5 Benefits of an Outdoor Office
People often ask us how we got into building outdoor offices. We have a story that we love to share that you can find HERE. For the purposes of this post, I will break it down into one sentence.
We started Outdoor Office out of necessity.
Before the pandemic, working from home was slowly becoming a more common thing. This was, in a sense, true for our family. Anthony was working as a home inspector while I was finishing my twelfth year as an elementary school teacher. Once Anthony finished his day of inspections, he would spend many hours in the evening at our kitchen table finishing up paperwork and taking phone calls. We quickly realized that running a business from the kitchen table while wrangling our two young boys, and going about our day was just about impossible. We could have used a different room in our house, but that still didn't seem like the best fit. So we began brainstorming how to make this work best for our family, and come to find out, there are many people who have felt the same need. Here are five needs we came up with while brainstorming, and essentially 5 benefits of an outdoor office.
1. Different Location/Change in Scenery
Do you remember the days when our commute to work may have been one of the sources of our workday headaches? Never did we think that that commute is what gave us the separation we needed from the distractions of home to efficiently get our work done. Anthony and I weren't ready to lease an office space. To us, that would be an expense we wouldn't be able to afford, but also the commute would add time away from our family. Having an outdoor office, gives you the chance to step outside of your home, take a few steps (zero traffic commute) to your own separated office space.
"Chances are, if you are a parent, you have experienced the screaming child or the photo bomber child..."
A quick social media search, and you will see many examples of virtual meeting bloopers. Privacy is one of the biggest complaints about working from home. There are many jobs that require confidential communication. Therapists, teachers, advice nurses, financial consultants, are just a few examples of people who have expressed their need for a private space where they can feel comfortable having meaningful and confidential conversations. Anthony and I discovered another reason for a private space... kids. It became a running joke that the sound of our phone ringing would trigger our children to yell or cry. Chances are, if you are a parent, you have experienced the screaming child or the photo bomber child during a phone call or virtual meeting. Having a space of your own can give you and your clients or coworkers, the confidence you need to have an uninterrupted conversation.
Before our outdoor office, Anthony was working from the kitchen table. This alone created a multitude of problems, but the biggest one was the lack of separation between home life and work life. His work took over our family's meeting place. We either had to scoop everything off the table for our family dinners, or we were forced to eat somewhere else. Our kid's toys and art work would constantly get mixed up with his work which created an organization nightmare. Now, with kids being home more often with distance learning, families are struggling to find any kind of separation to get their work done. A space just a few steps away could help provide that separation.
Working from your kitchen or cramped in the corner of a bedroom leaves you feeling less than inspired. Some of our clients use their outdoor offices as a space for their hobbies such a quilting, fitness, music, and podcasting. Having a space dedicated to your craft or your work will help you feel inspired to actually do your best work. Sometimes this looks like a window looking out to your beautifully kept yard, or oversized french doors opening onto an attached deck to get some fresh air. Often it takes you walking out of you house and into a difference space that is built for you to be able to switch your mindset from home responsibilities to being inspired to work. Each space is created with your inspirational needs in mind. What makes you inspired in a space? Lets #buildyourspace so that we can get you out of your kitchen and into a space that inspires you.
5. The cheaper option
Anthony and I were desperate to change how Anthony was forced to work. As so many of you have done, we looked at all of our options. We looked into adding on to our home but quickly learned an addition would cost us between $80,000 - $120,000. ADU's and tiny homes were also quickly eliminated as they also ranged from $80,000 - $140,000. So our next step was looking into storage sheds. We priced out different shed manufacturers and then priced out all of the other extra steps required to finish the space. That was everything from the foundation, electrical, insulation, lighting, drywall, trim, flooring, upgrading the windows and door, along with the all the details needed to make this an actual workable space. Quickly we would need to become a default general contractor, or you could hire a general contractor and add that to the price on top of everything else. Knowing that our clients are going to experience the same issues, we sent out to make sure we covered every aspect of the build from beginning to end. We want to provide a true turnkey solution that is built for you and your needs. You are what inspires each project.
Once you get yourself into your space, you will find that there are more than just 5 benefits of your outdoor office, but these are by far the top 5 that we discovered right away. When we decided to make this a business, our top priority was, and still is, to help provide these benefits to as many people struggling to work from home as possible. We would love to hear from you. What benefits have you discovered in your outdoor office? Or what is something you would love an outdoor office for?