Thursday, February 28, 2013

7 mistakes to avoid when looking for a garden office


InsideOut Buildings' Lynn Fotheringham - our 'go to' contact for all things on the ins and outs of garden office planning permission - has put together a nice piece about the mistakes that can cost you dearly when hunting for a garden office.

"We learn by our mistakes," she says. "But a garden office design that is so wrong that your building don’t turn out as expected, that you don’t want to use, and languishes in your garden as a constant reminder of a failed project that cost you a fortune, would be a very painful way to learn."

Her list includes building too big, too small, buying too cheaply, buying too expensively, deciding too soon, deciding too late and grabbing a 'bargain'. You can see more of her thoughts and the full list here. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homestead Timber Buildings - Manufacturers of Quality Timber Buildings

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New online networking event for homeworkers launched

While the Shedworking staff generally dislikes networking events, we have come across one or two that we like such as the marvellous Afternoon in the Pub and we have of course run our own sessions and Christmas parties for shedworkers.

So we were interested to hear about iHubbub's new online networking venture which they launched last night (always first with the news on this blog...) from their garden offices, attics and spare rooms to prove that online networking can be done from anywhere at any time (are you listening Marissa Mayer?).

Co-founder Ken Sheridan said: “We want to build our speed networking sessions so that as many members as possible get the chance to attend and pitch the products and services they provide.”

The idea is that each attendee has one minute to pitch their business and while they do this their member profile is shown on screen so other speed networking attendees can make contact with each other after the event (attendees last night came from a variety of locations including Munich and Fife).

For more information about the whole thing and the next event on March 21 at 5pm, go to http://ihubbub.com/online-speed-networking.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home Farmer: garageworking


Ruth Tott and Paul Melnyczuk publish a national magazine for smallholders/downsizers/garden farmers called Home Farmer. Here, Ruth explains about their shedworkingesque working arrangements (which of course would not now be welcomed at Yahoo!):
We work from our converted garage (who needs garages for cars anyway?) We dabbled with office space but couldn’t make the move back home quick enough. The two of us share the space with book stock, back issues of the magazine, Suzi the dog, chicken feed (bottom left) and a chest freezer. Yes, it gets cramped, particularly when I’m packing books and magazines using the freezer as my packing desk but it works.

Paul does a drum roll on the desk-top drums when the next issue is finally signed of – a wee bit irritating really.

We aspire to get a wooden, purpose built shed but until then this suits us just dandy.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Yahoo bans working from home

If you're working from home for Yahoo in a garden office, that's all about to end. All employees have been told by HR top wonk Jackie Reses that they will be have to now commute into a central office because, she says, “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home” and that they need to be "physically together". This applies not only to full-time homeworkers, but also to those who work one or more days a week from home.


Here's the whole thing...
Yahoos,
Over the past few months, we have introduced a number of great benefits and tools to make us more productive, efficient and fun. With the introduction of initiatives like FYI, Goals and PB&J, we want everyone to participate in our culture and contribute to the positive momentum. From Sunnyvale to Santa Monica, Bangalore to Beijing — I think we can all feel the energy and buzz in our offices.
To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.
Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.
Thanks to all of you, we’ve already made remarkable progress as a company — and the best is yet to come.
Jackie
 Thanks to Lloyd Alter for the alert.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

UK shedlife revealed in new report

New research released today reveals 65% of British adults own a shed and the average shedowner spends more than a year of their life in their shed. In fact Brits love their shed so much that 6% would like to be buried in them.

The research forms part of the Shed’onomic report, an in-depth study of the nation’s shed behaviour commissioned by Cuprinol to mark the official launch of the annual Shed of the Year competition.

When it comes to shed-love:
- 6% of men admit to getting frisky in their shed to spice up their love life
- A similar number want to be buried in their shed
- Almost half of owners admit they would be lost without their sheds
- More than one fifth of men admit to having spent time in their sheds to avoid arguments
- 7% escape there to make private phone calls
- Around 12% of shed owners prefer spending time in their shed to being with their family

In terms of shed economics:
- Two thirds of the adult population are shed owners, bringing the UK shed-tally up to nearl 16 million
- The under 25s spend the most on their sheds, an average of £493 compared to the over 55s who fork out £360
- Londoners splash out the most on their sheds - an average of £508 - compared to the national average of £396

