Working in a Garden Office During the Pandemic … and Beyond

In 2020, a large proportion of the UK’s workforce came face-to-face with the challenge of working from home on a regular basis. This change brought with it a mixed bag of perks and downfalls. Isolation from colleagues, interruption of routine, and the breaking down of work/home boundaries were welcomed by some; but for others, it was hard to adjust.


Crumbling Boundaries

When you go out to work, a healthy psychological barrier separates work life from home life.

Working in a different location, you’re with different people, and you have a different agenda. At work, you’re fully dressed (hopefully), nobody calls you ‘Granddad’, ‘Mummy’, or ‘sugar lips’ (presumably), and you can’t see the dirty dishes in the sink (apart from in your mind’s eye).

When you work in your home environment, workspace and work time can merge with home space and home time. You might find yourself peeling spuds while your computer’s booting, or maybe putting a load of washing on while you’re waiting for a Zoom meeting to begin. A fragmented schedule can cause home workers to experience a sense of under-achievement – too often compensated for by excessively long working hours.

A timetable is great. But what do you do when the doorbell rings? Ignore it?


Garden Office

During this difficult year, many workers have found the ideal compromise. The perfect balance of work and home. The best of both worlds.

For solo workers or small teams, a log cabin or summerhouse makes the perfect office. A cabin that’s no higher than 2.5 metres will, in most circumstances, fall within the parameters of permitted development, so planning permission isn’t required. For larger structures, planning information is available on your local council’s website.

At Cabins Unlimited, we offer a panoramic range of cabins, summerhouses, and shepherds’ huts in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and styles, from multi-room complexes to tiny hideaways. Many of our customers in 2020 were home workers, looking to create office space at home. One customer told us that he wanted a space in which he could “feel completely at ease and creative”; we’re happy to say that we provided just that.

What type of cabin would suit you?

Described by one of our customers as a “beautiful, solid little cabin”, the Alex Mini log cabin is very suitable for a small garden. Traditional features, such as the sturdy 44mm-thick log walls and an attractive apex roof, are offset by the modern aesthetics of a long, double-glazed window and a large, double-glazed double door, which dominate the front face of the cabin, letting in lots of natural daylight. The Alex Mini’s base measures 3.0m by 2.5m, and the roof ridge is 2.45m high.

Many of our cabins and summerhouses feature a pent roof (one plane, sloping from front to back), a design that gives the structure a more contemporary appearance. For example, the pent roof of the Barbados Mini has an 80cm overhang at the front, providing shelter over the double-glazed door. Another of our customers described the Barbados Mini (3.30m x 2.40m base) as a “beautiful airy cabin in keeping with our modern house”.

It isn’t only the small cabins that fall into the category of permitted development. The Berkshire 53 summerhouse (“sturdy and spacious”), for example, and the Lyndhurst log cabin (“wow!”) have a ridge height of under 2.5m; so, as long as all other building regulations are observed – for example, proximity to the property boundary and to the main building – you won’t need planning permission.

Surrounded by Nature

Human beings have a natural desire to be close to nature. We derive joy and peace from the sight, sound, smell, and touch of the natural world. This instinct is called biophilia, defined by the American biologist, Edward Osborne Wilson, as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”.

But biophilia isn’t restricted to the organic – a desire to have pot plants and cut flowers indoors, the love of a pet cat or dog, and the thrill of glimpsing a wild animal. We’re attracted to the inorganic, too, such as the sight, touch, and sound of water, air, and sunlight. Over the past several decades, research has shown how a biophilic workspace can promote wellbeing and productivity.

On that note, we’ll leave you with one of our favourite customer reviews:


 “We definitely think there’s a link between our creativity and our new log cabin.”


If you’d like to talk to us about any of our products or to discuss your plans for a garden building, please email or give us a call on 01603 327345 or 01366 610850.


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