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There’s nothing like a global pandemic to make you re-evaluate your relationship with the home office, right?
COVID-19 sent hundreds of millions of office workers home for multiple months, and as of this writing, nothing has returned back to normal yet.
The silver lining?
For those with a backyard, no matter how big or small, there’s a ripe opportunity to build an office right in your backyard.
Is there anything more magical than the thought of throwing on your athleisure-wear and taking the 20-step commute to the office in the morning sun at 9 AM?
Nope, that’s just about the dream for most people.
Even for those rip-roaring and ready to get back to the main office to synergize with the team, the new reality means a partial or majority of time will still be spent working from home.
Might as well build a well-designed outdoor home office that fulfills all your needs and makes you get even more work done in less time.
Backyard Office vs Office Shed
If “office shed” sounds low-brow to you, well just know that it’s a term that will greatly help you narrow down your search. These are often called backyard office pods as well, which has a much cooler sounding connotation.
Given the pandemic has sprung up on us, we’re assuming most people want something ready to go – a plug and play backyard office that doesn’t require permits, contractors, and months of planning.
The best bet is prefab office sheds that can either be shipped for you to set up on your own, or pros can do it for you in under a few days.
We’ll leave the construction specifics up to the companies providing those details, we’re here for inspiration.
And for those of you who are just next-level, what about an office in the trees?
So with that, let’s dive into some of our favorite home office sheds we’ve found online.
1. The Bunkie: Premier Deluxe – Top Shelf Design & No Permits
For those who take architecture seriously, The Bunkie was built for you. Originally conceived as an extended living space on a beautiful Canadian plot of land, they’ve become flexible spaces for many uses.
With wall to wall glass, these are perfect to stick in the shaded area of your yard to get the perfect balance of lighting and screen glare reduction.
Best part about The Bunkie product? No need for permits anywhere in North America.
Pricing is around $42,000 (depending on Canadian dollar conversion).
- Double glass wall in the front and back
- Dual airflow vents
- Insulated walls and floors
- UV coasted maple plywood interior panels
- Optional wall bed, luxury flooring, wall shelving
2. QualitySheds Studio Shed – Practical Modern Office Sheds
The Studio Shed models from QualitySheds are a good balance of modern design and fair pricing. With sizes ranging from 8 x 10′ up to 12 x 24′, there’s a good amount of options for different backyard sizes. Pricing starts at $5,595 and ranges up to $11,995. A starter shed under $6,000 including delivery and installation is a pretty solid deal. While not standard, the above image shows a custom redwood deck, which adds a premium look and a must-have if it’s in the budget.
- French door
- 2/12 roof pitch
- 7′ interior low wall height
- 2 x 6 fascia
- 12″ roof overhang at front
- 6″ overhang in the rear and sides
- Many customization options and other product lines
- Pricing includes delivery and installation – very convenient
3. YardPods – Turnkey Backyard Pods Ready to Go
They’re not sheds – they’re pods. Much cooler, yea, maybe we should start going with that.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, this company offers turnkey or custom options. We love the modern look of most of these, and the placement and finishing options have a big impact on the final look. So choose wisely.
These won’t be cheap, as fully installed pricing is around $28,000 in the Bay Area
- All windows, doors, finishes, and paint is complete before delivery
- Finishes include SmartSide, plywood, vertical cedar, and more
- Electricity built-in as well
- 6 window configurations
- Four 120 sq ft options, from 10 x 12′ flat roof to 8 x 15′ sloped
4. OfficePOD – Modern Small Home Office In Your Backyard
An OfficePOD provides a working environment that is separate from home life. The hassle-free OfficePOD service deals with everything from site survey and installation through to customer services and POD relocation in the case of moving house or employer.
This thing is small, but beautifully built. It’s perfect for small backyards where you just want to plop something down and get back to work.
