Container office with work-life balance
Recent research commissioned by Häfele UK has revealed that after almost a year of working from home on makeshift surfaces, 40% of the UK’s workforce are planning to create a dedicated office space in their property within the next 12 months. This news doesn’t come as a surprise to SGP, who have for some months now been examining the concept of offsite construction and container accommodation and how it can be applied to a number of different scenarios, including use as office accommodation in residential settings.
Late last year, we were approached by a private individual to commission a version of the concept in their back garden. The client runs their own business and, due to lockdown restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, had by necessity started to occupy a sizeable area in their home. It therefore made sense to accommodate the client’s business activity in a bespoke office away from the main house function.
At the same time, the family wanted to achieve a multi-use space that could accommodate family functions during periods when the office wasn’t being used, for instance entertaining and movie nights. On the latter, the intention is to locate a large-screen TV or projector on the main inner wall of the unit, whilst soft furnishings will be placed just outside to allow evening movie nights.
The proposal has now achieved planning permission and the container, a basic 20ft module cut down slightly to fit the garden, is currently on order. The inside will be lined with studwork and insulation, while the outside will be clad in untreated timber planking in keeping with the domestic surrounding fencing.
Whilst there is now perhaps some light at the end of the tunnel with regards to the current pandemic, it’s inevitable that the last 12 months of working from home will continue to exert its influence on how and where people choose to work. Movement in the housing market has also suggested people are looking at their own homes with a view to making their own spaces multifunctional and adaptable for future epidemics and pandemics. Converted containers can provide the perfect solution for a home office in the garden, secure enough to leave your kit in, adaptable enough to have a multi use, as well as falling under permitted development rights.