More home workers open the door to an idyllic garden office in 2017 thanks to gig economy


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Professionals are shunning the daily commute to work by creating their own home offices says a company that uses aviation technology to build zero-maintenance garden rooms.

The rise in the gig economy, with workers becoming freelancers or on short-term contracts – means that home-working is now a viable option.

A Manchester accountant is among those who have swapped a motorway commute for a short stroll to his desk, thanks to Rubicon Garden Rooms

The company has been inundated with enquiries for its bespoke garden rooms for home work solutions, mirroring a national trend that has seen the number of homeworkers in the UK soar beyond four million.

There are now record levels of Britons choosing to achieve a better work and life balance by working from home while employers are becoming more and more flexible in their approach to enhance staff retention and create a happier workforce.

Along with technological advances and faster broadband, an increasingly mobile workforce has opened the door to greater flexibility in working conditions.

More and more employees are now working from home all or part of the week to meet childcare responsibilities and cut down on commuting costs.

For those who are self employed or working part-time, creating an office in the garden saves the cost of renting space elsewhere.

Installing a garden office has become a popular choice for employees wanting the flexibility of home working but enjoy the feeling of going to a designated space to work.

One of those who took the leap last year from rented office accommodation to a fully functional garden office is Stuart Haynes, a systems accountant for a global banking firm.

The dad-of-two, who oversees a team based across Europe,  swapped the daily commute along the M56 into Manchester for an office in the garden of his home in scenic Flintshire.

His five metre by four metre office in the garden of his house in Halkyn overlooks the spectacular Moel Famau and the Clwydian Range, an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which never fails to motivate him.

“I’ve always worked from a company’s office but in the last five years with faster broadband and employers becoming increasingly more flexible I’ve been able to work from home,” said the 44-year-old, who lives with his wife and two children, aged four and six months.

“I manage a team across Europe but they really don’t care where I am – at the end of the day I could be in Manchester or in a garden in North Wales!

“I’ve only started working from home for the past two years. It’s been a gradual move from just the odd Friday at home to two days in the week and now to being almost exclusively at home.

“The garden room is an office during the day but has a home cinema for the evenings and is very much a ‘man cave’. I have a four-year-old and six-month old and I love them to bits but it’s nice to have somewhere that’s neat and tidy.

“We have beautiful views and it’s nice to be on the phone one minute to someone in New York and then someone in Brussels and look out of my office and see Moel Famau and a few sheep knocking about.

“The way technology has changed and its impact on video conferencing means I can still feel like part of a global team while still being in North Wales.”

Stuart was highly impressed by the professionalism of Rubicon Garden Rooms in transforming his vision into reality.

“We’re right at the top of a hill and we get battered by strong gusts and I had some doubts whether the structure would be strong enough but it’s solid as a rock. I would recommend Rubicon to everyone.”

The initial investment in a Rubicon Garden Room can be recouped, on average, in less than two years, given the saving on commercial rents and rates, and is also business tax deductible.

Running costs are average £100 per year for a 12 square metre garden room – much lower than many business units.

Rubicon Garden Rooms managing director John Lyons said: “Since the start of 2017, we’ve received an increasing number of enquiries from people who want to transform their New Year resolutions into reality and achieve that all important work life balance.

“Time is precious and the demands of modern working often disrupt sacred family time with long commutes and overtime. A bespoke garden office resolves many of these problems and still gives employees the professional space they need to maintain their careers effectively in the idyllic environment of their own back garden.

“Few people who’ve taken the bold leap to work from home have regretted it and our previous customers have certainly been impressed by the results, with many reporting an increase in productivity and motivation in their new green surroundings.”

Rubicon Garden Rooms feature composite cladding that is eco-friendly as it is 87 per cent recycled content using wood that’s sourced through sustainable forestry. The result is a building with the natural look of timber, which is UV stable, colour fast, and handles extreme hot and cold conditions with excellent weathering properties.

The company was founded in 2014 by John Lyon and now employs nine-full time staff. It recently doubled the size of its factory to around 6,000 square feet.  Its showrooms at Deeside Enterprise Park, Flintshire,  has a wide range of zero-maintenance garden rooms, including different types of exterior finish.

More details at rubicongardenrooms.co.uk or call 01244 552813

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