How backyard offices are transforming working from home

As the pandemic has made working from home the new normal, and people are realizing that this situation might continue into the foreseeable future, finding the right space to focus and get your work done has become a priority. That’s where backyard offices come in. While some people call them garden offices, and others call them “sanity sheds,” we think this idea might be something that will really catch on for working professionals here in Arlington, Virginia.

For anyone who has been working from home for a while now, it’s a good bet that setting up shop on the kitchen table just isn’t cutting it anymore. This goes especially for dual-income families, with both adults working from home and kids attending school remotely. Space becomes a very big issue at home for everyone. So, what’s left? How about looking outside?

Repurposing backyard garden sheds offers a solution that appeals to many working professionals struggling to find a location that allows them the space to set up work essentials such as computers, desks, drawing tables, photo studios, etc., as well as some much-needed privacy to support focus and productivity. Backyard office sheds can provide all this – with the bonus of being able to quickly transition between work and home life as needed.

While backyard offices sound great, there is also the issue of making sure they are accessible and comfortable for year-round use. For example, here in the Arlington, Virginia area, we have four seasons to deal with, and a functional backyard office would need to be able to provide heat, cold, and shelter from winds or wet weather. There is also the issue of visual appeal – they should look good and blend seamlessly with your home and property, so as not to detract from your home’s value and appeal.

Luckily, shed manufacturers have thought of this, and there are numerous design options available, ranging from classic cottages to Victorian styles and even mini modernist structures. Companies are also designing the structures to be more functional, adding features like additional operable windows and solar panels for power. Check out these companies for some fun ideas of popular ready-built backyard offices: Little Cottage Co., Sheds Unlimited, and Outdoor Living Today.

If you’re thinking of adding a structure to your property to serve as a home office here in the Arlington, Virginia area, remember that setting one up takes a bit more than just paint, furniture and a Wi-Fi signal. Depending on where you live, there could be issues like building permits, size of structure, plumbing, electrical and other amenities that must be considered. Requirements can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, so please check with your local city and county offices for current permitting information before beginning any home improvement or remodeling project.