Remote working is becoming increasingly common and while the idea of working from home may sound appealing, if you are just going to sit in a home office all day you may as well be in the real office.
Homes tend to have one thing that offices do not…gardens!
But can a garden be an effective workplace? Absolutely, but you need to think about how to create a space that is productive and there are three key things to consider.
Privacy – you need to create a space that allows you to focus and not be distracted. Start by thinking about what not to include…bird baths and feeders are going to bring interesting and distracting little critters into your working zone and that will mess with your flow. Keep the design to plants, If you feel that you really need some company possible consider a koi pond. While the koi can be distracting at first, they soon become part of the landscape while making sure you don’t feel completely alone.
You also need to ensure you have adequate privacy from your neighbours and additional screening may help raise the fence height and eliminate further distractions. Also consider having a good sound system installed. In the office, it’s not unusual to see people put their headphones on to drown out any distractions and, depending on how noisy your garden is, music can also help eliminate the distractions, but forget the headphones and install a good outdoor sound system that can add to the existing sounds in your garden, rather than completely blocking out mother nature.
Power – Most of us working from home need to find a way to stay connected with the office and that means using some type of technology. It could be a laptop, iPad or smart phone, but no matter the device at some point its going to need a power up….those batteries won’t last forever!
Outdoor electrical outlets need to be professionally installed, so don’t try this yourself! As always it’s important to plan ahead and integrate the location of the electrical outlets into your overall design. While we recognise the need for power, we also don’t want a bunch of electrical cords detracting from the aesthetics of the garden and so we generally like to hide them away in smart places. Pop up electrical outlets that spring out of a deck, or all weather outlets built concealed in a green wall are some examples of how we like to conceal the hardware.
Finally, you need that wifi!! A strong signal is going to be so important if you plan to work from your garden. You do not want the constant frustration of trying to connect, but again you need to consider the technology in the initial design…it cant be an afterthought and you need to work with a landscape designer who understands the role that technology can play in enhancing the functionality of a space.
The network technology has come a long way over the last year and all out designs now take into account the need for a network connectivity mesh! Fast, reliable connection!
So, your garden can be your office!”