Make Remote Work Better With An Office Shed
May 5, 2021 News and Tips
Like it or not, many of us have had to work from home in the past year either part-time or full-time. Moving forward it is hard to say how many jobs are going to stay in the office and how many are going to stay at home. According to an article by Forbes, research is pointing to a long term future where work will be hybrid (both remote and in person).
While some of us like the change to work from home, others among us really do not like it. There are definite benefits and definite challenges to working from home. Lately, there is a lot more thought being put into how people can best thrive in a work-from-home setting. Everydayhealth.com has some great work-from-home survival tips. One of the tips found in the article is “Creating a designated workspace”.
This past year, 10 WBNS news reported from Amanda, Ohio about a teacher who renovated an old backyard shed into an office because she was teaching online. She loves it so much that she plans to continue using it even after teaching in person as a means of keeping her work from home separate from the house.
A clearly designated workspace is essential for long term work from home. Some people like the idea of rolling out of bed and starting work in their pajamas. This routine is fun in theory, but does not work well for most people. More and more research is showing that having a set aside workspace can greatly increase productivity. While it is theoretically possible to set aside space in the house, if you are really serious about being able to separating your work life from your personal life, an office shed could be a fantastic solution.
5 Ways an Office Shed Can Help Remote Work
1. It Will Get You Away From The House
Studies are showing that people are having a hard time psychologically with living and working in the same space. In fact, it can be very difficult to delineate work from home responsibilities, and “get in the zone” if you are catching glimpses of unfolded laundry or dirty dishes sitting around.
Having a clean designated workspace can be a crucial key to thriving better in working from home. In the event that you do have to meet a client or coworker in person, you will have much more peace of mind meeting them in a clean designated space versus feeling like you have to clean up your house first.
2. You Still Get To “Commute” To Work
Not commuting to work, is probably what people look forward to the most about working from home. While it is certainly nice to avoid the stress of crowded highways on the way to work, there is in fact something about the routine of a morning commute that is actually quite helpful.
Kristen Scarlett, a licensed mental health counselor, states “Creating space between ‘home’ and ‘work’ is helpful in setting and keeping boundaries between the two, and creating routine.”
The home office shed kind of gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to your morning commute. You get to skip congested, crowded highways and trade it for a lovely stroll through the back yard.
3. You Get To Pick The Ideal Size
Let’s face it, most of us really don’t have a lot of extra room in the house where we can put a dedicated office. By starting with a fresh office shed, you will be able to optimize the space to meet your specific needs. A lot depends on what kind of work you do, but 100-200 square feet is a good starting point for thinking about how big of a home office you will need. Getting length and width measurements of your previous office space would be a great way to plan what size of shed you will need for a home office.
If you are looking at sheds for your new office space, be aware that most sheds are listed according to their outside dimensions. This is important because you cannot simply multiply the outside dimensions to figure out how much space you will get on the inside. A safe rule of thumb is to subtract a foot from the width and the length before you multiply. Here are two examples of how to calculate interior shed space.
10×14 shed (multiply 9×13 = 117 Sq Ft of interior space)
12×20 shed (multiply 11×19 = 209 Sq Ft of interior space)
4. Work With More Natural Lighting
A huge benefit to using a shed as home office space is that you will be able to design your office with natural lighting in mind. Sheds are relatively small compared to other buildings, and thus maximizing light is going to be a whole lot easier than virtually any other office space. Natural light is great for mental health. If you get a shed from a local builder, you will want to think through the design and placement, and install windows where you will get maximum sunlight.
5. The Shed Will Create A Nice Tax Deduction… Maybe
Creating a home office has traditionally been a tax deduction. This is great news, especially if you are thinking of installing an office shed in the backyard. Unfortunately, since 2018, a tax deduction for home office space is only available to those who are self-employed and will no longer work for employees doing remote work.
If you do qualify for a home office tax deduction, be aware that you have to be able to prove that your space is used exclusively for work and does not serve some other dual purpose. Having a separate office space from the house should make proving this a bit easier. Just don’t store your gardening tools in the other half of the office shed… not only will this hurt your chances for taking a tax deduction, it will also tempt you to start randomly gardening during your work day! Here is a link where you can look into this topic of tax deductions for home offices a little more.
So are you ready to start building your very own office shed? At Beachy Barns, we have many different styles of sheds. You could turn almost any shed into an office shed, but we would like to highlight a few styles that would work better than others here.
Office Shed Styles We Recommend
1. Modern Studio Style Office Shed
This is a relatively new style we offer that has gained a lot of traction lately due to the home office trends. This is probably the most common shed style to use for a home office. If you want the feels of going to a modern downtown office space, this model will suit you well. It also a popular option for artists and other creative types.
The modern studio is a very simple lean-two design that is super easy to customize on the inside according to your needs. The single slanted roof gives you a tall sidewall which allows you to add lots of windows and easily catch natural sunlight throughout the day.
2. Cottage Style Office Shed
Traditional and classy, the cottage shed is a fantastic option for your home office. The dormer window on the top allows for a lot of natural sunlight to stream through and will give you a wonderful airy feel to your office.
3. Cape Cod Style Office Shed
If you are planning to DIY finish your home office shed, the cape cod will be an easier one with clean interior lines. When using this model for a home office, we suggest you incorporate some nice horizontal and vertical transom windows like pictured above to maximize natural lighting.
4. Custom Design
Sometimes an office shed project requires a custom design. The picture below is a customer of ours who is a life coach. She uses this custom designed shed as an office. The shed also serves as a studio to record podcasts.
We hope that these ideas are helpful for getting you on the right track! Having the perfect backyard office space will not solve all the pitfalls of remote work, but it is certainly a fantastic means of keeping work and home life separate. Please reach out to us at Beachy Barns if you are in need of a backyard office shed. We would love to help you out!