office, as well as an air conditioning unit. You can also use fans if the space is small enough but doing so will also require that you find a heating solution for the winter.

You also need comfortable furniture. This will include at least one seat for when you have a visitor, your work desk, and a comfortable chair. For the visitor’s seat, there are lots of affordable online options to consider. For your workspace, you need a comfortable, ergonomic chair so you do not wreck your posture.

Since you will be sitting for more than a handful of hours it is also a good idea to get a standing desk. This will allow you to work while standing which can give your legs and back a break. There are several good options on the market, and you can choose one that has adjustable height so you can tailor it to a height that is comfortable for you.

Run Power and Internet

You will need power for everything in the office, and a stable internet connection. You might be tempted to run the power yourself, but this is always a bad idea unless you are a qualified electrician. Let them run the electricity from the main house and handle the wiring inside the office, too.

For the internet, you can use a repeater or range extender to extend the connection from the router inside the home. You place one extender or repeater inside the home and one in the office. The one inside the main house is connected to its respective router. The repeater in the office can be connected to a switch or access point to give you either wired or wireless connections.

There are also extended Wi-Fi options like extenders and long-range repeaters available now, but their use is mostly in commercial projects, which explains their cost. However, they can be a great option if your outdoor office is more than a few feet from the main house.

Protect Yourself and Your Equipment

It is important to protect yourself and your equipment while working in an outdoor office. We have discussed healing and cooling, but it is also important to have some tint on your windows to protect you from direct sunlight. This tint will also make the room slightly darker which means you will not be running your computer at full brightness all the time.

The main issue that will arise from using your computer in this space is heat. Computers and other equipment you use will produce heat, so you need to ensure you have adequate cooling. If you live in a hot area, opt for a larger air conditioning unit.

Lastly, you also need to think about physical security. There will be people that can tell that the outside structure in your garden is an office. Physical security starts with a good lock for all doors and windows. Next, consider getting a good home security system. This can include cameras and motion sensors that will tell you if anyone is near the office.

Working in an outdoor office can be a great option if you do not have enough space in the house or there are too many distractions in there for you to be productive. Deal with the legalities and then focus on making the office as comfortable as possible so it helps you do your work well.

This is a collaborative post. Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash 

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