Around 1.5 million UK citizens are currently working remotely and this number is only going to increase. This has led to over £160bn injection into the economy, proving that self-employed professionals who work from home are the backbone of the present and future of the country's small business industry.
As more and more individuals choose to take their careers into their own hands, there has been an increase in demand on spaces in homes where one can run their business alongside everyday life. The biggest hurdle when it comes to working remotely is striking a balance between work and family life.
Most startups usually work from a spare room during their initial days. This provides a risk-free office solution, which gives the business an opportunity to get off the mark with little to no overhead to be worried about.
However, as with any other business that grows and expands over time, this solution becomes non-feasible. You not only start to outgrow the small space in your room, but work life begins to spill over into home or family life and that is where problems start to arise. Striking a balance between the two is hard and it's at this point that you have to make the big decision- do you look for an office away from home or should you extend the room or even install garden pods by urbanpods offices in your garden?
If working remotely is a must, then you obviously have two options- either extend the space or install an external garden office. But which is the best between the two? In this section, we are going to look at the ups and downs of both options.
Build a room extension
Adding an additional room to your existing office space is an ideal option for many reasons, but there are several downsides to consider.
On the upside, it will instantly add substantial value to your property and give you that additional space that you desperately need for your business operations. You can be able to take advantage of the space by increasing the size of your living room, kitchen or even add an extra bedroom.
However, such a project is no walk in the park. Other than the planning and expense of adding additional sq footage, construction work tends to be noisy and dust and if you're not properly prepared, it can be stressful for every family member.
Anyone who's gone through any form of construction will tell you that it is not only expensive and disruptive, but it rarely goes according to the schedule. Given the fact that you will be still working remotely, you'll be in a tricky position and may have to do your business offsite until the work is done. This can be stressful as it's the thing you were trying to avoid in the first place.
As with every construction project, there will be ups and downs and so, it is important to look for a space with no destructions whatsoever. If it's important that you do your work in a quiet place, that construction may not be the best decision. Weigh your options and consider the ramifications before you settle for an office extension.
Also, even when the work is done, the extension might be ideal for your requirements, but you will also need to consider whether it provides the needed separation from your home life.
The pros of building an extension
1. It's conveniently located
2. Adds value to your home
3. Provides flexible working conditions
4. Keeps the overheads at a minimum
The cons of building an extension
1. It's costly
2. Can be stressful
3. Disruptive, messy and noisy
4. Calls for planning consent
Self-contained garden office
If you really need a separate office and have space in your garden, then installing a self-contained garden office could be the best solution.
Unlike building an extension, this option is way quicker, economical and less disruptive. Nowadays, there's an array of ways to install a garden office. Some prefer timber framed offices, while others opt to build an outhouse using conventional brick and block work or even storage containers. The options are numerous and it all boils down to your preferences.
By settling for an exterior space like a workshop or timber or office, you immediately separate your work from home life, which is what most entrepreneurs who work remotely desire. With just a brief walk to the garden, you just turn the key, enter your office and when you are done for the day, you lock up and switch into home mode.
The process of having a garden office installed is way less daunting compared to an extension. For instance, the foundation just calls for a simple concrete slab and the building will be fabricated off-site and installed on-site. This only takes a few hours, as compared to days and even weeks when it comes to extensions.
Adding an outbuilding will ideally add value to your home, but it will not be near as much as an extension. However, when you consider the speed at which you will have the space in a functional condition and the costs, the benefits become clearer.
The pros of a garden office
1. It adds value to your home
2. Offers flexible working conditions
3. It is conveniently located
4. No major planning needed
5. It keeps the overheads to a minimum.
6. Separates your work life from your home life
The cons of a garden office
1. Needs electrical hook up
2. Can be very cold when poorly insulated
3. Needs proper heating and insulation
4. Takes up a significant space of your garden
Having looked at both options, which option is ideal for you? Well, both are great solutions. An extension can be viewed as a longer-term home-based decision and can increase the value of your home substantially. A self-contained garden office, on the other hand, seems more of a business-based decision as it provides a quicker, cost-effective route to meeting your requirements.
Also, the last thing you want is your work life intertwining with your family life. If this is something that you are currently battling, then a self-contained space in the garden is what you want. On the other hand, if making your home more appealing is more important, then an extension may be the solution that you are looking for.
By considering all these factors, you should be able to pick the right solution for your remote business.