Monday, October 19, 2020

Space of Mind garden office


Helsinki-based architects Studio Puisto have been inspired by coronavirus-related changes in our working lives to come up with this rather attractive design for people looking for a garden office or indeed an off-grid cabin retreat. As they put it: "As we have all come to realize during these unprecedented times, we need a dedicated space to be able to think, concentrate and unwind – somewhere we can find our own peace of mind." The main shell is wood, with various cladding possibilities including larch wood and galvanised steel.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Making the change from traditional office to garden office

You can't have missed the national media suddenly latching onto the idea of shedworking over the last few months. But how does the change from a traditional office to a garden office work on a day to day basis? In an excellent piece for Estates Gazette, leading design consultant and recent president of the Royal Institute of British Architects Ben Derbyshire talks about his new typical day since the advent of coronavirus.

He explains how his commute now takes him down to the end of his garden to his self-contained garden office. Here's a snippet:

Although our studios at HTA Design have been reopened since August, most of us are finding that a new blend of home and office working is slowly emerging as the pandemic runs its course. For me, in my late sixties, and with asthma, setting up a garden studio long before Covid-19 (now crammed with my books, CDs and pictures), was a godsend in lockdown. Just at the moment, with cases on the rise, there are more days spent in the garden.

He then goes on to outline a day of online meetings, ending with his ongoing work on writing a book. It's a short piece and well worth reading, underlining that you can work extremely productively from a garden office at the highest level.

Image courtesy OECO Garden Rooms 

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Building a garden office: final update


If you are planning to build your own garden office from scratch then there is lots of advice on this site about how to go about it. But the one thing you really must do is watch the series of videos which web designer and developer Jack McConnell has been posting over the last year (see them on Shedworking here or at Jack's YouTube page here) about how he has built his own garden office.

Here's the final one below in which he adds cladding and guttering and presents the history of the build. However, he does promise future related videos which we will keep an eye out for.

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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, October 14, 2020

Working from home good mental health, suggests new study


A study by recruitment specialists Randstad indicates that nearly a third of 600 workers polled say that their mental wellbeing is better working from home. A study earlier in the year by Randstad showed that two of the key beneifts employees looked for most in additional to a good salary were flexible working hours and being able to work from home.

"Although our recent findings suggest that mental wellbeing when linked to physical working location is unaffected for the majority," said Graham Trevor, Randstad UK HR Director, "it’s important for employers to be agile and ensure both sets of employees are equally supported. There are workers who require support with their mental wellbeing from home, and those who are subject to a new working environment which they are still adapting to.

While office safety is front of mind for many employers to ensure compliance of new government guidelines, the remote workforce must not be overlooked. Now would be a good time to work with home workers to tailor a self-assessment to reflect the specific needs and hazards of their work - an unsuitable home working environment or uncomfortable setup might be contributing to poor mental health."

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Is the car office the new garden office?

Last week we returned to the idea of 'pubworking' and today we're looking again at working from your car, following research by used car experts heycar which suggests that garden offices are not the only places which are enjoying increased interest among former traditional officeworkers.

According to its survery of 2,000 motorists, one in 10 are regularly working from their cars during lockdown, citing it as a quiet place to talk with business contacts, plan, and simply relax. The numbers are even higher among the 17-24 age group where house-sharing means that the figure is more like one in five

“We no longer just see our vehicles as a means of getting us from A to B," said CEO of heycar, Mat Moakes. "Now they are offices, sanctuaries, a place for some much needed ‘me’ time. The car is a space to reflect while cocooned from the stresses and strains of modern life. Whether calling a friend or singing along to a favourite song.”

The research also showed that nearly a third of people liked listening to music while driving, a quarter prefering the radio, and one in eight enjoing singing along.

If you are considering working in your car, do have a look at the driver ergonomics advice pdf put together by Loughborough University.

