Thursday, March 31, 2016

Employers are failing to invest in remote working and shedworking

 
Workplace flexibility and remote working is being held back by a lack of mobile technology provided by employers, according to a new study by workplace solutions provider Steelcase.

Its research found that only half of British workplaces currently accommodate remote working – six percentage points less than the global average - while fixed technology still exceeds mobile by 2:1 in UK offices.

The authors say the findings suggest that the ‘remote working revolution’ and its predicted efficiency savings could be held back by a failure to invest in the tools and tech to make it a reality. A previous study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research have showed that a “work from anywhere” culture could add up to £11.5bn per year to the UK economy.

Only 39 per cent of UK workers are provided with a laptop, compared to 77 per cent who have a desktop computer, found the study. Meanwhile, only 38 per cent are given a mobile telephone, compared to 91 per cent who have a landline.

As a result, nearly a third of employees say that they aren’t satisfied with the IT and telephone equipment provided by their employer.

At the same time there are indications that UK employees are keen to work more flexibly, with 17 per cent saying they have already adopted nomadic working, spending less than 40 per cent of their time behind a desk. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter report working remotely at least once per week with almost one in ten doing so every day.

“With the array of innovative technology on the market today, it’s surprising that so many workers are still tied to their desks, with just a desktop computer and landline provided by their employer,” commented Bostjan Ljubic, VP Steelcase UK & Ireland.  “Our research has shown that the most engaged workers are those who have more control over their work experience, including the ability to work in the office, at home, or elsewhere - depending on their task, personality and work style. Yet, without the necessary tools to do so, employees can feel constrained, lacking the mobility and flexibility they need to do their best work.

“Studies have shown that increased engagement means greater productivity, innovation and employee retention; factors which impact business performance and ultimately the bottom line. With demand for remote working set to increase, employers would be wise to invest in the right tools and technology now, or they could be left behind." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Shedworking standing up


I know various shedworkers who - like Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway - prefer to work at a stand-up desk (and even a couple who have treadmill desks). For them, and others considering this way of working, there's an interesting article at the Guardian on whether it is healthier and more efficient or not. Here's a snippet:
While the benefits of standing desks may be overstated, the risks of sitting are not. You can take walking breaks throughout the day and use the stairs, whatever desk you have.
Well worth a quick browse. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Garden offices and shedworking: Latest figures


 AMA's latest report into the health of the garden building industry estimates that the market for domestic garden buildings and structures grew by 3.5% in 2015. Following a relatively flat period between 2010 to 2013, it says that growth began in 2014 and into 2015, thanks to improving consumer confidence and spending.

"The trend towards homeworking has continued," say the authors, "and there is a growing need to provide accommodation for parents and children unable to enter the housing market. Also benefiting the market are the increasing uses of garden buildings for leisure activities as well as the trend for upgrading specification and increased customisation of buildings... Homeworking has been increasing since 2011 and it is likely that its popularity will continue to grow, particularly as faster broadband coverage reaches all parts of the UK, which is likely to continue stimulating demand for garden offices. "

The report adds that increasing variation and choice of products also benefits the market which it predicts will grow by 3-5% a year until 2020. One limiting factor it highlights however may be the decreasing size of the average garden size of new builds as well as the large proportion of flats and apartments expected to be built to meet the Government’s housing targets.

An article in DIY Week also points out that sheds are the leading type of building in the sector (35% share), followed by garden buildings for all year use, then log cabins and summerhouses, each with more than 20% of the market.


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

Monday, March 28, 2016

The fall and rise of the shepherd's hut


A nice piece in the Daily Telegraph by Eleanor Doughty looks at the rise of the shepherd's hut as a popular garden office (and general garden building) choice. There's a chat with long time friend of Shedworking Richard Lee from hutmakers Plankbridge and also with Paul Bennett from Red Sky Shepherd's Huts. Here's what he says:
“People are moving around less, and increasingly looking for extensions for their houses. But that’s a massive undertaking, it’s messy and expensive. A shepherd’s hut is low maintenance. All you’ve got to do is hook it up to an electric supply, and you’ve got an instant extension. It is the most personal room you ever own. When you move you can take it with you. That’s a big deal.”
Well worth a browse. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Beach Houses, Margate



 
Inspired by traditional beach hut designs (tall gable roofs, timber cladding), the 11 Beach Houses at Margate on with Strutt & Parker also have traditional beach hut views across Westbrook Bay, or as the estate agents put it "With uninterrupted sea views these homes playfully reinterpret the conventional British beach hut creating a modern retreat and are the perfect seaside getaway to enjoy with family and friends". The homes are two bedroom, open plan, with a sea-facing first floor balcony and ground floor terrace. It's all within a gated development and there's dedicated underground parking.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bussum Garden Studio




A lovely design by Serge Schoemaker, this garden office in Bussum, Netherlands, is a shedworking space that also doubles as guest accommodation. It's unusual shape is designed to fit into a long, narrow garden and it is clad in black-varnished red cedar shingles as a nod to the traditional local wooden sheds designs - 2,000 shingles were sanded and painted by hand to cover it. Inside, the whole surface is made from transparent white-lacquered birch plywood.  The whole thing is 30 m2
Photographs: Raoul Kramer
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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, March 22, 2016

Casa Kiké



 
There's often a bit of a fuss about size when it comes to sheds and garden offices. This is certainly towards the larger scale of shedworking... Gianni Botsford Architects designed this wooden pavilion for a writer in Costa Rica and it features a studio space, with library, writing desk and grand piano. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, March 21, 2016

How Millennials are re-imagining the shed for the 21st century


Britain’s 18-24 year olds are five times more likely to use their sheds for recreational activities than their parents and grandparents, according to new research from garden building specialist Waltons. The survey also revealed that Britain’s 18-24 year olds are nine times more likely to use their shed as a summerhouse than their parents, (those aged 45-54) who were more likely to use their garden building for its primary purpose.

