Everything you Need to Know About a “Shoffice”
03 February 2022

Everything you Need to Know About a “Shoffice”

The pandemic has led to an explosion of new words and expressions, from ‘corona’ and ‘elbow bumping’ to ‘WFH’ and ‘hybrid working,’ but how about the term “shoffice”?

With working from home here to stay, it’s not surprising that “shoffice” now features in the Collins Dictionary. If you’re wondering, a “shoffice” is a garden building combining an office and a shed. The term was submitted back in April 2019 though, before Covid hit and sent the working world into another dimension.

Since then, the “shoffice” has taken on a far more sophisticated meaning as purpose-built places to work away from home, at home! So, let’s explore what today’s “shoffice” has to offer those looking for a better work-life balance.

What is a “Shoffice”?

While “shoffice” takes its name from ‘office’ and ‘shed,’ there’s much more to this modern garden office than the blended words suggest. For a start, a “shoffice” should be designed to mimic the same levels of comfort, if not better, than a corporate office.

At the very least, a “shoffice” should have a power supply, high-quality glazing, insulation, heating and the right aesthetic finish to motivate and inspire. If your garden office does not have all these things, you effectively have a shed that you work from rather than a “shoffice.”

Also known as a contemporary garden office, this purposeful WFH space can be used all year round (yes, even in the deepest depths of winter). Essentially, a “shoffice” has all the amenities of a room within your home, just with the added benefit of being truly separate.


Ultra with hidden door for store area


Besides the obvious of having a space to work from, there are plenty of other benefits to creating your very own “shoffice”, such as:

  • No more commute. Not only do you save huge amounts of money, you get back the gift of time to do the things you love.
  • Space to work without interruption, even in the smallest of garden offices.
  • A more inspired workspace filled with natural light and overlooking your green space.
  • Attending Zoom or MS Teams calls without giving a second thought to what’s in the background.
  • Personalising your garden office to suit your working habits and lifestyle – a “shoffice” doesn’t have to be purely a place to work (as pictured below with this striking contemporary Ultra garden office that doubles up as a connected entertaining space).


Ultra Shoffice Exterior  

Designing Your “Shoffice”

One of the best things about designing your own fully insulated bespoke garden office is that you’re very unlikely to need planning permission. This means you’re free to build the “shoffice” of your dreams, provided your bespoke garden office is:

  • No higher than 2.5m from the base of your building to the tip of the roof.
  • Does not take up more than 50% of your garden area (a percentage that also includes other outbuildings on your land)
  • Not used for living or sleeping accommodation

The rules may differ if you live in an Outstanding Area of Natural Beauty or your property is listed but building a fully insulated bespoke garden office is usually very straightforward.

At SMART Garden Offices, we’ve introduced some clever simple-to-use tech that gives you the freedom to design your very own “shoffice” from your PC, laptop or tablet.

You simply choose from one of seven unique contemporary garden office ranges (starting at £10,525) and using our SMART Configurator, you can play around with the design to your heart’s content. You can switch out windows, doors and decking, change dimensions, add partition walls and work out exactly where you’ll place your desk. You can even select different roof lines on many of our ranges.


SMART Configurator Screenshot


Once you have designed a bespoke garden office that you’re happy with, you can view it in 3D in your own garden, using our augmented reality SMART visualiser App.

The App is super easy to use and is free to download from the App Store or Google Play (just search for ‘smart garden room visualiser’).

Of course, if you’re not a fan of technology, we’re happy to sit with you and create a design from scratch. We like to do this anyway as our specialist garden room designers help you consider every aspect of your design and build during a free one-hour no-obligation home consultation for clients living in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and London.

Start your “Shoffice” Journey

The best way to get started with building your “shoffice” is to download a free copy of SMART Garden Office’s brochure. You’ll find all the details you need on our seven ranges, all of which can be built in over 60 different sizes and configured to meet your chosen specification.

If you’re wondering what you might be able to claim back as VAT in the UK and what the overall cost-savings could be, please check out our blog on setting up and paying for your garden office.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions about any of our UK garden offices or simply want to chat through your options, we’re more than happy to help – just give us a call.