In much the same way that ‘agile’ replaced the term ‘flexible’ with the promise of a better work-life balance, ‘hybrid’ now seems to have taken centre stage. So how is it different, and what does it mean for the future of home working?
Well, the pandemic forced a seismic rethink when it comes to flexible working. In just under 12 months, employers who had long since been dodging the concept were forced to rethink their approach. After the initial shock and uprooting of everyday working life, employers (and employees) found that working from home was not only possible but beneficial.
In fact, a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study of 2,000 UK employees reveals that 67% plan to continue to split their time between their workplace and home working.
It’s not surprising then that the home garden office is fast becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity.
The appetite for remote working is palpable, but there’s a bigger, far more locally-focused play. Being instructed to work from home has changed how people interact with their local community. Research commissioned by Legal & General reveals that 36% of people plan to spend more money locally than they did before the pandemic. Among those who intend to work from their garden office or home, this rose to 47%.
So what does all this mean for hybrid working? Plenty it seems, as think tanks such as Post Pandemic Places lean on the Government to promote home working as a local regeneration tool.
The ‘New Normal’: Hybrid Working
As the focus begins to shift to a safe return to the office, there’s much talk about hybrid working. While some employees enjoy working solely from their garden office, many balance their time with a day or so a week at their employer’s office. This, in essence, is called hybrid working.
You know it’s a term that’s here to stay when the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) introduces its ‘Planning for hybrid working’ guide. Truth be told, before the pandemic, CIPD research showed that 65% of employers did not offer regular flexible working. Dramatically, that 65% is expected to fall to just over a third of employers by the end of 2021.
It has become far more acceptable to work from home. Nobody bats an eyelid when the cat jumps in on a Zoom call or Amazon drops off a delivery. Flexible working from home is not just accepted but expected.
Wave Goodbye to Old, Stressful Working Routines
Microsoft boldly says that “we’re on the brink of a disruption as great as last year’s sudden shift to remote work.” The technology giant refers not just to a new way of working but hybrid working as a blended approach. After all, flexible working has created new jobs, afforded more family time, and all but got rid of the dreaded daily commute.
Apart from being a new buzzword, hybrid working enables you to structure your work around the rest of your life, rather than the other way around. Doing so dramatically reduces stress and improves overall wellbeing, and dare we say, productivity.
Of course, it doesn’t work for every role, but investing in a garden office makes sense if you have a desk-bound job.
We weren’t at all surprised to hear Aviva confirming that the number of home garden office workers is set to rise to 13%. 1 in 10 of the 1,400 workers surveyed already work from a home garden office or garden room. Of those working from home, 48% reported finding it less stressful than working full-time at their employer’s office.
Say ‘Hello’ to Your New Work Routine with a Garden Office
Of the 19% of people surveyed by Aviva who found working from home more stressful:
- 27% did not have a suitable area to work from
- 19% were competing for space with other family members, and
- 18% found their home too noisy to work from
Well, there’s a sensible solution to this, and that’s investing in a purposefully-built home garden office, the cost of which is easy to justify.
On average, commuters spend over 200 hours a year getting to and from work, costing around £180 a month. The daily commute into London from Essex, Suffolk or Norfolk can cost over £4,000 a year – money that could be used to purchase a distraction-free home garden office that takes seconds to walk to!
Flexible working on an ongoing basis will give you far more control over how and when you work. Yes, you’ll still have to make scheduled Zoom calls and step into the office for those all-important meetings, but you get to set a routine that works for you.
Having a home garden office also helps with establishing healthy, flexible working boundaries. With an in-home office set-up, it’s far more tempting to work long into the night.
You can switch off the lights with a garden room, lock the door and leave your work to the following day – much like you would at the office but minus the commute!
You’ll have time for all those newfound hobbies and interests. You may even choose to have a home garden office that doubles up as a gym or a hobby room.
Either way, how we use our space has a massive impact on our overall wellbeing and how we live our lives.
Order your brochure now
At SMART Garden Offices, we’ve been busy helping many people throughout Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and London, creating the ideal garden office. The last 12 months have been our most active trading period yet.
With seven ranges starting at just £9,115, available in over 60 sizes and 13 different colours, we have a garden office to suit every style and garden.
In fact, we gave our Classic range a makeover this year to introduce our Evolve range, which is already proving popular.
It can be quite a task to know where to start picking the right garden office though, which is why we offer a free, no-obligation on-site design consultation. Together, we consider every aspect of how you intend to use your space, both now and in the future. Most importantly, we design with your budget in mind.
To start exploring your home garden office options, please download a copy of our brochure. It’s brimming with real-life examples of people who, like you, value having balance in their life!