Americans Turn Sheds Into Home Offices as Covid Spreads, How You Can Too

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2020 will mark the beginning of the era of work from home!

Even after months of quarantine and social distancing, companies are still offering their employees the option of working remotely. This undoubtedly comes as a saving grace against Covid-19.

However, keeping the convenience and benefits of remote working aside, it’s challenging to get rid of the distractions that come in the way of optimal productivity. That’s why the demand for shed home offices is soaring high.

They act as fully-functional, dedicated workspaces that enable you to get the task done professionally and privately without the temptations of lounging on the couch or watching TV.

That said, as many Americans turn their sheds into home offices, we’re here with this guide to help you know how to do the same. But before that, we’ll highlight how the pandemic has enhanced the prospects of shed offices and work from home.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

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Work From Home During The Pandemic

The sudden outbreak and continued spread of the pandemic has managed to change the dynamics of the work scenario, compelling people to work from home. Now, there’s no denying that remote working comes with its set of perks, but we can’t ignore the fact that it affects overall productivity.

Working alone from the confinements of your room can get monotonous after a point. And let’s face it; even if you share the space with your spouse, no matter how great your relationship is, you’ll eventually long for separate work environments.

Unfortunately, it’s not a safe and sustainable idea to go to a nearby coffee shop to get your work done. And you might not even have the opportunity of converting a different room of your home into your office.

These are a few of the reasons why an increasing number of Americans are buying and building garden sheds to turn into home offices. These detached, self-contained, affordable spaces allow people to work in solitude, away from their family members and kids, who are also busy practicing distance learning at home.

The Boost In Garden Shed Sales

Just a few weeks after the Coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, in April, queries for office sheds ticked higher as per Google search results. Yet again, a few months into the pandemic, in mid-August, searches began trending as we entered the back-to-school season.

It’s evident that companies selling backyard sheds are also noticing this trend with a significant rise in sales. As per the general manager at Modern-Shed, Tim Vack, there has been a 400% increase in interest among the employed citizens of the nation since summer.

This proves that even though several companies are allowing their employees to work remotely if they choose to, people are tired of working from their bedrooms and living rooms.

Consequently, garden sheds come to the rescue as perfect home offices and school rooms for kids. A few of them are also slowly being converted into home gyms by fitness enthusiasts and professional trainers.

Moreover, seeing the current scenario, employees can expect work from home to continue even into the beginning of next year, if not longer. So, rest assured, investing in a home office shed will be beneficial in the long run.

Steps To Turn Sheds Into Home Offices

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If we go by the recent NY Times article, 43% of employed Americans have dedicated their time to remote working as Covid-19 continues to spread. But with home-related restrictions throwing off productivity, an off-site office space is the need of the hour.

In our opinion, sheds serve as ideal home workspaces that allow you to complete work without distractions. The best part is that they are ideally located in backyards, within walking distance from your home.

On that note, we’ll now take you through a step-by-step guide to help turn the shed into your dream home office.

  1. Buying or Building The Ideal Shed

Don’t worry if you don’t already own a garden shed; you can always invest in one that comes with windows and flooring.

Depending on the size, design options, and other factors, it’s typically priced around $120 to $180 per square foot, while the entry-level series starts at $10,500. Just make sure the structure is comfortable to spend hours working on important projects on a daily basis.

You may also consider building a garden shed, but the entire process is time-consuming and hectic. At the same time, the costs associated with hiring a contractor and buying materials can be exorbitant. In fact, if we go by Home Advisor, the average cost to build a shed ranges from just over $21,000 to $70,000.

Ideally, employees turn to their respective companies and employers to help with their home office space. However, you can also opt for the DIY-route, which is a cheaper way to complete the project with your family.

  1. Power It Up

Like any other office, your home workspace will require electricity to power fans and lights and charge phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic gadgets. For this, you’ll need to check the zoning permits of your town and contact a professional electrician.

On the contrary, those with the right tools, materials, and prior electrical wiring experience can also opt for the DIY route. Just don’t forget to include receptacle covers and light switches once the wiring is complete.

  1. Insulate Your Home Office

Insulation is crucial for your shed as it regulates the temperatures of the entire space during every season. Furthermore, it helps your home office withstand moisture and extreme weather conditions, protecting the structure from dampness and damage.

  1. Installing Drywall Panels

Once you’ve made sure your workspace is well insulated, go ahead and complete its look with an appealing finish. We’d suggest installing full-length drywall panels as they’re both easy and quick to assemble. And when teamed with baseboards, window casings, and baseboards, your home office is bound to stand out.

  1. Decorating Your Shed

A fresh coat of paint can do a lot to your shed’s overall aesthetic appeal. You may choose any bright and vibrant color for painting the interior walls, be it shades of blue, yellow, or green. In fact, these colors are also known for improving productivity by impacting your mood and behavior.

We’d suggest giving equal importance to the shed’s flooring as it completes and enhances its design. Hardwood floors are top choices among designers and homeowners when it comes to home offices.

But if you don’t wish to focus that much on flooring, a carpet or a simple throw rug can easily cover the wooden base. Plus, it adds a comfortable and homely feel to your dedicated workspace.

  1. Furnishing & Accessorizing

After adding the final finishing touches, start thinking about the furniture and accessories needed to furnish the home office. A desk and a comfortable chair are the ultimate office essentials required to get anyone through the day.

Other than this, cabinets and bookcases can help keep important files, documents, papers, books, and magazines organized so that the sheds don’t end up looking clumsy. They serve as perfect storage solutions, keeping valuable items safe for quick and easy access whenever required.

What’s more, don’t forget to accessorize your dedicated workspace with frames and other decorative items. For instance, placing a live plant on the desk not only adds greenery to the space but also improves productivity and boosts cognitive skills.

And in case you’re not confident about keeping the plant alive, artificial plants serve as perfect alternatives. We’d also recommend getting a fridge or microwave for much-needed snacks and refreshments in-between work.

Final Words

With the on-going pandemic seemingly never-ending, a home office shed serves as a valuable long-term investment for remote workers.

The best part is that it can be customized and furnished as per your style preference and office requirements. That’s not all; once transformed into your dream home office, it offers the perfect work environment to get you through hectic days in comfort.

On that note, we have reached the end of this informative guide on turning sheds into home offices. Here’s hoping we were able to provide all the relevant information related to the topic.

With this, we’ll take your leave. Till next time, stay safe!

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