As for shed uses:
- About a third of Brits take after Damien Hirst and paint in their sheds
- 11% use their shed as an office
- The shed is not just a place to store the garden tools with sheddies admitting to storing children’s toys (28%), fridge/ freezers (11%), books (16%), sunbeds (12%), desk (10%), TV (6%), old gym equipment (18%), bikes (45%) in their sheds

Kathryn Ledson, Cuprinol Marketing Manager, said: "It’s clear that sheds are vital to the British identity and that they are an inspiration to so many of us. At Cuprinol, we’re delighted to be the official sponsor of the annual Shed of the Year competition which celebrates the best of British sheds. If you think your shed is worthy of this prestigious title then you can enter at www.readersheds.co.uk from now until May 3.”

The Shed of the Year competition sponsored by Cuprinol is of course the brainchild of Uncle Wilco who launched the national competition seven years ago. Competition categories include:
• Normal
• Eco
• Garden Office
• Cabin/ Summerhouse
• Workshop/ Studio
• Unique
• Pub
• Tardis

Winners will be announced during National Shed Week (July 1-7).
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Mobile shedworking doubles in last five years


Research among commercial van drivers in the UK has found that modern technology has led to a doubling in the number of small businesses using their vans as a "mobile office" in the last five years.

But AXA Business Insurance warns that many could be leaving themselves and their businesses at risk by failing to take sensible precautions around the equipment that keeps them mobile.

The survey, commissioned by AXA Business Insurance, found that two thirds of van drivers now coordinate their businesses from their vans, a rise from 34% five years ago.  This is reflected by the fact that on average, van drivers spend only half (56%) of the time in their vans actually driving while one in seven spend less than 20% of ‘van-time' actually on the road.

Over two thirds believe that the technology they now carry with them in their vans has had a positive effect on running a mobile office and nearly a third believe it improves the image of the business. However, many admit that losing this equipment would mean their business would suffer.

Today, 71% of those using a van will carry a smartphone with them and 60% a satnav. Nearly half (45%) have a laptop or tablet and seven percent even carry a printer in their van. All of this can add up to well over £1,000 worth of equipment which, if left in a van, could be potentially uninsured. Under a regular van insurance policy, cover will generally be provided for just a few hundred pounds worth of these items. But this cover is also dependent on owners showing due care and attention - which could rule out claims from the half who don't use a functioning alarm or even hide valuables away when they leave their van.

Darrell Sansom, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance explains: "We appreciate that items such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets are vital to many businesses these days and we, like other insurers, will provide some coverfor items stolen from a van. However, if you are carrying a lot of equipment, not only should you ensure you do not make it easy pickings for thieves by leaving it in your van, you should contact your business insurer to arrange suitable cover for it."

In the last five years, 15% of van drivers have reported having a technological item stolen from their vehicle with smart phones the number one target followed by laptops and tablets.

Pic courtesy ISSUE Collective -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Richard Briers


The Shedworking staff were very sad to hear about the death of Richard Briers this morning. While not actually a shedworker, his character Tom Good in The Good Life was keen to show that there are more, and better, ways of working than just turning up to a central office every day. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shed Sunday


Langarita-Navarro Arquitectos' sheds in Madrid for the peripatetic music academy organised by Red Bull. More images at Dezeen. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sunday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SideSeat


A natty little workstation for those working in microarchitectural atmospheres from Studio Makkink & Bey, SideSeat is a desk, cupboard and swivelling chair in one. Depending on the use, the table can be an arm rest, side table and small desk. ----------------------------------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Official rise in homeworking figures

Last week we reported on new figures from the Office for National Statistics showing a rise in the number of self-employed workers in the UK. The same funsters (their reports are not exactly laugh-filled) have now released more details culled from the 2011 census which show that in England and Wales, the proportion of people working mainly at or from home increased from 9.2 per cent in 2001 to 10.7 per cent in 2011. This is probably still an underestimate but it does underline the trend towards shedworking and homeworking in general.

The City of London had the sixth largest increase in homeworking (4.5%). The South East (2.2%) and the South West (2.1%) were the regions with the largest increases.

"It may be that some workers have taken advantage of the technological innovations of the last decade that can remove the need to commute to a central office," says the report, rather missing the many other reasons why people work from home. "This is likely to be more beneficial to workers living in rural locations as their potential commuting distances are likely to be longer than for their urban counterparts."

