Kevin McCloud
Brand Ambassador for Green Retreats

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Working From Home | Our Customers and Their Garden Office

22nd April 2022

At Green Retreats, we are massive advocates for working from home. We feel that everyone should have the luxury of remote working while not impeaching on their home life. This is one of the reasons the brand was established, to allow people to have a separate space and enjoy working from home.

We’ve asked some of our customers, who run their own business from their Green Retreats garden room, what their top tips are for working from home and the benefits of having the additional space! This is what they had to say …

 

 

Nige’ Ollis, Therapeutic Coach | INSPIRATION

“Personally, it was about finding a realistic, workable solution. Since qualifying as a therapeutic coach, coming through the pandemic and being able to see people face-to-face again, I knew I didn’t want to work full-time with back-to-back clients and knew that working out of the house [as I had with some practice clients prior to a certain pandemic forcing everyone online] wasn’t ideal either. However, it also meant finding somewhere flexible to rent, as well as commuting in/out for sessions – both scenarios creating expense and practical issues making that far from ideal too.

When the possibility of The Green Retreat Therapy Pod [as it initially became known] swung into orbit, all the notable and niggly problems seemingly evaporated. Clients could visit without ever entering the house itself – via the side entrance. I would have a ten-second commute as and when required. And, just as important, I would be able to create the perfect therapeutic environment without compromise.”

 

Outside of garden room with greenery either side and curved path leading up from a patio Inside garden room with two comfy chairs and coffee table set up

 

“Invest is such an appropriate word. Effectively, I ultimately decided to invest in my own future, both in terms of my therapy practice and our home. The Therapy Pod not only makes sense to support my therapeutic ambitions, but it also dovetails beautifully into the existing garden creating its own private relaxing space as well as being a valuable investment in the longer term, too.

It’s equally important to share how impressed I was with the Green Retreats Buckinghamshire showroom. I initially became aware of Green Retreats via Kevin McCloud, which as an endorsement was certainly encouraging, but to be able to visit the showroom and meet the knowledgeable staff ultimately sealed the deal. Fundamentally, having a south-facing garden and a primary school playground 100-yards away was doubly problematic. However, having the option to have the air-conditioning and the acoustic pack for sound insulation has been a revelation; the latter makes a hugely dramatic impact on the sound entering The Therapy Pod from the school’s nearby playground.

To keep The Therapy Pod a clean, tranquil space, I’ve kept the computer/office space in the house, which means a degree of self-discipline is still very much required when closing the pod door. I use The Therapy Pod for all client sessions, meditation and some other admin activities [notetaking, book reading, etc.], but with the computer office space in the home too it does require some of that self-discipline to open/close the metaphorical door. Personally, I’ve found that generating a bit of rhythm and routine to the working day/week makes things far more productive, while at the same time knowing I can walk my dog along the woodland river valley behind the home between client sessions has been a previously unimagined and now wholly practical pleasure.”

www.nigeollistherapies.com | Contact: therapeuticcoaching@nigeollis.co.uk

 

 

Saskia Saunders, Sustainable Futures Artist | INSPIRATION

outside of garden room with a woman holding up her artwork

Inside shot inside garden room with woman holding artwork on the table

“Personally, the flexibility of a garden office is key. I have a young family so my work hours are not ‘regular’ and I often work in pockets of time throughout the week, with some full days too. Being able to pop to my studio easily, and sometimes with my kids too, is a real luxury that I never take for granted.

We didn’t have room in our cottage for an office, and the studio was much more cost-effective than extending the house. Having a separate building, as the studio is at the end of our garden, means that my studio is a real sanctuary. It’s a separate space, whilst being easily accessible, so when I’m in it I focus on my work and don’t get distracted. We’ve cultivated the garden around it and almost hidden it away behind an arch of trees.

