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Having your home office as efficient as possible

Making the choice to pull away from the rat race and work from home can have a huge number of benefits, including lifestyle, work-life balance and even be financially better. Using the extra space from your own garden and having a garden room constructed to give you a dedicated workspace is a fantastic way to capitalise on the new way of working and maintain focus.

Although for some, the savings that are made by working from home may be significant, it's important that they're not all undone, or at least significantly reduced with a few oversights. It may feel amazing to only fill the car up once a fortnight instead of every three days, save money on ever-increasing rail season tickets or to remove that 'Commuting' clause from your motor insurance, but it's worth remembering that working from home sees other costs rise.

If you're no longer working in an office suite that's paid for by your company, you'll no longer benefit from having your energy needs met by your employer. Costs, such as lighting, heating, water, running computers and even broadband take a sharp rise when suddenly there's somebody at home all day, when previously the house was empty during business hours.

There are a number of things you can do mitigate this, however. Firstly, making sure your garden room is as physically efficient as it can be is a great help. Garden Spaces use Structured Insulated Panels (SIPs) to make sure that the space is warm in winter and cool in summer, making it very thermally efficient and reducing the amount of energy needed to heat or cool the space.

Having a space in near constant use throughout the day increases the amount of energy used and, dependent on when you're in the office, even something as simple as lighting can dramatically increase energy consumption. With a little planning and clever use of energy efficient lighting, this cost can be reduced.

Arguably, the greatest effect that you can have on your energy consumption in the home office is awareness. While your company is paying for your utilities, there's a temptation to put the heating up a few degrees or just close the lid of your laptop instead of shutting it down overnight or at lunch, just because it's convenient. By remembering to make energy savings where possible, you can reduce not only the cost, but the environmental impact. As long as you bear in mind that every time a switch goes into the 'On' position, it's effectively costing money, it helps to create a feeling that efficiency in the workplace doesn't just relate to making the most of your time, it's about getting the most for your investment, whether that's maximising your time or reducing your outgoings on utilities and bills.

Working from home is now an option for an ever-increasing number of people, who jump at the chance to eliminate the cost and stress of the daily commute. Although being one step ahead in terms of your working day would be tempting for many people, you could find yourself financially strides ahead by running your garden office with a little bit of ecological and economic thinking.

Date: 26/02/2016 | Author: Roger Hedges