Let’s face it—it is inevitable for our life at work and our life at home to merge no matter how badly we want to separate them. Most of us practically end up dwelling at our workplace or bringing our business home. That is not a good work-life balance, is it?
Garden shed as the new workspace
If you think that your home is already losing its essence and is now starting to look like a pressure-filled jobsite than a relaxing haven, then you might want to consider putting up a garden shed in your backyard or converting your existing shed into your very own personalised workspace.
It’s probably one of the last places you’d think of conducting your daily commerce at, but get this—it can provide the comfort and privacy of one’s home and the functionality of an equipped workstation. This is most especially ideal for workshops, ateliers, or studio conversions where creations are often made and stored. It can also be a private office for the corporate minions and budding entrepreneurs or a mini library for scholars and bibliophiles.
It can also be a luminous and lush greenhouse for the green thumb, a simple tool house and fully-equipped garage for middle-aged men, or a rural shed within a farm to house livestock or an aviary for your feathered fowls. The best part is you don’t have to worry about how you manoeuvre from point A (home) to point B (shed) because they are just a few steps apart.
Not only is it convenient when it comes to travel but is also cost efficient. Conducting your business in your backyard shed means you would avoid the hassles of daily commute, early departure, traffic jams, or catching the next train. You can trade all these hassles for a quick strut to your rear lot where your mighty garden shed sits.
The garden shed is believed to have started as a phenomenon of the British people who thought that it is the perfect response to the challenges that their temperate climate brings and to address their need for extra space, because they generally live in smaller houses.
The garden shed’s evolution
People in Australia share the same fondness for garden sheds despite reports that more and more Australians are living in apartments and on smaller blocks. To be able to maintain the affordability of housing whilst going through the current market conditions, the sizes of house blocks are made smaller and backyards are becoming less of a priority. However, the fast evolution of technology and the changing work trend of people from working for someone to becoming their own bosses will prevent this prediction [that garden sheds will become a thing of the past] from happening.
With the garden shed’s upgraded purpose of providing a convenient and accessible workplace for emerging entrepreneurs, it will surely thrive to keep its place in the hearts of Aussies no matter what circumstances the economy brings.
The garden shed in pop culture
Garden sheds have always appealed to artists, especially to writers. It turns out that most of the masterpieces that we know today were conceived within the closed edges of backyard sheds by master craftsmen, writers, and artists. Having a place where they can tackle their ideas and hear the wildest fruits of their imaginations have greatly transformed the way these prominent individuals work.
Big names in the creative realm treat their garden sheds and workshops as a necessity to put their crafts together. Roald Dahl, for instance, spent most of his time writing in his hut. He spoke of his hut with great affection, describing it as “my little nest, my womb” as told in the official blog dedicated to his life. Without his shed, the Willy Wonka that we have come to love would have never been brought to life. Another influential literary icon who produced notable works whilst being nested in her garden shed was Virginia Woolf. It was not until her “writing lodge” got moved to the far end of her garden that she managed to find her flow.
Even Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters immersed himself in his garden shed to create early demos for Dark Side of the Moon whilst Benjamin Britten composed music at the same time. For musicians who have already plotted their way to fame, they surely know how to trace their way back where they found their pitch—in the garage.
If you’re still having a hard time deciding on what you would like your garden shed to be, then following people who currently grind away from their garden shed will shed some light to your blurry vision.
Below are 11 people who currently work from their garden shed:
1. Former politician turned writer
Do you remember how British people value their sheds as previously mentioned in this article? The first individual in our list perfectly personifies this. David Cameron, the former British prime minister, purchased a £25,000 shepherd’s hut where he could write a book. It even features a wood-burning stove, sofa bed, and sheep wool insulation. We all have our own ways to keep our creative juices flowing and clearly for David Cameron, a garden shed helps.
2. Rock star in his world of sheds
Next on the list is another David, as a matter of fact, another Brit. Whilst he is not as famous as his politician namesake, this David is a huge music fanatic and deserves a nod for joshing about the former prime minister’s entry to the “world of sheds.” He teased that Cameron’s shed is nothing compared to his.
David Sproule’s pride roots from the fact that his shed, priced at £6000, is four times cheaper than the former politician’s hut. Amateur bands usually set up and record in someone’s garage. As a rock star, Sproule runs to “The Shedio” to work on his music and “hide from the world.”
3. Drummer coveting more gigs
Another garden shed that would make musicians scream in envy is this homemade sound-proofed professional recording studio. Alan Pagan specifically wanted a studio that can accommodate his drum rehearsals and create demos to acquire more gigs.
