2020 will always be known as the year of seismic change. Where the world all but stopped and gave us more time to reflect. Yes, it was a year of great uncertainty, but also one of possibility and hope. In the professional world, it was the year of the home-based business. “Work from home” queries in Google went up by over 300% in March 2020 Vs. March 2019. Employees reported feeling more at one and contented, despite the unfolding situation.
Realising the benefit of working from home, many employers are now introducing flexible working policies. They are alive to the idea that employees who are able to enjoy a better work-life balance are far more productive.
Although it has been a tough few months, 2020 was also the year that self-employment hit the 5 million mark in the UK. In fact, the Institute for Fiscal Studies reports a steady rise in the solo self-employed (sole traders or company owner-managers without employees). To put it into context, in 1975 just 8% of workers were self-employed. By 2019, this had almost doubled to 14%.
So, beyond Covid-19, what’s fuelling the emergence of the home-based business?
7 Benefits to a Home-Based Business
Almost everyone who runs a home-based company, or regularly works from home, appreciates the benefits. They realise that they can have the best of both worlds – a successful career and a fruitful family life. More to the point, they can save themselves a considerable amount of time and money too.
There are more reasons besides, and here are our top seven:
Now, this is no exaggeration. Commuters spend an average of 221 hours a year getting to and from work. With the average commute taking 59 minutes and costing around £180 per month, it’s hardly surprising that employees favour their new journey. Being in your workplace within a few seconds rather than hours is why “starting your own business from home” is a popular Google search query. In fact, many people commuting into London from Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, are saving themselves over £350 per month and investing that saving into a garden office instead.
Flexible working hours
Working from home allows you to work far more flexibly. There’s no having to clock in at 8.30 am and leave at 5.30 pm. Working from your garden office is freeing as you’re not bound to the same routines. Instead, you can be far more productive by being home-based. If you are at your most creative early in the morning or late in the evening, you can literally step into your zone. This is one of the main draws of starting your own business from home, especially if you have other non-work commitments.
Some things are an absolute certainty in life and tax is one of them. Operating a home-based business, you will be able to claim tax relief on certain domestic bills for the areas of your home used for your business. For instance, if you have ten rooms, including your garden office, you can claim tax relief on 10% of your energy and water bills. If your business is VAT registered, you may also be able to claim back VAT on items you buy for use in your business.
Avoid distractions and noise.
Some people work better in silence or self-induced noise (cue the radio!). If this describes you, being home-based could be a great idea. Better still, if you have a purpose-built garden office, you will be able to shut yourself away whenever you like. At the same time, you can soak up the delights of your natural surroundings in a more inspired space.
Selective of who you work with
If you plan on starting your own business from home, one of the biggest benefits is the power of selection. Being in control of your own home-based business, you have the freedom to choose who you work with—most people in the so-called ‘gig economy’ form fruitful collaborations with like-minded professionals. You may even decide to share a garden office with them.
Rediscover lost hobbies and interests
One of the biggest benefits of having a home-based business is that you gain more ‘you’ time. Instead of commuting and working late, you can go running, bake, create, or simply relax.
More family time
This is our all-time favourite reason to be home-based and purchase a garden office. In our Working From Home Survey 2020, 60% of business leaders said that time with their family and friends would be the thing that most influences their happiness at home over the next 2-3 years. Unsurprisingly, 70% said they would be happy for their staff to be more home-based in the future.
A Garden Office Makes it Easier
Yes, you can work from your kitchen or dining room table but for how long? It can be tough-going working from a space designed for living and not working. Plus, it’s way too easy to fall into the trap of working all the hours of the day.
A garden office is an affordable, practical solution for achieving that all-important work-life balance. There’s enough distance for you to achieve closure at the end of the day. However, if there is a deadline looming, and your home is awash with activity, stepping into a separate workspace has its advantages. You could say that having a garden room is the best of both worlds. One of our client projects (pictured below) uses their garden office to read and work, with separate ‘zoned’ areas.
Oh, and here’s the most exciting part – with a SMART garden office, you can create your very own home-based workspace. You choose how big (or small) you want your garden room to be, the design you most connect with, and where you want the light to fall.
Your garden office creation can also include hand-crafted, ergonomically designed desks with fitted shelves and cupboards that can run the total height of your office.
Discover Your New Garden Office Now
At SMART Garden Offices, you will never be wanting for choice. Our seven garden office ranges are available in over 60 sizes and 13 colours.
Best of all, being nestled in Suffolk, we offer complimentary, no-obligation on-site design visits to clients in Essex, Norfolk, and London, in fact to all Mainland UK addresses.
Our team of experienced designers will work with you on creating a purposefully built garden room to help you achieve the perfect work-life balance. You will be the envy of all your friends when they work out what your secret is, which is clever design!
To start exploring your garden room options, please download a copy of our brochure. It’s packed with lots of ideas and real-life examples for illustration.