It sounds counterintuitive, but I enjoy lots of refreshing breaks. When I work a long day, I make time for a hike in the woods at the end of our road, I do a yoga or pilates online workout, meditate and break to eat a nutritious plant-based lunch in the garden if the weather is good. A lot of research shows that we can’t concentrate for long stretches of time, so we’re actually more productive with breaks and the freedom to move our bodies and give our minds a break.”

www.saskiasaunders.com  | Contact: saskia@saskiasaunders.com

 

Elisa Lubisco, Natural & Sustainable Business Owner 

“The benefits of running a business from home will depend on each individual and their business model. Particularly for me, it was the only way to reach my life goals. Since being a little girl, I wanted to have an active career in business, but if I was to be a mum, then I would be fully involved in raising my kids. Little did I know how hard is doing one or the other. Imagine doing both at the same time. Hectic. Separating both roles and maintaining headspace throughout the day has probably been the biggest challenge of my life.

 

Running Veganbunny from home allows me to:

– Adapting working hours to the daily routine with the kids.

– Save hours of commuting

– Squeeze exercise and fitness goals into my days.

– Reduce monthly expenses and stay on a budget. Being out and about makes it easier to be tempted to impulsive shopping.

 

It felt very overwhelming having both roles (Mum/CEO) in the same space. It was affecting my performance in both. To this, add the classic clutter drama. The house was quite a mess as I didn’t have a proper studio to work in or a place to have business calls. I am sure it sounds very stressful – it actually was.

Investing in renovating the loft was an option, but it was out of budget for us. Plus, the fact that the house would be a mess for weeks was just not appealing to us. It would have broken the balance we try so hard to maintain.

Green retreats offered me an aesthetic addition to the garden; it would increase the value of the house, but mostly, it gave me a lovely space where I can be my business owner self. Not having little humans popping on the zoom calls is a great pro as well.

‘Plan, separate & practice gratitude’ – It hasn’t been easy learning to stay motivated working from home. It took years to find the balance that worked for me. As humans, we are usually running from one task to another without pausing. But, when I invested time to find the method that worked for me, it made a huge difference. Most of the challenges came from how hard it is to focus on work when the house is not at its best. It even made me feel guilty if everything around the house was untidy and I was sitting down on the laptop. Planning the hours to be worked in the studio is great to find headspace. Separating the space gives you the clarity to switch from the ‘home-you’ to the ‘work-you’.

A great tip learned during lockdown was ‘Practicing gratitude’. having the opportunity to work from home is a blessing that shall not be taken for granted. At the same time, counting your blessings is a way to stay grounded and find joy in the everyday.”

www.veganbunny.co.uk | Contact: elisa@veganbunny.co.uk

 

Claire Zwozny-Bestwick, Eco-Friendly Silversmith & Sculptor | GARDEN WORKSHOP

outside view of garden room with bushes either side inside garden room of woman working at her desk with notes attached to the wall

“The main benefit of working from home, or in my case ‘My CRZyBest Shedquarters’ is that I can do my creative work whenever I want. It cuts out travelling time, has lots of flexibility, lower overheads and I have more control over my opening times.

I decide to invest in a Green Retreats building because after lots of research they were the best option for me. Green Retreats not only offered the whole package from foundations to electrics but also came with lots of eco-credentials which is very important to my own business.

My top tips for keeping motivated when working from home is to make sure that you have a dedicated area, like my Shedquarters, to plan your day – if only loosely. I love to prepare a kiln firing ready to put on early the next morning. This means I really feel like I’ve got something done and then motivates me to get other things done too! I also love having my dog ‘Barley’ around to talk to!”

www.crzybest.co.uk | Contact: claire@crzybest.co.uk

 

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Start your process today and request your free brochure, which provides all the details you will need to browse our range of garden rooms! If you’re ready to take it one step further, book your free design consultation, to ensure your plot is suitable, and assist you in designing your perfect work from home space. You can also pay one of our showrooms a visit and see for yourself all that Green Retreats has to offer.


For more inspiration, take a look at our videos!

Our garden rooms are priced based on the internal sizes rather than the exterior footprint, making it easier for you to plan your space. The price includes base, installation and VAT so there are no (nasty) surprises when it comes to final payment!

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