During the pandemic, and especially during lockdown, almost all of us have experienced some degree of pressure on our living spaces.
This has helped drive significant investment in home improvement projects focused on improving our living spaces.
If space is already limited at home, many of us turn to the garden to find some extra space to use, which is what has led to the rise of the “shoffice”.
So what is shoffice?
The word shoffice combines the words “shed” and “office” to cover any form of garden office, studio or hobby room equipped with all the basic requirements for modern living.
Typically designed in a modern orangery or garden room style, these buildings are permanent structures that can usually be built under a permitted development (without planning permission) and can be used and enjoyed all year round.
These new spaces often feature large amounts of glass and floods with natural light, creating an ideal environment for working.
What’s driving this trend?
One of the more positive aspects of the pandemic has been the increase in work flexibility, with potential employers now in high demand to accommodate employee requirements.
Originally born out of necessity and now increasingly by choice, remote and hybrid working have become everyday terms and remain an important part of the UK job market.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), when restrictions are lifted in spring 2022, some 38% of working adults There was some form of hybrid work going on. In comparison, the proportion before the outbreak was only 12%.
As different forms of home working continue to increase, it’s no surprise that these types of garden room extensions, whether freestanding or attached to the main house, have become so popular.
what is the benefit
Being able to allocate some dedicated space that did not previously exist means that the office can be used for anything from an office to a studio, conference room or a multi-purpose room that combines desk space with a gym etc.
Perhaps one of the main benefits is the ability to separate home and work life, something a stand-alone office clearly offers.
Additionally, being close to nature (an example of biophilic design) and natural light have been proven to have benefits for both physical and mental health.
How to style
Size and proportion are key factors to consider to ensure that the proposed office space does not dominate its surroundings.
Using natural materials like wood is an obvious way to complement the background. While natural light will flow throughout the day, it’s important to consider both interior and exterior lighting – the latter should also cover the route between the main house and the office.
It is crucial to fully consider the functionality of the intended space during the design phase. An experienced designer will ensure these considerations are fully taken into account while presenting a 3D design showing furniture layout and more.
A quality office represents an investment that will add significant value to your overall property. It’s worth taking the time to fully research your options and hire a reputable supplier with proven capabilities in design, planning and construction.
Karen Bell is the Creative Director of David Salisburya company that manufactures and installs tops Operating hardwood greenhouses, garden rooms and orangeries for over 35 years.