What started as a dream back in 2004 has become a reality with the help of his brothers. They gathered their resources together and decided to buy the property and establish their music haven. Take note that instead of buying a prefab shed, they opted to gather the raw materials and build the shed themselves. One of his brothers is a skilled builder. Talk about family pride!
4. Charitable inventor
Who knew that a workshop can be a place where extraordinary inventions are born? Having superpowers is not a requirement in spreading hope and helping those who are in need. Sometimes, all you need is a heart and the experience that would act as a catalyst in making a difference.
Stephen Davis invented hip prosthetic limbs for kids for free in his very own garden shed. Born without a lower arm, his desire to provide a useful tool to disabled children rooted from his past experience when he had to endure years without a prosthetic limb. His disappointment toward the prosthetic arm that was offered to him led him to create a fun and colourful option for kids. He turned his garden shed into a factory of goodwill.
5. Author, editor, and revolutionary
To start a revolution, you must believe in what you stand for and lead an exemplary life to inspire others. Alex Johnson relies heavily on his work environment to yield quality works, and he knows what makes an effective workplace. He believes that running a business from a garden shed is the key. Of course, he had tried it himself and this is why he swears by it.
A journalist and author of the book called Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution, he introduces the new exciting world of work and promotes the benefits of shifting from conventional office establishments to tiny garden sheds. It may sound a little ridiculous, but he stresses on the right way of working in a dynamic world; that we are not supposed to be glued to one place in order to do our job, but that “our job is where we are”.
Not only does he have this well curated book to magnify the wonders of garden shed businesses; he even has the figures when he conducted an estimate which shows that shed workers contributed £6.1bn to the UK economy.
6. Entrepreneur and digital strategist
Lauren Robinson found her ideal workplace in her shed. She is the founder of Worditude Ltd., an online content making company. Like most of us, she thrives in a peaceful work environment that is entirely her own. She can freely film videos and plan her strategies with no interruptions.
7. Organic bath product curator
Zoe Collingwood is a certified organic-o-holic. She makes her own natural, organic products for her business. The process of soapmaking is crucial as she handles oils and other ingredients that are sensitive to temperature and light.
Collingwood can’t afford to sacrifice the quality of her products, and this is why she made sure to secure her work environment and control the insulation. Her curated workshop has given her the liberty to establish the perfect environment for her type of business and line of work.
8. Jewellery designer couple
Nao Utsumi, a jewellery designer, built his 4ft x 6ft shed that he shares with his wife and fellow designer Artemis Russell. Hungry for a bigger space where his wife can brew fresh ideas without being interrupted, they decided to erect the backyard workshop which they are now enjoying. They purchased the garden shed almost ready to be occupied so they just did minor improvements.
9. A photographer in his dream darkroom
Dave Miller is a photographer based in England. Upon moving to his new house, he noticed that his house is small, but the garden has so much potential. He hatched a plan of building his shed and developed it into a highly functional darkroom.
Setting up a darkroom is just as elaborate as Collingwood’s bath products workshop, as both rely on proper insulation as their materials are sensitive to external factors. When done right, these types of sheds can turn into highly-efficient workspaces.
10. A multi hyphenate hodgepodge hideout
Bill Oddie lives a colourful life. He is a musician, composer, artist, goodie, comedy actor, writer, and wildlife conservationist all at the same time. It’s no surprise that his big credentials require extra space that would house his life’s extra toppings. This extra space is his garden shed. Bill decided to restore his rural shed after it has been crumbling for 25 years.
Expect to find all sorts of strange memorabilia and random objects mixed together in it. There are musical instruments, a distressed cupboard, a workbench, and lanterns to name a few. You’d even find a handful of decoy birds all lined up outside which makes his shed look like one of those packed aviaries.
In the middle of all the eccentricities, the most important use of his shed is its healing effect on Bill. He experienced surges of bipolar disorder and after having an awful year, he realised that his garden shed has made him feel secure the most.
11. Refutable author of whimsy and mystery
Writers are known to isolate themselves to gain clarity and inspiration. Neil Gaiman, amongst the many writers who prefer some quiet time of isolation, boasts of his garden office in one of the Shedworking books. Neil was not afraid to admit his recurring appreciation for his garden shed which he erected, abandoned, and rediscovered later with greater fondness and pleasure. He confessed to losing himself to the sight of trees and getting back to his senses happier afterwards.
The people who make up this list may come from different backgrounds, but they share one thing in common: they could attest that building a shed and turning it into your very own workspace has more advantages than you can imagine. Working in a garden shed has the potential not only to transform the way you work, but it can also help you put more value in what you do.
If you want to work within the comforts of your own yard, get the best garden shed at EasyShed.