Nine urban local authorities had a reduction in the proportion of people working from home, with the London Borough of Newham having the largest proportional decrease (1.1%). However, in all 348 local authorities of England and Wales, the actual number of home workers increased between 2001 and 2011.

2.8 million people said they walked to work. We're assuming this includes shedworkers. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homestead Timber Buildings - Manufacturers of Quality Timber Buildings

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Take part in series 2 of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces


CALLING ALL BRITAIN’S SMALL SPACE PIONEERS!

Channel 4 show ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ is on the lookout for eccentric, inspirational and beautiful small living spaces for series two.

Have you got an amazing small space at the bottom of your garden? A hideaway up in the trees? Maybe an indoor garden or rooftop extension? Are you in fact living in the smallest home in Britain?

The show's producers want to hear from people all over the UK who already own or are about to transform their small space into a wonderfully different place to work, rest or play! If you’re interested in taking part please email a description of your small space project and any accompanying photos to amazingspaces@plumpictures.co.uk
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Win a summerhouse


The fine folk at Buy Sheds Direct have a nice competition up and running to celebrate the launch of their new newsletter - they're giving away one of their 7x6 Helston Summerhouses worth £500. All that you have to do to enter is nip along to their Facebook page and fill in the entry form by February 28. Full details are here and the newsletter sign-up is here. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Broadband and shedworking

An interesting study from Halifax will be of interest to shedworkers looking to move since it suggests that access to a good broadband signal is an important factor when choosing to buy a home. Nearly one third (30%) of people surveyed said it is likely to affect their thinking on whether to buy a home in a particular area. And one fifth (20%) say they would be prepared to pay more for the same home if it had good broadband.

Of those who would consider paying more for good broadband, 67% would pay up to 3% more for a property with a good broadband signal and 22% would pay between 4%-10% more. Younger people are more likely to say it is likely to affect their decision, with 40% of 18-24 year olds compared to 24% of those aged 65 and over. And there is also a clear split along gender lines, with men (34%) more likely to say it is likely to affect their decision than women (26%).

Martin Ellis, economist at Halifax, said: "A strong broadband connection is an increasingly important factor when choosing where to live. We are living in the digital age and as such more people are choosing to work from home, but as well as this it's a part of our everyday lives with web browsing and streaming television commonplace. As a result we find people are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for homes with a good broadband signal, and this is likely to remain a factor when choosing where to live." -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Port Issac's Fisherman's Friends



The Shedworking staff were lucky enough to catch the marvellous Fisherman's Friends at the Cambridge Folk Festival a couple of years ago and again on Friday night in sunny St Albans. So we were very sad to hear about the accident on Saturday just before their Guildford concert in which their tour manager Paul McMullen was killed and singer Trevor Grills was seriously injured. Here they are in happier times singing Rattling Winches at Songs from the Shed. Wishing Trevor a speedy recovery and our thoughts are with Paul's family. Update: We were very sad to hear that Trevor has died following the accident. Our thoughts are with both his and Paul's family. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Shed Sunday


One for all those who miss our regular updates on outhouses, a 1596 woodcut which details an extraordinarily ambitious lavatorial building project. Via Dr Victoria Buckley's intriguing blog Shakespeare's England -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sunday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The 5th National Men's Shed Conference

The 5th National Men's Shed Conference will be hosted by the Victorian Men's Shed Association in conjunction with AMSA. This will be held at the Ballarat Lodge and Convention Centre, Ballarat Victoria from the 27 - 29 October 2013. This year focuses on sharing knowledge and providing practical support through the conference theme; Men's Sheds: A Sustainable Future - highlighting the success that men's sheds have achieved and looks to the future growth and development. For more information please visit the conference website http://www.dcconferences.com.au/mensshed2013/index.asp
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Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

More than 4.2 million self-employed in UK


In April to June 2012, there were an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK who were self-employed
in their main job, according to the Office for National Statistics (or 14% of the 29.4 million people in employment).

The average working week for a self-employed person was 38 hours, two hours more than the
average for employees. Self-employed people were also more likely than employees to work very
long hours with 35% working 45 hours or more per week compared with 22% of employees. Also,
13% of self-employed people worked 60 hours or more per week compared with 3% of employees.

In addition to these 4.2 million workers who were self-employed in their main job, in April to June
2012 there were a further 304,000 people who were not self-employed in their main job but had a
second job in which they were self-employed.

