How To Create A Conducive Backyard Office Space
Modified: September 22, 2022
Working from home can be challenging with all the distractions. Maximize your attention span by building a conducive backyard office!
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Most of us no longer have to travel to and from work due to the pandemic. While this brought money-saving benefits to both businesses and employees, some still find this setup stressful. It’s difficult to separate our personal life from work if our homes also become our workplace. Thankfully, we can still achieve a work-life balance by building a conducive backyard office.
Benefits of Having a Backyard Office
Notice how difficult it is to focus and get things done in a dark, humid room? No matter how much you force your brain to concentrate, you just can’t. This is why you need a dedicated workspace at home. You could use a spare room or set up a workstation at the corner of your bedroom or living room. If you are fortunate enough to have a spacious backyard, consider building a home office shed for you to enjoy these benefits:
Setting up a workstation in the bedroom could be a good idea as it provides the privacy you need to focus at work. The downside is it’s going to be difficult to push yourself to get up and finish work when you are near your bed, as it could be tempting to just lay down. Having a bedroom workstation also affects sleep. Your brain associates the bedroom as a place for work, making it more difficult for your body to relax and fall asleep at night.
An alternative solution is to set up a workstation in the living room. However, you’ll probably get distracted if you live with a family who is always tuned in to the TV. Things can get worse if there are kids and pets. Your living room may get too noisy and crowded for you to focus on work.
Using a spare room to turn it into a personal office space could work, but you may still hear distracting noises from the other rooms. People might also start barging in without notice. Is there a way to stay away from all the distractions at home? Yes! By building a backyard office. You get to enjoy a separate workspace all by yourself. No more noisy kids or pets disrupting your Zoom calls and making it awkward.
Having a working laptop and a fast Internet connection is not enough. Your immediate environment affects your productivity so it’s important to create a conducive workspace at home. What better solution than to build a backyard office? Here, you can be far from all the potential distractions at home while staying close to nature. After all, it’s easier to work in a separate office surrounded by greenery than in a small, dingy room.
Moreover, with a backyard office, you get the freedom to style your space however you want! You can get creative, but don’t go overboard with the decorations. Remember that the purpose of this mini office is to create a comfortable space for work. So, keep ergonomics in mind when furnishing your backyard office.
Switching off from work can be challenging if your workplace is also your home. It’s tempting to open your laptop to check an email, and once you do, you’ll find yourself working all day long. Eventually, you’ll feel burned out, which can badly affect your mental health.
To achieve a work-life balance, make sure to set some boundaries at work and take a break once in a while. With a backyard office, detaching yourself from work will be easy. You can lock it, walk away, and leave everything behind to prevent yourself from working overtime.
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How to Build a Backyard Office: A Step-by-Step Guide
Having a fully-equipped office space in your backyard may be convenient, but building it is time-consuming and expensive. The costs can go up to a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the size and materials used. Fortunately, you can lower the overall costs and reduce the construction time with proper planning and preparation. For starters, follow this step-by-step guide on how to build a home office shed.
Step 1: Planning (Floor Plan and Design)
It’s enticing to go straight to home depot to start shopping for materials, but this is not advisable. If you start building your backyard office right away, you can risk buying too many unnecessary things, doubling your total costs. As such, it is better to create a plan before raiding a home depot. For starters, go online and check out some backyard office designs. Visit Pinterest and read some home decor blogs to get floorplan and furnishing ideas. Once you’ve chosen, consider how you will be using your backyard office. Do you want it purely for office work? Or is it a studio shed for photoshoots and other creative works?
Apart from the intended purpose of the office shed, also think about the possible room extensions. For example, you can add a small toilet beside your workstation for added convenience. Consider also extending your backyard office to add a courtyard. You can use this extra space to lounge around and take breaks in between work.
Don’t forget about building permits! Know about the zoning laws and codes to avoid receiving a sudden demolition notice from local enforcers.
Step 2: Building Phase
You can build your backyard office yourself, but this requires a lot of time and effort. A better option would be to hire a builder. Go around the neighborhood, ask for some recommendations, and learn about their experiences. Asking your family and friends is a good alternative too. List down the prospective builders and check their previous works. Contact them and determine whether it is going to be comfortable to work with them. Once you find yourself a suitable builder, discuss with them these important factors:
It’s easy to work in a backyard office with natural light streaming through the windows. But how about during the night? Surely, you’ll have to work overtime sometimes and even pull an all-nighter to finish a project. How can you stay focused in the wee hours of the night aside from drinking coffee? You’ll need a well-lit home office.
Aside from installing ceiling lights, consider adding some task lights too to keep your eyes comfortable while working. It could either be a decorative floor lamp or a simple table lamp shade. You can also add some decorative accent lights to add more ambiance.
Insulation is the key to a comfortable backyard office. Adding foam insulation to the walls, floors, and ceiling helps control the temperature inside. The foam absorbs excess moisture, preventing the room from getting too hot (or cold). Moreover, a well-insulated office gives you better privacy. Some building materials such as fiberglass can help reduce noise. You’ll find it easier to focus at work in a quiet, comfortable home office space.
Typical office work requires you to use a laptop or any working device, so your backyard office should have plug sockets. You can follow a DIY tutorial on how to wire a shed online, but it’s best to consult a licensed electrician first. Electrical installations are dangerous. It can cause fires and electric shock accidents, so better to leave the job to the professionals.
Powering up a home office shed can be done using two options. Either by installing a main electrical service in the shed or adding an outdoor exterior receptacle. The latter option is easier as you only have to use a long, heavy-duty extension cord to power your office shed.
