On Working From Home and the Joys of Shed Offices

As we settle into what looks like a new normal for the indefinite future, I decided to share some thoughts and reflections on various “WFH” setups I’ve had over the years.  My working career has involved quite a bit of work from home - and I’ve learned some hard lessons over the years.  I’ve also learned what works well, and have built what is, quite possibly, the ultimate home office - my Solar Shed!  The only thing better than working from home is working from the property!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.sevarg.net/2020/05/23/on-working-from-home-and-joys-of-shed/

(Comments from Blogger)

2020-05-23 by mal

Best thing I did was get really large, solid desk made up. One that fills the avalible space. I got them to make the top 1 inch thick, so it’s really solid.

Also, dual (or more) monitors!

2020-05-27 by Sam

I’ve also found that natural light (windows), ergonomics (good chair and keyboard and monitor positioning), and line of sight views for any homestead visitors improve my WFH experience. Having set up in a basement with poor natural lighting, sitting on a bucket, with plywood on sawhorses for a desk, using a laptop keyboard and screen gave me plenty of time to focus without distraction, but was horrible for productivity. Thanks for sharing your experience, I expect this topic to continue to grow in value for the foreseeable future.

2020-08-22 by Michael

Thanks for this, really well written and very interesting. I’ve been WFH for nearly 2 decades and come to all the same conclusions as you. I have a dedicated office room, however you make a good sell for a shoffice!

2020-08-22 by Russell Graves

A lot of it depends on your house and environment - and there are certainly some tax benefits with the home office that I don’t get with a separate structure (I took the various tax writeoffs all in the first year). When we bought our house, I knew I was going to build a separate office, so we were able to get a somewhat smaller house than we might otherwise have gone with (2000 sq ft doublewide manufactured - well built, inexpensive, and single level, so it won’t be a problem as we age - and, yes, it feels weird to call 2000 sq ft small, but by contemporary standards it is, and an awful lot of the space is in the central living room/kitchen/dining room area, with a great view of the mountains out the windows).

However, for me, part of the reason I went with separate space was also just some of the things I do out there. I spent two years building an awful lot of battery packs (mostly for BionX, but for some other types as well), and that’s something that I’m just not comfortable doing at scale in the house. I was storing thousands of 18650s and building packs that, if anything went terribly wrong, stood a good shot of burning down a structure - and it’d be an awful lot less annoying to burn down my office than the house. I’m mostly out of that at this point (which is fine with me, it got boring), but the benefits of the separate office space remain strong.

2020-08-22 by Russell Graves

I spent a lot of time fighting natural light early on - the way my office is arranged, the south facing sun streams in the windows and bounces off my monitors, more or less blinding me and making it impossible to see the screens. I have some natural light, but I’ve blocked an awful lot of it. In retrospect, having the windows facing north would have given me a lot more usable natural light. Of course, I could always plant a tree out there…