Image courtesy Lee Connelly of his Black London black cab converted into a workspace and social space via Readersheds

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Monday, October 12, 2020

New home buyers offered garden office option

 

We mentioned back in June that housebuilder Cairn was starting to offer a garden office option (pictured above) to new home buyers and they are continuing to expand their offering at its new site in  Newcastle, County Dublin. Working with Kingspan they have already installed garden offices at their developments in Mariavilla in Maynooth and Gandon Park in Lucan.

Talking to the Irish Times, director of customer at Cairn Sarah Murray said: “Buyers are asking lots of questions but it’s not part of getting them in the door.”

Interestingly, even if the buyer doesn't go for the garden office option, as Cairn is building in Newcastle, they are bringing the electric connection/Cat cabling through to the back wall of the properties to help with wifi and the potential for future installations.

Also contributing to the article is John Sherry from Dublin-based Garden Homes who says that the move "puts the garden room on the map” and adds that director-level interest in garden offices has soared to the point where the garden is now effectively "valuable real estate.”

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Monday posts are sponsored by eDEN Garden Rooms. Stunning, bespoke high quality garden rooms, to suit your unique space and style

 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Chop

Here's an interesting television series of interest to shedworkers starting next Thursday (October 15) on Sky. The Chop is hosted by shed aficianado William Hardie and comedian Lee Mack and pits some of the country's finest woodworkers against each other in a competition in Epping Forest to fit out a variety of shedlike atmospheres. In each episode there is a cabin from an historical period for which the contestants must build appropriate furniture or fittings - among the rooms which they furnish are Nelson’s cabin on HMS Victory, a Victorian pub, a Gothic bedroom, a Georgian hunting lodge. Here for example is how they describe episode six, transmitted on November 19:

This week’s historical era takes us back to Georgian times – and a study in the woods. The first thing a study is going to need is a writing desk and for the group task our remaining woodworkers split into two teams to make the perfect Georgian desk. The skills challenge is to make a book stand in two hours and for their creative task the woodworkers really get into the Georgian mindset with gun racks and trophy wall-hangings.

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Friday, October 09, 2020

Tax implications of a garden office

The issue of how your financial affairs are affected by buying a garden office is not a cut and dried one and over the years we have posted regularly about the tax implications of shedworking. The first thing to say is that you should always discuss these things with your financial adviser before taking action since there are different interpretations. However, it's always good to hear from an expert. 

Jon Dudgeon from blusky is the latest to put pen to paper on the subject, taking a swift but informed look at topics such as corporation tax, income tax and capital gains. Here is a snippet of his thoughts on VAT:

This is where you need to need to tread carefully.If your company is VAT registered you will be able to claim back the VAT on all your costs (again make sure the invoices are made out to your company).  That sounds simple enough until you consider personal use.  Surely there will some!! The office is in your gardenisn’t it? If you will be using the garden office for both personal and business use, you will need to consider very seriously making an adjustment for the personal use element on your VAT reclaim.

Click the link above for the full article.

Image courtesy Smart.

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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Garden office 3D virtual showroom

 

Many garden office suppliers with showrooms have reopened them - with all the necessary safety precautions - since the end of the big lockdown, but some still offer virtual showrooms and phone consultations for those who are not keen to take a look in person. One of the best is Norwegian Log's 3D virtual showroom which lets you take a 360 degree look at a wide range of their builds (and in the process also gives you some pointers to how you might like to fit out your own).

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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, October 07, 2020

Pubworking in Liverpool

While of course this site's prime concern is being a cheerleader for working at home in garden offices, we are of course interested in all kinds of cousins of shedworking, such as coworking, third place working, and mobile 'nomadic' working. One of our particular interests is in 'pubworking' (and those of you with long memories will remember the website we set up years ago in a bid to boost the concept more widely). 

Of course there have been some large changes to society since we asked last October 'Is pubworking on the rise?' but Uncle Wilco from the other shed blog alerts us to the Halfway House pub in Liverpool, which is offering a 'pub desk' for those who are not enjoying working from home and need somewhere else, a third place pub rather than a third place coffee shop.