Internet connection is a common problem in home office setups. The WiFi signal could render weak due to the location of an office shed. You can use a WiFi extender to improve the signal, but most have a short range. A good alternative would be to use an Ethernet cable. Discuss this with the builders to know what’s the most efficient way to run an Ethernet cable from the router to your backyard office.
Step 3: Decorating Your Office Space
Here’s the fun part! Start decorating your backyard office by painting the walls and adding outdoor office furniture. If you do not have anyone to help you, you can buy some wallpaper instead to save time. This is much easier as you only have to stick it on your drywall. Consider using wood cladding if you want a fresh, organic look in your backyard office.
As for the flooring, you can simply sand and seal the wooden floors with polyurethane. However, if you have the budget, you can go for more lavish flooring options such as glass tiles. They look luxurious and will give your backyard office a more sophisticated look.
Backyard Office Ideas for a More Conducive Workspace
It’s difficult to work in a home office shed with just the bare essentials. You have to add some furniture and home decorations to turn the shed into a conducive place for work. Below are some home office decorating ideas to help you achieve a conducive backyard office.
Keep Your Backyard Office Bright
[AIBOO] Adjustable Track Lighting
[BoostArea] Floor Lamp
[MOICO] Desk Lamp for Home Office
A single ceiling light is not enough for a home office shed. You also have to add some task lights such as desk lamps to minimize eye strain. These keep your eyes comfortable by reducing glare as most desk lamps emit soft, warm light.
Here’s a tip when shopping for desk lamps; look for LED desk lamps with different color temperatures and brightness levels. This allows you to adjust the light according to your comfort level. We also recommend choosing desk lamps with low blue light. Blue light has a high color temperature that produces more glare, so excessive exposure to blue light can strain your eyes.
If there’s no more room to add a desk lamp on your small floating desk, you may want to use an upright floor lamp instead. This helps bounce off the light from ceiling fixtures, reducing glare. Plus, floor lamps double as decorative accent pieces to improve the overall ambiance of a home office.
Improving ambiance can also be achieved with track lighting. You can use this to highlight decorations in a home office space. These decorations can include paintings, photos, action figures, or any display. Another benefit of using track lighting is it helps illuminate dark corners, making your office shed look brighter and more comfortable.
Add Storage and Space-Saving Furniture
[Gannyfer] Bookshelf Tree with Drawer
[Cubiker] Home Office Desk
[HOMCOM] Convertible Sofa
Space can be a problem, especially if you have a small backyard office. In such cases, you’ll have to be smart when choosing home furniture to avoid an overcrowded office space. Consider investing in double-purpose furniture to save space. For example, adding a convertible sofa in the mini lounging area. You can use this every time you want to take a quick nap between work.
Focus also on adding as much storage as possible. Aside from buying office supply storage tools, invest in bookshelves. Just avoid buying bulky and heavy bookshelves. Instead, look for those with an open shelf design for a clean, minimalist look. It would also be great if the bookshelf has some drawers to hide small knick-knacks and minimize visual clutter.
However, if it’s too cramped to add a standalone bookshelf, you may opt for an office desk with a built-in drawer and bookshelf instead. It’s convenient to use such furniture as it keeps all your office tools within arm’s reach.
Personalize Your Backyard Office With Photos and Wall Art
[NEX] Wall Grid Panel
[Mkono] Macrame Wall Hanging Photo
[ROGINGA-ATO] Inspirational Wall Art
You will eventually come to a phase where work feels repetitive. Spark inspiration in your backyard office by decorating the walls with family photos or pictures of your loved ones. But don’t just stick random photos on the wall — do it with style! For example, use a macrame wall hanging photo display to add sophistication to your office space.
If you prefer to keep it simple, you may use a wall grid panel instead. Mount this in front of your desk and clip your favorite photos on it. You can also use this wall grid panel for posting notes as well. This will be useful, especially if you have to remind yourself about an important meeting or task.
Apart from decorating your backyard office with photos, put up some inspirational wall art too! They are more than just decorative pieces as they also help encourage you to keep going during those difficult times at work.
Surround Your Backyard Office with Nature
[Succulent Cult] Rooted Succulents
[American Plant Exchange] Parlor Palm
[Kinkota] Artificial Plants with Lights
Plants don’t only add a decorative touch to your backyard office, they help increase your productivity too! You’ll feel more motivated working in an office shed surrounded by greenery. A social psychology study found that staring at a green object can help keep one’s creative juices flowing. This is why you should decorate your office shed with plants. It doesn’t have to be a live plant; you may also use an artificial plant as long as it helps improve the mood and ambiance of your backyard office.
But of course, live plants are still better as they help clean the air inside your backyard office. Plants filter the air by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. With clean air, you are less likely to experience headaches during work. It’s now easier to focus and get things done!
For indoor plants, we recommend choosing succulents. They help purify the air and remove VOCs present in some wooden furniture products. Parlor palms are great too. Just like succulents, they remove formaldehyde and other pollutants in the air. Plus, they are easy to care for!
Don’t forget to add plants outside your backyard office too! Decorate the exterior with beautiful climbing roses for an exquisite Greek garden-inspired look. Seeing these gorgeous roses can help alleviate your stress at work.
Work Comfortably at Home with a Backyard Office!
Building a backyard office may be quite expensive, but it’s worth it. You now have a separate workspace, far from all the distractions at home. Plus, you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery outside your backyard. You can even add a rock garden right outside the office shed for a better view. Doing this will help boost your morale and productivity at work!