25 Mar 2024

Embrace the Freedom: Working From Home – No Commute, No Rush

In this insightful piece, Lorna Soar from Okopod delves into the transformative potential of garden pods for remote workspaces. Exploring the benefits of detached workspaces amidst the greenery, she highlights the customisable nature of these pods, offering a sanctuary that fosters productivity, creativity and overall wellbeing.


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One garden pod has many uses

Working from home, especially with a growing family, is not ideal. To maximise the benefits, a separate space is the most practical solution.

This is when a garden pod can be a workspace and a sanctuary, as well as freeing up valuable space in the home. A physical detachment for home and work boundaries is important for reducing stress. If family requirements change, a garden room has the flexibility to change its use as well; perhaps to a home gym, a space for a teenager or a guest room. It can change from a home office to an area to enjoy retirement and become a hobby room or even a place to relax and have a mini bar.

Reduce stress with a bespoke garden office

We spend a lot of our waking time at work and travelling to and from the office. Working from a garden pod just a stroll across the garden and not dealing with the time, stress and costs of a commute, enables you to start and end your day at your pace. Working with your own rhythm creates the ability to have an improved sleep pattern and, if you combine this with making a homemade lunch, this is all part of a healthy routine. Within a garden office, a separate area for exercise or relaxation can also be included, providing further health benefits.

A bespoke garden office also allows the creation of an ideal workplace; whether that is a desk at the window or the perfect work temperature, everything is aimed at making the best possible environment. Pets can be close by, which brings physical and mental benefits, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol as well as reducing stress and anxiety.

Since a garden office is bespoke, colours can be added – such as blue, which promotes wellbeing and efficiency or, for a more lively and creative space, yellow would be the right colour; it also stimulates joy. To have a calm environment, green would be appropriate. This shade promotes wellbeing and encourages a feeling of relaxation.

The space can be quiet, or you can choose music at a level that just works for you. Playing mood-enhancing music releases the chemical dopamine in the brain; it doesn’t need to be loud and distracting. The structure and slow tunes of most classical music create a calming effect on the listener. Dopamine is the body’s natural happy chemical that improves a person’s mood and also blocks the release of stress.

If you like a quiet workspace, then this will promote a sense of calm and allows concentration to flourish alongside creativity. Reducing stress has been proven to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. So, whether it is a music choice or a quiet space, there are health benefits for both when it is your personal choice rather than a large office space with little control.

Why temperature is important

Since a garden office is bespoke, the temperature can also be set to suit a personal preference. The Facilities Management Journal (FMJ) ran a survey, asking office workers across the UK what their ideal office temperature is – and whether they’d ever had an argument about the temperature in their workplace. Of the 1035 respondents, 286 (27.4%) claimed that 21ºC was the temperature they preferred to work at. In close second and third, 247 (23.7%) of respondents voted for 20ºC, while 224 individuals (21.5%) preferred a 22ºC environment. However, demonstrating the need for temperature control, 572 (54.9%) of respondents claimed to have had an argument about the temperature in their workplace. Temperature also has a massive impact on your mood and can have a subsequent impact on your productivity and attitude towards work.

Selecting the right garden office company is important when thinking about temperature. Ensure they offer the best insulation and a choice of air conditioners and heaters in order to regulate temperature and be energy efficient. In the summer, you can open windows and bi-fold doors or have an air conditioning unit. In the winter, infrared heaters are a great choice. Your space will heat up quicker than just about any other heating solution, and because they warm up the objects in the room (rather than the air in the room), you’ll feel the effects a lot quicker, too. The cost of running an infrared panel versus an electrical convection heater is far cheaper as they require less power output to provide the same level of heat. People with allergies are less likely to be affected since no dust or ‘dirty air’ is being recycled or pushed around the room. Infrared is similar to feeling the sun on a cold day (without the sunburn). When infrared is absorbed into the body, it can increase blood circulation, which can also serve to boost your immunity, detox you and reduce the stiffness in your joints.

The benefits of natural light and plants

However small or large a garden is, natural light will be possible with a garden office. This is a bespoke space, so windows can be placed to suit you, and sliding or bi-fold glazed doors let the light in whether open or closed. Natural light in the workplace affects a number of health aspects like mood, sleep, vitamin D levels and eye health – and it heightens productivity levels.

A study by Future Workplace found that the absence of natural light and outdoor views hurts the employee experience. Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. 47% of employees admit they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light.

Natural light combined with improved air quality is the best combination to improve wellbeing. Not only is there no pollution from a commute, but working from a garden office will allow easy access to natural light and improved air quality. For example, one frequently-cited Harvard study showed that improving air quality caused mental cognition to soar. But, the Future Workplace Employee Experience Study found that 78% of employees say access to natural light and views improves their wellbeing and 70% report improved work performance.

Working close to nature reduces stress, so the advantage of having your garden literally on your doorstep is a boost for mental health; whether it is a large garden or a few of your favourite plants in pots, the best part is that it is all designed around your own personal requirements.

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