The term “Shoffice” is a combination of the words “shed” + “office”. A Shoffice is typically a small structure, outdoor building, or garden office that is built in someone’s backyard or garden away from your house.

It now has many different names and definitions such as garden building, garden studio, smart garden office, eco-garden room garden retreat, garden room, and even man-cave.

These days a lot of DIYers transform their sheds into office sheds by adding windows, electricity, and internet connection. It means the common garden shed is much more flexible as a space than it was in the past.

So if you have an old shed that you’re not using, you can easily turn it into a Shoffice!

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a spare shed in their backyard. And even if they did, the condition of the shed may not be suitable for working in.

This is where the Shoffice comes in. It allows you to build a bespoke garden office tailored to your specific needs and wants.

A Shoffice can be anything from a simple shed with windows and electricity to a fully-fledged garden office complete with insulation, heating, underfloor heating, and air conditioning. The sky is the limit when it comes to designing your own Shoffice.


Where Did the Term Come From?

“Shoffice” as a term first came into use in the early 2000s and has since become popular among those who work from home or have a need for a quiet space to work outside of the house.

However, it’s not a term you hear anymore since the term “Garden Home Office” (GHO) has taken over.

They became even more popular during the covid lockdowns when employees needed a work-from-home (WFM) space that was not their home.

A Shoffice can provide you with the peace and quiet you need to get work done, without having to be in your house all day.

What is a Shoffice Made From?

A Shoffice can be made from a variety of materials depending on your budget and needs. The most popular materials used to build a Shoffice are wood, metal, and plastic/composite.

Wood is the most popular material used to build a Shoffice as it’s relatively cheap and easy to work with. You can also paint or stain it to match the look of your house or garden.

Metal is a good choice if you’re looking for something more durable and weather-resistant. However, it can be more expensive than wood and harder to work with.

Plastic/composite is the cheapest option and the most popular material used today. It’s also very easy to work with and maintain.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Shoffice?

In most cases, you will not need planning permission to build a Shoffice in your garden. However, there are some exceptions.

If you live in a conservation area or your property is listed, you will need to check with your local authority before proceeding.

Often times a new build house designed by an architect doesn’t have enough space for an office. And it can be difficult to get planning permission to build an extension.

This is where a Shoffice comes in handy. You can easily add a Shoffice to your garden without needing planning permission.

It’s also a cheeky way of extending your property’s footprint without going through the hassle of getting planning permission.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Shoffice?

There are many benefits to having a Shoffice, such as:

1. Increased productivity – working in a dedicated space can help you stay focused and get more work done.

2. Improved mental health – working in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve well-being.

3. Save money – a Shoffice can be a more cost-effective option than renting office space.

4. ecological footprint – by working from home, you can reduce your commute and therefore your carbon footprint.

If you’re thinking of building a Shoffice, there are many things to consider before getting started. But with careful planning, you can create a space that meets your needs and enhances your lifestyle.

Things to Think About Before Buying or Building a Shoffice

1. What is your budget?

2. How much space do you need?

3. What are your power requirements?

4. What kind of insulation do you need?

5. Do you need planning permission?

6. What style of Shoffice do you want?

How Much are Shoffices?

The cost of a Shoffice depends on many factors, such as the size, style, and specification. A simple shed-style Shoffice can start from as little as £500 for a DIY shed office, while a more elaborate bespoke garden office can cost upwards of £10,000.

If you’re thinking of buying or building a Shoffice, it’s important to consider your budget and needs before getting started. With careful planning, you can create a space that meets your requirements and enhances your lifestyle.


Is a Shoffice a good investment?

A Shoffice can be a great investment if you plan to use it regularly. Not only will it save you money on renting office space, but it can also increase your productivity and improve your mental health.

Can you fit a toilet in a Shoffice?

In most cases, yes. However, you will need to check with your local authority as there may be restrictions in place.

Can you fit a shower in a Shoffice?

It will depend on the size of your Shoffice and the regulations in your area. It’s worth checking with your local authority before proceeding.

Can you sleep in a Shoffice?

In most cases, no. However, there are some companies that offer bespoke garden office designs that include a bed area. It’s worth checking with your local authority before proceeding.

What is the best material for a Shoffice?

The best material for a Shoffice will depend on your budget and needs. However, timber is a popular choice as it’s eco-friendly, durable, and easy to work with. If you were buying one off the shelf, then a composite such as PVC would be more expensive but need less maintenance.

Is a Shoffice the same as a Summerhouse?

No, a Shoffice is typically a garden office that has been built without planning permission. A Summerhouse is a leisure building that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as relaxation or entertaining guests.

How long does it take to build a Shoffice?

The time it takes to build a Shoffice will depend on the size and complexity of the design. A simple shed-style Shoffice can be built in a matter of days, while a more elaborate bespoke garden office can take weeks or months.


Main Image from Platform 5 Architects

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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