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Working from home gathers pace

Over the garage, in the summerhouse or maybe a shepherds hut! 

At the beginning of lockdown, the need for a dedicated home office caught many of us unawares. Almost overnight, a space intended for little more than paying bills, filing paperwork and planning holidays became the centre of our working lives. For those without access to one, it required a significant degree of pragmatism; kitchens, dining rooms, spare rooms and summer houses were hastily requisitioned to create some semblance of order amid a challenging mix of domestic chaos and patchy Wi-Fi. Whatever the case, the need to identify a suitable work place within the home has been a wake-up call in households across the realm.

For many people, there are real attractions in creating an office in an outbuilding. Doing so rarely requires planning permission, unless it will be used to accommodate employees, in which case it will be sensible to contact the local planning office for guidance. Some garages have home office spaces above, even if it’s only a question of walking across the drive, some people appreciate this concept as a ‘commute’ to work, to which they have become so accustomed. Others are employing lateral thought. Shepherds huts, for instance, are being converted to home offices and these can have a valuable dual purpose of becoming guest annexes at holiday times.

There’s little doubt we can expect a greater demand for nothing less than homes with a study or an additional bedroom in which to work as with the likelihood of future lockdowns an element of home working will become a necessity in most of our lives.

By Chris Willey

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