Working from home comes with its perks: a blissfully short commute, unlimited snacks, casual dress code. But it also comes with its own set of drawbacks: screaming kids, makeshift desk setups, a general lack of privacy. And while we’ve been enjoying the good weather and find some satisfaction in subbing our backyard Muskoka chair for our usual desk chair, it’s not the same as having a dedicated place to go every morning, to think and create and conference call and get some real honest work done. The solution here is obvious: build an office in your backyard. In fact, there are already many design companies ready to help, with prefab studio units that more than fit the bill. Here are some of our favourites.
Started by Iceland-born, Los Angeles-based designers, Plus Hus offers an easy backyard solution that’s thoughtfully designed and just big enough to serve as a home office. It’s sustainably manufactured in Los Angeles, and can be customized to include such amenities as a bathroom or a kitchenette — just like your old office!
Don’t let the unassuming name fool you — Modern Shed is a thoroughly impressive addition to your backyard. While every shed begins with a template, customers work directly with one of the company’s architects to customize theirs exactly to their needs.
Photo: Katherine Ann Rose Photography
Inspired by the clean lines and purpose-driven aesthetic of the Bauhaus movement, these modified shipping containers have nonetheless been updated with a decidedly California vibe. Malibu-based Buhaus offers a 160-square-foot solution to your backyard needs, with clean lines and a minimalist ethos. Plus, it’s capable of being installed off-grid, in case you want to lean into the “remote” part of remote work.
Shipping containers are the perfect backyard office solution: ultra-mobile, energy-efficient, and pretty cool looking, too. Honomobo turns shipping containers into ultra-modern spaces that are comfortable, sustainable, and easy to install just about anywhere.
When tech firms and creative agencies started designing radical open office concepts years ago, the quietest place to be was one of the insulated “breakout rooms” — four square walls and a place to make a phone call. Consider the Studypod your house’s own breakout room. Designed specifically to be placed in a yard (ideally one with a view), it’s just big enough for a desk and your own thoughts.
Hello Wood Workstation
Budapest-based Hello Wood Studio specializes in designing prefabricated solutions to everyday problems. Their Workstation Cabin was designed at the beginning of Europe’s lockdown as a direct response to the pandemic, recognizing there might be a need for a cool, quiet place to sit and get some work done in the months to come. It comes completely turnkey, with a built-in bench and electrical outlet — but it can be further upgraded and customized to suit your needs.
The Backcountry Hut Company
If you’re feeling the need to get out of your actual backyard and further into mother nature’s backyard, The Backcountry Hut Company has you covered. Based in British Columbia, the BHC team creates prefabricated products that are sleek, sustainable, and completely at one with nature. The Model 00 A-frame hut is the ideal studio or office setup, perfect for when you just need to get off the grid (or when you want to win your Zoom meeting with the most amazing backdrop).