London, the South West, the South East and the East of England all had percentages of self-employed workers higher than the UK. London had the highest percentage with 18% of those in employment being selfemployed and the North East had the lowest with 11% of those in employment being self-employed.

There has been very little change in the top self-employed occupations over the last 20 years and in
2012 the four most common occupations were taxi/cab drivers and chauffeurs, ‘other’ construction
trades, carpenters/joiners and farmers.

The home is a place of work for some self-employed workers with 58% relying on their home to
carry out some or all of their working duties in 2012. 15% worked from their own home, 5% worked
on the same grounds or building as their home and 38% used their home as a base.

Employment, whether self-employed or as an employee, is most prevalent in thew 35 to 49 years category. For those who are self-employed, 1.6 million or 38% were in this age group. A further 1.4 million or 34% of the self-employed were in the age group 50 to 64 years.

As people get older they are far more likely, if in work, to be self-employed. Just 5% of young
people aged 16 to 24 who are working are self-employed compared with 37% of those aged 65
and over.

Focusing on changes between April to June 2008, the start of the 2008/09 recession, and the same
period in 2012, the number of self-employed people increased by 367,000 continuing a rising
trend. The rise in self-employment over this four year period happened against a backdrop of falling
numbers of people working as employees which fell by 434,000.

For the UK, while there has been an increase in the number of people who are self-employed there
has been a reduction in the number of employees who work for the self-employed. Between 2008
and 2012 there were 66,000 fewer people who were self-employed and had employees working for
them, with a 431,000 increase in people who were self-employed and worked solely on their own or
with a partner but specify they have no employees.

Between 2008 and 2012, the percentage of self-employed workers who were underemployed, i.e.
those who wanted to work more hours, increased from 6.4% to 10.8%. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homestead Timber Buildings - Manufacturers of Quality Timber Buildings

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Mökki: zero wastage shedworking?



Based in Totnes, Mökki studios design, build and install garden offices in the southwest of the UK in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset. They are designed by James Risebero, a practicing architect at Gillespie Yunnie in Dartington who says they can provide "a fully installed, modern, insulated garden office/studio at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke garden building". Here's their explanation:
Most bespoke garden buildings cost between 10 and £20K. Even "off the peg" models tend to cost over £1000 per square metre and often that doesn't include foundations. Mökki studios cost between £4,800 and £7,300 fully installed. That's approximately £800 per square metre.
The Mökki system uses standard building components in a highly efficient manner resulting in speedy manufacture and minimal or zero wastage. This is the amount of waste plywood left over after the manufacture of one of our buildings: 0
They don’t describe their system as ‘bespoke’, but it is flexible as panels can be combined in various ways.


Most of their components are either made or supplied by Devon-based companies. They use mainly European FSC wood and their Siberian Larch cladding is sourced from New World Timber in Exeter (the interior is clad in attractive birch-faced plywood). Insulation is 100mm Knauf Earthwool.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

His and hers Airstream shedworking



The fine folk at Hofman Architecture in Santa Barbara, California, specialise in revamping Airstreams (see their excellent website for lots more photos and projects including some great videos). This one particularly caught our eye, a 1964 Globetrotter and a 1967 Caravel 17' which double up as mobile offices and guest accommodation.

Features include plumbing and drainage systems, solar panels, lavatories, showers and kitchens as well as fridges and air conditioning. The flooring is made from toast-coloured strand bamboo, chosen for its ecofriendliness as well as durability. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
3rdSpace modular garden rooms
Tuesday posts are sponsored by 3rdSpace modular garden rooms.
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Monday, February 04, 2013

Sam Mendes: shedworker-to-be?




Skyfall director Sam Mendes appears to be on his way to joining the growing ranks of UK shedworkers as his plans for the conversion of an unused cart shed on his 18th century property at Church Westcote in the Cotswolds into a garden room have been approved.

Currently in a state of what Mendes's architects call "moderate dilapidation", the shed has solid stone walls, earth floor and is divided into various enclosures by timber posts. However they add that it is a "well preserved and good quality example of this simple, well crafted agricultural form of structure" and they are keen to retain this atmosphere while also adding an upper floor platform. And a shower room. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Shed Sunday

Gert Eussen -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sunday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Space Garden

Space Garden est une marque spécialisée dans la construction de bureau de jardin et pool house de 5m², à installer sans autorisations administratives. ----------------------------------------------------------
Saturday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.