With an increasing number of homeowners looking to work from home permanently, 2022 could be the year for garden room living, as Ryan Crossley, director of Making Your Space points out.

It’s been nearly two years now since the first lockdown and the whole COVID-19 pandemic started to immerse itself in our daily lives and while the latest Omicron variant seems less potent in terms of hospitalisations and fatalities, the fact is we’ve going to have to cope with this for the long-term.

Businesses have already had to adjust across the globe, with an increased emphasis on employee welfare and the opportunities for home working.

The current guidance in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is encouraging people to work from home wherever possible using Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other video platforms for collaborative working. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) just under 36% of workers in Britain did some work from home in 2020 and the numbers are likely to be similar for 2021.

In the last week of November 2021, seven in 10 travelled to work at least once a week and one in seven said they had been working at home and travelling to work.  Businesses still have a still have a legal duty to manage the risks to staff and customers and they also must follow official safety guidance and carry out Covid risk assessments for those staff who are in the office.

But what of home working? Many office-based staff can easily work from home and some larger corporations are now offering staff the opportunity to do this permanently with one prominent bank doing so with a caveat of a wage reduction for those working in the city. When you consider the time spent travelling to London, the associated travel costs and even the cost of a Starbucks and lunch, it’s still a financially viable option and with considerable lifestyle and health benefits too. Ultimately, 10-15 hours back in anyone’s week is a game changer.

While the temporary home working has seen staff working from kitchens, bedrooms and lounges with regularity, it’s been difficult for those households where both adults have been working from home, as has been seen on the very many and varied backdrops on video conferencing, not to mention the interruptions from small children and pets! There’s a huge underlying demand for additional workspace and we believe the garden room market will grow significantly in 2022.

As an independent living space, garden rooms don’t generally require planning permission and our own development at Making Your Space has been designed to make the installation process quick and simple thanks to our unique quick-fix SIPS construction. We also offer installation training and there’s also the benefit of a marketing programme behind our brand, including a unique online garden room builder.

This investment allows for the building of a bespoke garden room in real-time, with full costing and pricing embedded within the platform that can also be added to any website. This unique builder at makingyourspace.co.uk works in a similar way to the proven door designers in this sector and there’s a wide range of finishing options in terms of windows, doors and cladding.

Our plan is to build a nationwide network of Design Centres and we’re actively recruiting across the UK at present with the offer of a strong brand and an outstanding product proposition. While some of these Design Centres may look to add physical garden rooms to existing showsites, replacing older buildings that don’t have the same market potential, others will look to harness our marketing assets to assist with the sales and marketing process.

We firmly believe that 2022 will be the year of the garden room given the social requirements for permanent office space within the home. The lack of planning requirements, easy installation processes and the use of existing skills and labour make it a standout proposition for Design Partners and the trade. With premium options of aluminium and Accoya timbers as well as more standard offerings, it’s also a bespoke brand and whatever the overall design parameters, we’ll be able to carefully manufacture and palletise these rooms for delivery in just four weeks.