We’ve been fortunate to meet many Malvern Garden Building owners who’ve made the transition to work from a garden office. What felt like a pipedream for many is now a reality as companies around the world have hurriedly implemented work from home policies.
It’s not difficult to see the virtues of setting up your workspace in a garden office or studio as the dust settles on our second week of national lockdown. Among the many pluses are direct access to nature, an idyllic commute and the distinct separation between work and home life.
Day by day our social feeds fill up with images of desirable work-from-home set ups and amusing shots of laptops balanced on ironing boards or teetering on piles of books.
In the midst of mounting cabin fever, we think the time is right to share some cabin fervour! Here we celebrate some of the enviable environments of our veteran garden office workers.
Very helpfully they’ve shared their remote working tips (while juggling home schooling). After swooning over their set ups, top of our ‘to do’ list is investing in a garden office.
Owen’s Work-From-Garden-Office Tips
Owen is a mapmaker and runner. He owns a Studio Apex which he bought to scale up his small business.
Try Some Ambient Music
A bit of background music really helps keep my mood positive during the day. BBC 6 Music is my preferred choice, lots of cracking tunes to keep the spirits up in these challenging times.
In This Together
I’m now sharing the studio with the kids since the schools closed. They’ve had a fair bit of work set by their teachers, which has been great to help us build a routine for them. (We’ll be sharing the Delaney family’s #gardencommute on social media tomorrow, so keep an eye out!)
Take Breaks in the Sunshine
The studio isn’t huge at 12’x8′ but we originally planned for it to have some space for the kids to do their homework, so it’s been a godsend these past couple of weeks – enough room for the three of us (and cats) to work comfortably. And there’s plenty of sunshine to keep our vitamin D levels up!
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Getting out for some fresh air and exercise is really helpful to break up the day. However, with everything else going on right now, I’m avoiding putting too much pressure on myself on this front, so just enough to keep the fitness ticking over – a walk, short run or quick session on the static bike trainer. Goals and races can wait until we get back to normal, whatever that’s going to look like…
Lisa’s Work-From-Garden-Office Tips
Lisa is a Social Media Consultant and Coach who is busily maintaining her clients’ online presence and helping them to build relationships with their customers for when normality resumes. She owns an Arley Studio with shed extension which she has elegantly transformed with monochrome styling.
Create a Schedule
My first tip would be to put a routine in place as quickly as possible and stick to it. My 15-year-old daughter is currently following her usual school timetable, with lessons taking place online. We therefore all start work at the same time and aim to take breaks and lunch hours together – which really helps us to focus during ‘lesson time’. We also make sure we put work aside to eat dinner together as a family each evening, which is a great opportunity for us to talk about any concerns or worries and to support our daughter. It’s an extremely difficult time for us all, but our children will struggle to come to terms with missing school, their friends and social life.
Find Your Own Space
We each have a separate space to work. I am incredibly fortunate to have my garden office (fondly known as ’The Shed’), my husband works in the dining room and we’ve created a space for my daughter in the spare room so her bedroom can become a sanctuary for her to escape and relax at the end of her school day.
I might have to share ‘The Shed’ with my husband so he also has an opportunity to get out of the house and ‘go to work’. Not at the same time though…
Up Your Online Game
Get to grips with video conferencing! Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype are all great ways to stay connected with work colleagues and clients. Houseparty, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger etc are perfect for checking in with friends and family. You can even watch Netflix with your friends now with Netflix Party.
Use the Time You Have
Due to the nature of our work, we are still busy at the moment. However, I’ve found that I have spare time when I would usually be out and about doing things. So, I’ve signed up to online learning. Use this time you have to do something really positive such as up skill or learn something completely new.
Follow Lisa on Instagram here.
Oliver & Charlotte’s Work-From-Home Tips
Oliver and Charlotte own a Studio Apex turned music room, where Oliver rehearses and manages his musical appearances. Charlotte also works from home writing novels. Both are juggling looking after and schooling their young daughter.
Get Ready for Work
Make sure you get dressed properly! I think it’s weirdly important. Although working in your pyjamas sounds fun, I think getting dressed sets you up for the day and can lift your mood – it switches you into ‘work mode’.
Don’t Work in Bed & Think about Your Posture
I (Charlotte) did this for a long time when writing my first novel (it was the middle of winter!) and although it was nice to begin with – to feel cosy and cocooned – it was actually terrible for my back and after a while I started to feel quite depressed and sloth like. I think it’s important to get up and about!
Mix it Up Sometimes
Vary the place you work from time to time. A change of scenery can really help so having a garden room or being in the garden when it’s warm makes you feel less trapped, particularly when you can’t just go to a coffee shop like we did before lockdown.