Finding space outside for a garden office is something you may want to seriously consider if you are one of the many people who are now starting a new style of life where you have decided to work from home. Alternatively you may want to study or follow an online course, which is going to help you build a new career, or even follow internet trends for future reference.

Either way, computers and technical equipment are now firmly established as an integral part of the modern home and it is so much easier if everything can be set up in a comfortable space of your own in a garden office, or log cabin, well away from the hustle and bustle of family life and unwelcome casual visitors.

Having your working space separate from your living space does in fact vastly improve your quality of life. This is because you can make as much clutter as you like without upsetting anyone else and you can talk on the phone in complete privacy.

But most important of all you can shut the door on your business or work at the end of the day and leave all your problems in the garden! If your office is easily accessible within the four walls of your home there is always the inevitable temptation to just check emails, finish some paperwork or browse the internet.

All of this is bad for family life and even your health since there is no definite division between work and home life, therefore you never mentally get away from the pressure of work and this can affect your sleep patterns, energy levels and subsequently your relationships.

Therefore to avoid twenty-four hour pressure, constant interruptions and the rest of the family having to share their home with wiring, computers, telephones, printers and all the other technical paraphernalia needed to run an efficient office it makes perfect sense to buy an office that you can set up in the garden or indeed anywhere outside where it won’t intrude in your lifestyle. Once you have decided to bite the bullet and buy a garden office there are a few basics to bear in mind before you take the plunge.

Advice for setting up a garden office:

Check whether you need planning permission before you even bother to contact a home office company and also find out how your neighbours feel about a new erection that may spoil the view from their property.
Make sure you measure up for your intended garden office area accurately. For example a twelve foot square building will need designated ground area for more than that size to allow for foundations, door opening and space to walk round the outside for future maintenance and repairs.

Never opt for an outside office with no insulation, no matter how cheap, otherwise you will freeze in winter and fry in summer. Two windows in your garden office are better than one, as you can get a through draught in hot weather, but you may only have room for a single window if it compromises your furniture space. Always have an opening window though to ensure that you get plenty of fresh air.

Choose flooring for your office that is easy to live with, doesn’t echo and means that you can kick your shoes off in comfort.

When measuring up your office interior be sure to calculate from skirting board to skirting board as this is the narrowest part of the room and where your furniture will fit up to. Also don’t forget to allow for the position of plugs and light switches; this is important in a small garden office.

A cluttered office with nothing in its proper place can be depressing to work in so do try to plan your office so that you can achieve a semi-fitted look. This allows the furniture to “flow” around the room, leaving a sense of freedom, even in a small space.

Do put your desk near the window, this will allow you to gaze out at the world when you are stuck for inspiration or just fed up with work. However if it is directly in front of the window install blinds as prolonged periods of direct sunlight can damage a wooden desk and worse still shine on your monitor when you are working.

If you’re right-handed, for instance, try having the desk positioned to the right of your window so you have natural light, say at 90° to the window. Don’t place your desk directly opposite the window or you’ll get lots of reflection from the window onto your monitor, and be spoiling your own light!

In a small office a corner desk is good choice to save space since you are utilising the diagonal space in the room which is always greater than the length and width. Corner desks also give you plenty of depth of workspace, which means you have plenty of room for both computer and paperwork.

Keep tall bookcases on one wall, especially in a small office. Do try to keep the height on one wall, preferably behind the door or out of your line of vision as you walk into the room. This will make the office feel less cramped to work in. It is best to choose pale woods and glass as these will feel much less imposing than dark oaks or mahogany thus giving more of an impression of light and space.

To optimise your garden office space you may have to sacrifice easy access to plug sockets and telephone points, by using trailing electrical 4 gang extension sockets and broadband extension cables. It is best to tuck these safely out of the way behind bookcases and desks but be sure that you can still reach them in emergencies such as thunder storms or power problems.

Heating your office is normally a simple choice between an electric heater or a radiator. If you are installing the latter you will need to leave a 4 inch gap between it and your desk, or other furniture, to allow enough air circulation. This is so as not to damage the furniture and to enable the radiator to operate efficiently.

Finally always purchase the most comfortable desk chair you afford, to enable you to work in comfort for longer periods; it is often worth visiting an office shop that specialises in back friendly furniture to ensure against chronic back problems.