You get a table entirely to yourself in the pub's comfortable new snug area for three hours, close to a plug socket with free wifi (and a free soft drink). It's a quiet zone too and available from 11am Monday to Friday. You can contact the pub on Facebook or at their website.


If you're pubworking, please do get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Slightly underground garden office for an illustrator




A marvellous garden office in London by Shacklewell Architects for illustrator Ann Kronheimer who became a shedworker after working from a small room in her flat. This also underlines that you don't have to own an enormous garden to build a garden studio. Regular readers of Shedworking know that the staff is particularly interested in underground garden offices and this is an example in action with a floor level deliberately designed to be sunk lower than the garden - it means the top of Ann's desk inside is the same height as the garden outside.

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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, October 05, 2020

End of the five days in the office job

 

I've read various articles over the lasts couple of weeks in which the authors, for various reasons, argue strongly for a return to the pre-lockdown five days in the office presenteeeism approach to working. However, the flow of reports that suggest people simply don't want to continue this way continues, the latest coming from the British Council for Offices.

Their figures indicated that the majority of people who work in offices do not want to do so five days a week after we get back to 'normal' - two thirds of senior executives, a key sector, say they want a mix of working from home and working from the office. One in six of the 2,000 people questioned in the study said they planned to work entirely from home. Here's what the BCO’s chief executive Richard Kauntzetold the Guardian:

“We are never going to go back how things were before. The idea that people will return to the five-day week in the office has gone, and I think a much more blended approach is likely, two or three days in the office and two-three at home or wherever is going to be a much more typical pattern. Most people will value being able to work on that basis.”

 Image courtesy Norwegian Log

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Watch George Bernard Shaw's writing hut rotate

While it's easy to see the outside of Shaw's hut (in normal times, anyway), the inside is locked away from visitors (for no particular reason - it would surely be a marvellous idea to open it up?). But here's a short video from the National Trust showing us around inside, which is nice, but much better, also demonstrating how it turns.

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Friday, October 02, 2020

Sheds and the history of vaccination

Vaccinations are very much on everybody's mind at the moment so it's good to take a look at the vital part sheds played in their development. In 1796, rural doctor Edward Jenner carried out the world's first controlled vaccination against smallpox at his home in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. He then set up a clinic in the nearly-domed hut at the end of his garden which, like all good shedworkers who give their garden office a nickname, he christened the Temple of Vaccinia.

Insdie the thatched hut, initially built for him by a friend as more of a summerhouse or garden office in which to write, he vaccinated allcomers for free, making no efforts to make money off the back of his success. The brick and rubblestone hut won Grade II listing in 1952 and is open to the public as part of the excellent Jenner Museum. Not the ancient tree trunks which frame the door.

Image: David Stowell

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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Scottish ‘Men’s Shed of the Year’ 2020

There is more than one Shed of the Year competition nowadays and the latest winner of Scottish ‘Men’s Shed of the Year’ organised by the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) is The Inverclyde Shed has been crowned Scottish ‘Men’s Shed of the Year’ 2020. The two other shortlisted finalists were Garnock Valley Men’s Shed, and Kinross & District Men’s Shed. 

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award and title," said Chairman of The Inverclyde Shed, Bruce Newlands. "This shows a huge vote of confidence that there are really good people doing some really great things here in Inverclyde! It must be recognised that, although this is a competition, there is absolutely no rivalry with our fellow Men’s Sheds. Sheds are all at different stages and sizes and we have only been inspired, encouraged and supported by other Sheds to implement activities and ideas that have worked for them. We invested in a 3D printer after hearing about Kinross & District Men’s Shed creating face visors for frontline workers and launched a carving club after hearing about the success of the modellers’ club offering at Garnock Valley Men’s Shed.  This award showcases the great work being carried out by Sheds across Scotland so we can share knowledge and ideas to improve the health and wellbeing of the men in our communities.”

More details 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.