The study also shows that Britain’s over-55s are investing the least amount of money into their sheds (£306), compared with young adults, aged 18-24, who spend on average £420.

“Its clear to see that young people are becoming more aspirational when it comes to their homes and gardens. You could say they’re enjoying the finer things in life a lot earlier on,” said Waltons spokesperson Aaron Ketland. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Design your own beach hut competition


Details of a new competition from the specialist small spaces television companyt Plum Pictures. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Drawing Studio at Arts University Bournemouth


Admittedly, this is quite a big shedworkingesque space but we feel the Drawing Studio designed by Peter Cook of CRAB Studio still qualifies as a garden office. It is supposedly the first purpose-built drawing studio to be built at a UK art school for 100 years and provides a creative space for students from a range of courses including artists, costume designers, architects, and animators. Lots more photos and videos at the Drawing Studio site here.



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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

QuickJack system: A shed base option for garden offices


The three most common queries we receive at Shedworking Towers are about planning permission, heating garden offices, and DIY recommendations including shed bases. Here's one which may be of interest, the QuickJack system which works with both soft surfaces (grass and soil) and hard ones (concrete, tarmac, etc). It was successfully trialled in the UK last year and the range of brackets has now been expanded and the products are bright zinc plated to prevent corrosion.

Essentially, it is an adjustable system for people who already have a base or partial base but the base has either failed or is uneven or they simply want to extend it to accommodate a larger/new building. The new system for hard surfaces provides variable inches of adjustment and can be bolted to the hard surface to prevent uplift. More details at www.shedbase.com ----------------------------------------------------

Tiny homes: Are they a 'good thing'?


An interesting piece by Sophie Morris in The Independent [disclosure - I work for the Indy and in fact subbed this article] looks at the role tiny homes might play in the UK housing crisis. Here's a snippet:
Developers in high-density, high-cost cities are building good-looking, smartly designed, teeny tiny apartments to counter the conundrum of diminishing space. This sector of the market is so in demand that London developer Pocket recently held a competition in which 19 reputable architects submitted designs for a new two-bedroom development, and 50 per cent of the decade-old company has just been bought by Stephen Ross, a US property billionaire who also owns the Miami Dolphins American football team.
Pictured above and below is New York's first 'micro apartment' tower in Manhattan designed by nArchitect.


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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Refuges by Tristan Pereira


A fantastic series of atmospheric photographs by Tristan Pereira of rural huts and cabins in the Pyrenees, mostly used by shepherds and farmers, but also as general refuge huts. Well worth a look.


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

Monday, March 14, 2016

How to get wifi in your garden office


For all those interested in getting wifi into their garden office, broadbandbuyer.com has some suggestions in an article on this very subject. Here's a snippet:
"The simplest way to do this is with a WiFi point to point link. This means you have a dedicated WiFi link between your house and the office providing maximum data-throughput with no drop outs. At the office end, you're presented with an Ethernet connection which can be connected to a switch to provide connectivity for all the desktop PCs, printers etc and to a WiFi access point to provide WiFi for your iPad and laptop."
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Shepherd's hut event at the Weald & Downland Museum





Dave Morris, author of the excellent book Shepherds’ Huts and Living Vans, has been in touch about a shepherd's hut themed event at which he is helping out at the Weald & Downland Museum, (West Dean, near Chichester). "The last few have been great fun with a number of hut makers bringing along examples of huts that they can manufacture or restore," he says. "Glamping and hut B&B stands, shepherding tools, blacksmith demo, South Downs sheep, and much more, all in the glorious setting of the Weald & Downland Museum. If you have never been you really should - they have their own collection of around eight or nine different shepherds huts and living vans, along with a stunning collection of saved, relocated and resurrected original buildings and, importantly, sheds." Dave will be there both days doing a talk on the history of the shepherd's hut and also give a talk on restoration tips and things to look for and bear in mind if you are considering restoring or building a shepherds hut. Well worth adding to your diary. --------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Caravan Obscura



The Shedworking staff is a keen fan of obscuras and the Caravan Obscura is no less fascinating. It is the creation of artist Kenny Bean. Obscuras - a way of using mirrors and lenses to project the landscape outside onto the inside ceiling of a small building, in this case, a caravan - were popular in Victorian Britain and after falling out of fashion, they seem to be slightly on the rise again.

The Caravan Obscura runs workshops and appears at festivals around the country. You can catch up with it at various drop-in sessions on March 19 at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (next to the pond near the East Gate) for the absolute bargain price of free. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Mushroom Dome Cabin


With all the talk in the air about 'shedcations', it seems the right moment to report that the most popular property on airbnb is the marvellous Mushroom Dome Cabin in Aptos, California, just £83 a night. It's marketed as a "geodesic dome loft" and its right in among a Redwood forest and 10 acres of land. Sleeps 3.

Mushroom Dome Cabin: #1 on airbnb

Aptos, CA, United States
.A geodesic dome loft & a large deck in the trees, you'll feel like you're in a tree house in the woods. As we book up pretty far in advance, if you would like to stay on our land, reserve our Humm...
Holiday Rentals in Aptos
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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, March 08, 2016

Brooklyn Garden Studio


An intriguing project in New York from Hunt Architecture (also worth a look is their Prospect Heights Garden Studio which is in design). According to the architects:
"The project is an escape from the city, both the act of building and the time spent inhabiting. The garden studio provides a peaceful, seemingly detached oasis within the immense landscape of New York City, a perfect spot for enjoying a book or an afternoon nap. There is something special about being in a space in New York that makes you feel elsewhere." 


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