Thursday 11 July 2013


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15 Incredible Outdoor Office Pods
By Julian,
Business Pundit, 10 July 2013.

According to, there are many benefits to working at home - not least the savings on cost and travel, the flexible hours, and the ability to maximize family time. Minutes and hours normally wasted on commuting can be spent at work, and studies show that an employee’s productivity rises by about a third when they switch to working from home.

Doing business in the family home can, however, bring its own distractions. So it’s fortunate that a host of office pods offer aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly and cost-efficient solutions. Separated from the main house, these pods create a quiet, secluded work environment that spares valuable space in the home whilst providing all the technological comforts you need. Better yet, these small structures are often exempt from planning permission. Read on for 15 amazing office pods.

15. Garden Office

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Based in Leicester, England, is an eco-friendly company that produces designer garden buildings - like this dedicated external office. The Garden Office was designed with city gardens in mind, and because it’s only eight feet high, planning permission generally isn’t required. Despite its small dimensions, the Garden Office is, according to the firm, spacious enough for two people to work in simultaneously. And while the shape of the building may be a little more conventional than other garden pods, stresses that its mod cons are “years ahead of the typical garden shed.” Featuring a range of optional extras, including a toilet and a kitchenette, this is a garden office that really aims to provide a self-contained working space separate from the home.

14. OfficePOD

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The brief was straightforward: create a self-contained work space that staff would be proud to own, and something with minimal impact on the environment that would exceed standard office accommodation requirements and encourage productivity. Measuring around seven by seven feet, the resulting OfficePOD adheres to all the outlined points, and it does so with style. The pod features creative and dynamic storage and workspace solutions and was made using high-quality materials chosen for their visual, physical and environmental value. A subtle outlet - linkable to either your house or garage - powers the pod, and security is provided by a high-quality locking system. The OfficePOD also boasts considerable eco-friendly credentials and was made using natural and recycled materials wherever possible. It also follows the most rigorous energy performance and consumption guidelines, backed up by its use of insulation and its dynamic cooling system.

13. myPod

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Contemporary Garden Rooms present a variety of garden office pods, including the myPod pictured above. This office can be installed in just one day, and because it’s eight feet tall with no fixed foundations, it doesn’t usually require planning permission. The myPod, which measures ten feet in length, provides a comfortable workspace and contains built-in storage closets. The office was designed for use throughout the year and features solid wooden doors and double glazing to keep workers warm. Thanks to its recycled glass insulation, it’s also damp-, rot- and fire-resistant and offers impressive sound dampening. For US$10,400, a one-person myPod could be yours in just four weeks, while a two-person office costs US$13,370. What’s more, thanks to their EPDM membrane wraps, each office is expected to last around 30 years.

12. Armadilla

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The Armadilla is an office pod that draws on centuries of boat-building methods and fuses them with modern design, creating a comfortable outdoor working space. The exterior of the pod has a distinctive shape - somewhat like the small armoured animals that we reckon inspired its name. It is made of wood on a steel frame, doesn’t usually require planning permission, and arrives fully assembled. The Armadilla also doesn’t need any foundations and can therefore be easily transported if you move. UK manufacturers Armadilla compare the pod to a sculpture, and it certainly doesn’t look like an office from the outside. However, inside it boasts a wrap-around desk and a design that promises to make the office “a pleasure to look at and work in.” The pod is available in a variety of different sizes and comes with a 25-year guarantee. It includes electric under-floor heating for the winter months, yet it also stays cool in summer.

11. Rotating Pod

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As the Rotating Pod website states, “A garden should be enjoyed. So make it somewhere to relax and unwind.” The pod’s revolving design allows users to adjust it so that it’s out of the wind or shielded from the sun - an innovation that brings a bit of flexibility to the world of garden offices.

The pods are available in a number of functional variants: the larger Deluxe Summerhouse model is 11 feet wide and nine feet high, the medium-sized Rotating Lounger is eight feet wide and just over eight feet high, and the smaller Rotating Seater is a little over seven and a half feet wide and more than seven feet high. Rotating Pod highlights the fact that the structures are made of aluminium, stainless steel and pressure-treated pine laminates. Oh, and an optional 12-volt charging system and 20-watt solar panel can also be built into the design.

10. R1

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Roost’s R1 office pod makes a stunning addition to any garden. The distinctive oval design is covered with western red cedar, which naturally withstands insects and rot. There’s also the option to reduce the pod’s visibility from above by opting for a living roof of sedum grass. This office space incorporates double glazing and clever insulation - and these additions make it energy efficient and insulated from noise. The R1 is available in a range of interior colours and sits on supportive concrete pads. It has four downward-facing lights and four power outlets, and optional extras include wood flooring or carpet, an outer decking area, exterior light, and electrically powered under-floor heating.

9. The Pod

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The Pod, which boasts an impressive 460-square-foot work area, is a multifunctional space that makes a perfect and spacious outdoor office. Pod Living, who designed The Pod, claims that its “boutique” designs “are light years ahead” of its rivals’. When designing their pod, the company took design cues from nature and used recycled materials - yes, eco-friendliness is a major part of the office’s appeal. Pod Living stresses that its pods offer an “ethical and responsible image.” It’s no miniature office space, either, measuring in at a whopping 36 feet long and nearly 13 feet wide. As for how much it’ll set you back, the Pod costs around US$44,590.

