The Ins and Outs of Working From An Indoor-Outdoor Home Office

September 3, 2014 by

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Ah, the elusive dream of working from home. No more commuting, no more “business casual,” no more over-priced lunches scarfed down in ten minutes standing up. The freedom to make your own schedule, wake up when you want, work in your pajamas if you feel like it, and travel at any time as long as you have your laptop.

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The Ins and Outs of Working From Home
Like all dreams, this one too can be subject to that unfortunate phenomenon called reality. Working from home is not all peace, freedom and joy. It has its challenges too. The challenge is finding the remedy to a common virtual commuter woe.

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Let’s start with the problem. Or shall I say, the opportunity?
One of the most common of the virtual commuter’s woes is answering this recurring question: Am I still at work, or am I home from work? Does “home from work” even exist anymore?

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I work from home, so I know it’s easy to feel like I’ve never really left the office. Nothing like ending the workday in bed with your laptop. You’re officially not home from work unless you are practically unconscious. Gone is the separation between “at work” and “home from work.” That sigh of relief that accompanies walking through the door and kicking your shoes off after a long day of incessant deliverables. It’s easy to feel like you are always at work, because in a sense, you are.

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This lifestyle choice has its perks for sure. Like the freedom to create your own daily experiences, and be in control of your own environment. Virtual commuters shake their heads at the cubicle’s suffocating beige and are willing to tread up hill both ways in the snow to work in a more appealing, suitable, and healthy space.

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Ideal Workspaces
But what makes a workspace serene, healthy, and inspiring? True, indoor plants in increase air quality and well being, as do color, sound, and light. If working from home handed you the pallet from which to paint your ideal workspace, what would you paint?

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I would paint a scenario where I could be both inside and out at the same time. Office buildings are boxes with a constant churn of recycled air and unnatural lighting. Fresh air, sunlight and plant life are all basic elements of human happiness and health. I want my workspace to reflect that.

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Now we come to the opportunity.

I’ve observed a particularly wonderful trend in garden architecture these days. It’s the emergence highly functional and beautifully designed outdoor structures––reinterpretations of the old garden shed as artful and flexible “outdoor-indoor-outdoor” living spaces. These sheds aren’t used to store rusty shovels, old hoses, and bags of fertilizer. Instead, they are artist studios, movie rooms, guest bedrooms, meditation quarters and yes, you guessed it—workspaces.

Studio Shed is this concept at its very finest.

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Born six years ago out of co-founder and Olympic mountain bike racer Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski’s need for a place to store his mountain bikes, Studio Shed has grown up outside. An engineer and aficionado of modern design, Horgan-Kobelski’s quest for a contemporary and functional structure turned up either ho-hum barn-style sheds or very upscale and costly prefab units. What began out of a need for a simple mountain bike storage solution, evolved into an innovative full service design-build company for contemporary backyard sheds—and home offices.

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To Do or Not to DIY
Why not have it our way, all the way? Using , Studio Shed’s online Configuratora 3D interactive design interface, you can fully customize your modern and intelligent shed in six steps without ever leaving your desk–or at least never having to do so. About eight weeks later, your personally designed shed arrives as a flat-packed kit ready for installation. You can assemble the shed yourself in a day or, if you’re not handy and that’s not your thing, opt for premium installation. Presto.

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These babies are high touch and high tech. Made in Colorado of green and sustainable materials, the sheds are also fully wired for power and Internet.

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For the home worker, the backyard is transformed into a seamless part of the work from home experience, an integral element within the landscape, and literally, a breath of fresh air.

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So picture this: You wake up to sound of songbirds, make the necessary quantity of espresso shots, slip on your sandals (or go barefoot because who cares) and head to the backyard to “go to work.” You walk past flowers and smell the scent of basil, some of which you might pick for use in that day’s lunch. That simple transition from being at home to being at work is a far, gorgeous, cry from a barking talk radio and air conditioner blasting in your face as you drive stop and start on the freeway.

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Although serene, clean and inspiring, my own home office is just off my kitchen, so to leave work behind, I need to close the door. But I would love a workspace in the garden, one which would enable me to better separate my work and home life while simultaneously synthesizing my indoor and outdoor experience.

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That fusion of natural elements from the outside with the inside world creates the opportunity for positive productivity, health, calm, and dare I say—happiness.

All photos via Studio Shed.

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