Could garden offices become more popular?

As more firms begin to enable staff to work from home, garden offices may become increasingly popular.
Such spaces can help people achieve a better work-life balance and they mean they are still able to achieve a sense of separation between the environments in which they perform their professional roles and those they relax in during the evenings and weekends.

Writing in, employment solicitor Anna MacGregor noted that many firms will be looking for ways to keep their personnel happier and allowing them to operate from garden offices, garden studios or other such spaces at their own abodes may contribute to this.

She added: “Allowing employees to work from home for either all or part of the working week is another potential way of fostering a healthier work-life balance.

“Many employers have IT systems in place to facilitate this. If not, and home working is something that could work for a business, consideration could be given to putting such provisions in place.”

Ms MacGregor went on to point out that employers that do consider allowing home working should make sure they are aware of the risk assessments and health and safety obligations that must be undertaken.

She also stated: “Home workers should also be made aware of their data protection obligations when processing information.”

Of course, enabling employees to base themselves at home is not the only way in which morale can be improved, the expert pointed out.

Other issues that should be taken into account are flexible working conditions, as these can improve motivation and productivity.

Also, dealing with childcare issues is a vital point, as many working parents are forced to rely on an informal network of families and friends in order to look after their youngsters.

The solicitor also noted that employees have the right to take “a reasonable amount of time off work to deal with the unexpected disruption or termination of care arrangements involving dependants”.

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