8. Manuel Villa Office Pod

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Set within the garden of a Bogotá family in central Colombia, this structure is one of the most distinctive and stylish office pods you’re ever likely to see. Designed by Colombian architects Manuel Villa and Alberto González, the polyhedron sits well in the family’s garden. The inside of the office is made of pine, and an external decking area lies at the front. A wall of glass, meanwhile, ensures good natural lighting. Measuring an impressive 24 feet, this is a stylish office space that offers anyone working in it a great opportunity to feel inspired in natural surroundings.

7. O-Pod

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The O-Pod is an eco-friendly office pod designed by EcoHab Homes. Beneath the pod’s Forest Stewardship Certified timber sits recycled fiberglass insulation, which ensures that heat is preserved and energy consumption is kept to a minimum. The pods are prefabricated, too, and can usually be assembled in 48 hours. According to website Envirogadget, each one has been specially designed to be an “uplifting and inspiring workspace that will not cost the Earth.” The aesthetically pleasing design incorporates a domed roof and rounded windows that allow in plenty of natural light. O-Pods can also be custom fitted with power sources and lighting, and they start from roughly US$14,610 (including permits, electrical and lighting connections, and installation costs).

6. AirClad Roof Pod

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Design and production company Inflate has specialized in inflatable constructions for the past two decades. Moreover, over the last 10 years, the company has produced successful temporary structures using “AirFlow” technology.

In the domestic world, the garden office pod industry is booming thanks to the Internet, with the Web’s possibilities for global communication giving people more opportunities to work from home. The AirFlow system facilitates the creation of easily transportable structures that can be ready in minutes. This modern pod makes a handy office on a London rooftop, is guaranteed to make a lasting impression at any meetings and ought to provide an interesting space in which to work. [AirClad website]

5. Tetra Shed

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The Tetra Shed is an interesting office pod option that can stand on its own or in connection with other models, known as tessellations. Designed by architect David Ajasa-Adekunle for award-winning architectural firm Innovation Imperative, the Tetra Shed is a modular building system that affords “additional work, rest and play space for homes.” As many as six sheds can be connected to form larger spaces. The Tetra Shed is a sustainable system that provides thermal insulation and also offers seclusion. Owners can either have the outside finished with coloured paint, or can choose from copper, zinc, corten steel or marine plywood cladding. Additionally, there’s a choice of birch-faced plywood or plasterboard lining for the interior.

4. Blob VB3

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It may look like a gigantic white pebble or some kind of unmarked alien spacecraft, but this is actually the Blob VB3 mobile office, which was designed by Belgium-based architectural firm dmvA in 2009. The pod was designed as an office space for Xfactor Agencies, and in order to bypass Belgian building codes, dmvA created a habitable space that also works as a piece of art. The frame of the pod is made out of wood and is wrapped in polyester and a stretchy material that gives it its shape. The nose of the pod doubles as an automatic entrance and as a porch when open, and the whole thing makes a light, modern and easily transportable home office.

3. Archipod

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The spherical design and wood-tiled exterior of the Archipod certainly look striking. A vertically rising door permits access to the compact office, which measures nine and a half feet in diameter at its widest point and eight feet in height. As with many pods, customization is key. The standard model offers a curved plywood structure with a plasterboard-finished interior and western red cedar shingle cladding on the outside. Up top, the three-foot-wide hinged dome roof allows for plenty of natural light and ventilation, while a double-glazed porthole window adds a quirky finishing touch. While inside, a semi-circular ergonomic desk provides over 10 feet of workspace, and customization features include bespoke shelves, drawer units and extra seating.

2. The Skull Workstation

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The Skull workstation was produced by Dutch designer Joep van Lieshout for Rotterdam-based international art, design and architectural company Atelier van Lieshout (AVL). Essentially, it’s a one-person workstation crafted from a polyester fiberglass shell that features a chair and compact wooden desk. The pod resembles the Skull Rooms that AVL designed at the end of the 20th century, and the riveted design adds an industrial edge to the office’s artistic shape. The design is compact, distinctive and easy to transport, and a small opening grants access to the workspace. Meanwhile, on the other side of the office, a porthole allows natural light to enter. The office is less than six feet tall and is available in a range of colours for under US$9,300.

1. Mini Pod

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This ultra-stylish garden office pod was designed by award-winning UK-based company Pod Space, a leading manufacturer of top quality prefabricated eco buildings for the business and public sectors. The Mini Pod is one of the company’s most popular garden office designs and is easily big enough for two workers. And like most outdoor office pods, the Mini Pod can be tailored to suit different specifications.

The Mini Pod has an area of just over 159 square feet, and customization options include extra windows, under-floor heating and storage space. Each Mini Pod is covered in western red cedar and has large sliding doors for lots of natural light. Also, thanks to Pod Space’s use of pre-cast concrete foundations, installing the Mini Pod presents little disruption and can be done in a couple of days. Then it’s ready to use as a productive and pleasant workspace.

Top image: The Archipod (source)

[Source: Business Pundit. Edited. Links added.]


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