2020 has been the year for working from home. This trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. So how can you adapt your garden to improve productivity as you work from home?
During the coronavirus pandemic, we’re seeing a growing number of enquiries for people who want to adapt their gardens to facilitate working from home. Here’s how we can help.
As winter draws on and the whole family is spending more time indoors with the doors shut, working from the kitchen table feels a little claustrophobic. To say nothing of clunky and inconvenient. If productivity matters to you, there’s no substitute for having a dedicated workspace. You can set boundaries and work to a schedule with no disturbances. Life is easier when you have all of your books, files and technology to hand. And nothing beats the convenience of not having to put everything away before you can enjoy family time.
And then there are the online meetings. Do you really want clients and colleagues to get a good view of your living room (and your toddler!) every time you “zoom”?
A garden office is ideal for working from home. Great views, peace, and quiet, and a very short journey to work. Modern garden offices are well insulated, fully equipped with electricity, water, broadband, and whatever else you need. And of course, you have 100% control over the setting for your virtual meetings.
If face-to-face meetings are unavoidable, your garden office provides a safe environment away from the hubbub of family life. Which I’ve always found helps to preserve my sanity.
Outdoor working areas
Working outdoors in the winter doesn’t sound too inviting, but for short periods of time, it can actually be quite therapeutic.
Imagine a virtual meeting with your beautiful garden as a backdrop. OK – so you might be wearing a coat but you’ll have lovely rosy cheeks.
Or, why not create a sheltered pergola? You can have a louvered roof and removable sides so that the space adapts to whatever the weather conditions might be. With the addition of a heater, your pergola could become an outdoor office for all but the coldest of days. It could also morph seamlessly into non-work functions. For example, an outdoor kitchen, a relaxing spot for morning coffee, and of course, a shaded refuge for those long, languid summer days.
This outbuilding has been adapted to become a garden office – complete with amazing views and a decking area for coffee breaks and “thinking time”
Relaxation during work breaks
It’s really hard to “switch off” when you’re working from home. You haven’t got a great deal of thinking time between getting dressed and turning on the computer. And of course, if something pops into your head at 9pm it’s tempting to attend to it straight away. Over time, that’s not great for your stress levels and your mental health.
For short breaks during the working day, a neat patio beside your garden office is ideal. Add a bistro style table and chairs, some screening so that you’re not tempted to break concentration by nipping “home” and of course some lighting for gloomy afternoons. Maybe consider a covered veranda or a small pergola for shelter.
Outside of working hours, let your garden become an escape zone. Create areas that you can retreat to with a cup of coffee, an al-fresco meal or that post-work G&T. Surround yourself with plants, clever evening lighting and possibly the soothing sounds of a water feature.
The journey to work
Your journey to work – the walk between your kitchen door and your garden office, can become a sensory experience. Our garden designers can suggest features and plants to give your garden a relaxing and mindful ambience 365 days a year.
Having moved your workspace into the garden, it’s time to think about your journey to work. OK, so there’s no worries about parking, fuel bills or railcards. But you still don’t want to negotiate a muddy, slippery, dreary walk to the bottom of the garden before you start work. Neither do you want to be stomping mud into the house when you come home.
That’s where the art of garden design comes in. At Manor Landscapes we’ve had over 30 years of experience of creating gardens that are practical as well as beautiful. Our designers will help you to choose a garden office or pergola that suits your property. And then we’ll design a garden that will give you a pleasurable journey to work, create a great ambience, and (depending on your plot) allow customers and colleagues to visit your office without coming into your home.
Imagine feeling the sun on face as you stroll down the garden brushing your hand over herb plants to release their scent. What a way to start the day!
Building your working from home garden
Adapting your garden for working from home starts with a great garden design and a trustworthy landscaping company. Manor Landscapes are experienced at designing and building beautiful and functional gardens that really work hard for our clients. Whether you need a complete garden makeover or just a few tweaks to make working from home easier, we’re here to help.