More and more people have the opportunity to work from home. Whether it’s a lifestyle choice, a flexible working situation or more forced because of the unique situation we have faced over the last couple of years, a shepherd’s hut office in the garden is a great option for you.
A shepherd’s hut home office is versatility, a tranquil setting to work and on the whole you don’t need any planning permission. Plus, many people prefer it.
Over the last decade, data from the Office of National Statistics shows that working from home has increased by more than 50% and now up to 1.54 million. Some figures say this number is more like 4 million. This increased exponentially in April 2020, when the ONS released figures stating 46% of people did some work at home, mainly as a result of the pandemic.
It’s predicted almost half of all the UK’s workforce could have the option to work remotely or from home as part of their job, and even more now that things have changed so rapidly.
Benefits of a shepherd hut office
Freedom and flexibility are main drivers as well as the changing conditions associated with work meaning that it’s now entirely possible to work from almost anywhere with an internet connection.
Remote working can also save hours a day, turning into days over a month and weeks over a year of commuting unnecessarily into a central office. Great for a more sustainable living!
Working from your own home does bring its own issues, which I understand having the option to work from home myself. If you’re at home and work from your sofa or kitchen table every day, the lines can soon get blurred between home life and work life. The lack of distinction leads to some being unable to turn off effectively at the end of the working day.
Also if you’ve not got a proper set up, sitting down on a kitchen chair hunching your shoulders and looking at a low down laptop screen all day will impact your back health.
A sustainable work from home office
That’s why creating a specific office space in your house or garden is crucial to a long-term and sustainable approach to home-working.
It allows you to ‘shut the door’ and switch off mentally, which is much needed for the vast majority of workers, and indeed accompanying families.
If you haven’t got room in your house for a separate office, but have got a decent sized garden, then creating a shepherds hut garden office could well be your next step.
While you’re thinking about your garden, you might be interested in this blog and the concept of rewilding your garden, or at least a part of it like I’ve done.
Rather than going down to your nearest garden centre and picking up a flimsy wooden shed, let me explain how a shepherd’s hut will make the perfect garden office for you.
Why you should choose a shepherd’s hut garden office
Back in the day, a shepherd’s hut was a small, moveable wooden structure that were designed to be towed around by farmers and kept in a field for shelter. If you’re interested, here’s a blog on the traditional use of a shepherd’s hut.
Nowadays, they can be much grander in size, built to a high quality standard, pack with eco insulation and can contain almost anything you want – heating, cooking facilities, a toilet, full size desk, double bed, full electrics, solar panels and much more.
They can still be towed around by a car if your hut is fitted with a steel chassis and tow bar, but they are generally kept in one location now due to their size. Sizes can vary from around 12ft in length up to 30ft. Take a look at this blog on shepherd’s hut floor plans for a better idea on size and what features can fit in.
3 reasons to buy a shepherd’s hut office
1. Efficient and versatile use of space
A great feature of shepherd’s huts is their fantastic and versatile use of space. You can convert the space into almost anything that you desire.
A hut just 6ft wide and 10ft long can contain all your main office items – a desk, toilet, shelving, chill-out sitting space, windows, a small wood burning stove and/or warm air heating, WiFi, small fridge, kettle and of course a coffee machine – you can’t really have an office without coffee! Read this blog on 14 must have hut accessories for more ideas.
Get a hut a little longer, between 12-16ft, and you can easily fit in kitchen facilities such as a microwave and stove top hob, fitted fridge and even a toilet and shower space.
Because of this and their customisability, a shepherd’s hut makes for a comforting, cosy and extremely relaxing space which is ideal for a stressless working environment.
2. No planning permission
If you build an extension on your house or a separate brick structure in your garden, even an oak-framed garden structure, you’re going to need planning permission, which can be a bit of a rigmarole. With a shepherd’s hut home office you won’t need planning permission.
It’s always best to check regulations within your council area. If you live in a National Park, next to a listed property or if the shepherd’s hut will change the landscape and affect neighbours, you may need permission, but in the vast majority of cases you won’t need to seek planning permission for your shepherd’s hut garden office.
3. Quiet environment
A shepherd’s hut in your garden creates an ideal quiet environment to work from. Away from the house phone, efficient TV and front door, you’ll be able to concentrate and think clearly in your tranquil hut. Your little office oasis.
More than that, you’ll be more with nature which is always better for clear thinking, idea generation or just a calm environment, making huts especially good for creative and artistic jobs as well as studios of all kind.
Perfect jobs and small businesses to run from a shepherd’s hut garden office
- Writer / copywriter / editor
- Web developer / IT
- Street food vendor / catering truck
- Coffee hut
- Consultant – marketing, business, finance
- Hair stylist and beauty technician
- Yoga retreat and health parlour
- Tutor / online teacher
- Virtual assistant
- Artist / creative / craft studio
- Pop up shop
How much does a garden hut office cost?
Prices for a basic, unfurnished shell of a hut start from around £5,000. To convert this to an office space is entirely possible if you don’t want your furniture built in, or have got the skills yourself.
If you’re looking for a more bespoke shepherd hut office where a desk is built just where you want it, you’ve have units and shelving for storage, plus kitchen facilities and even a toilet, you’ll be looking at the £15,000 mark.
You can read this post for a better idea on how much a shepherd’s hut costs.
If you want to look further into buying a shepherd’s hut, take a look at this detailed blog on shepherd’s huts for sale which also includes a long list of hut makers in the UK who’ll be able to provide an excellent garden home office.
Other garden rooms to work from – log cabin office
Of course there are many different types of garden offices to choose from.
One of my favourites is the log cabin garden office style. Because there not quite as quirky, you can get these for very good prices too.
A great place to start your search is on Buy Sheds Direct who have a wide range of styles.
And there you have it. Plenty of choice when it comes to a hut office and even different cabin offices.
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Ben is the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about more sustainable, environmentally friendly living in and around the home.
Alongside this website, I love spending time in the natural world, living a simple life and spending time with my young family (Murphy the dog!) I round up my thoughts and recent blogs on the Eco Life Newsletter.