The OfficePOD is of optimum size (2.1m x 2.1m) and does not require planning consent in the greater majority of cases. It’s modular design enables speedy construction even in gardens with the most difficult access. The POD has been designed to provide appropriate security when empty or occupied. The external and internal look and feel of the space as well as the overall user experience is the product of an extensive design process.
The environment has been a primary consideration in the choice of materials. Recycled, recyclable and sustainable materials have been chosen wherever possible and man-made materials only used where performance requirements dictate. The POD satisfies the most stringent energy performance benchmarks with it’s low energy consumption level, high levels of insulation and innovative cooling system. We are committed to further improvements as advances in science and technology allow. – OfficePOD
5. The Comfortable Home Garden Office: Archipod
We absolutely love the look of the Archipod. It’s both woodsy-traditional and modern at the same time. With a swing up door and spherical shape, it looks like a naturally elegant creature of the forest. And that’s what you’ll become, sitting plump in your backyard, editing spreadsheets and living like a hermit.
Working from the home has many benefits like saving on travel time and costs, saving on office infrastructure expenses, having more time to spend with family, etc. But setting up a comfortable home office may require large space and money. But with Archipod, working from home is now easier than you think. Archipod is a comfortable mobile home office that can be set up in the back of the home or in the garden. Although the ‘Pod’ is primarily designed for a garden office, it can also be used as a playroom, hobby room, studio, meditation room, or treehouse.
Here is some information by the designer, “The ‘Pod’ is constructed predominantly from timber, the world’s most replenishable construction material, and is insulated to a standard exceeding that of current Building Regulations. The structure is prefabricated in sections that are sized to allow all the parts to be carried through a house, so it doesn’t matter where you live, we will be able to get the ‘Pod’ into your back garden. Because of its unique shape and the generous natural light from the roof dome, the ‘Pod’ actually looks bigger on the inside than the outside.”
Based on the fact that their website hasn’t been updated in 2013, we’re very uncertain if the company is still selling this product. Their Facebook page does seem to hint at recent activity, although at a small scale. If there’s ever a time for them to get construction rolling again, it’s definitely during COVID-19 and the great shift to working from home.
6. Tetra Shed – a Modular Backyard Shed Concept
The Tetra Shed by David Ajasa-Adekunle is purely a concept, but we’re including it here for those building their own backyard office shed and want something to inspire their creativity a bit.
London-based architectural firm David Ajasa-Adekunle has designed the Tetra Shed. It is a unique modular workspace that can be used in the backyard as a home office. Designed as an alternative to the cubicles used in the workspace, the Tetra Shed provides a work environment that is less alienating. The modular design of the shed allows connecting multiple units together to use in public spaces such as classrooms, exhibition spaces, corporate offices, etc.
“Tetra Shed is available externally finished in any real color or clad in either copper, zinc, corten steel or marine plywood and internally lined in either birch faced plywood or plasterboard.”
Images Courtesy: Tetra Shed
So while the Tetra Shed never saw the light of day, we’d love to see one of you crazy woodworkers out there build your own!
7. Experimental Rolling Prefab House – “Roll It”
This one is downright ridiculous but it’s a fun idea and can get your creative juices flowing if you plan to build your own.
Students from University of Karlsruhe, Germany, Christian Zwick and Konstantin Jerabek have designed this unique experimental revolving house called Roll It, based on the concept of “mobile and space-efficient construction”. The design offers flexible housing in a minimum space. The cylindrical house features a very unique interior setting which changes its functions depending on the orientation. The workspace in one position becomes bedroom when rolled 180 degrees and the kitchen becomes bathroom. The center of the structure can be used both for sports activities as well as for lighting control.
The structure of the house consists of an outer shell which is composed of four supporting rings, a torsion inner shell and membrane as covering. The interior of the house features several individual living solutions like table and workspace which convert into sleeping zone with mattress held in position using Velcro. The blankets, pillows and other things can be stores under it. The sink, toilet and a stove are located in the front section of the house.