Friday, July 28, 2006


Your Future's In Your Own Backyard

Working Americans facing a need for more flexibility in their daily schedules, not to mention soaring gas prices, are telecommuting more than ever. Twenty million of us work from home at least once a week, and the number of self-employed has risen from 6.4 percent to 7.4 percent in the last five years. Experts are convinced that both trends will accelerate in the future. With so much free enterprise going on in so many homes, the nature of those homes themselves will need to change. Or at least they may need to be modified or augmented in some fashion to support the new role of "office".

A corporation called Cedarsheds, which hitherto has specialized in gazebos and other backyard architecture, has devised a series of modular home offices that you can erect in your backyard. The basic units are constructed onsite from prefab materials and cost about $13,000. They provide about 120 square feet of office space, along with 100 square feet of deck space. Bigger than most cubicles to be sure, with enough room for file storage, office furniture and computer peripherals. And that deck space would be just the ticket for those who need to pace a bit before making momentous business decisions.

Enjoying the simple pleasures of nature while earning one's living is something that has eluded modern man since the industrial age began, and it would be splendid to have that opportunity once again. The ironic thing is that big business has so completely destroyed the weather through global warming that a backyard office may not be either as comfortable or as feasible as it sounds. At least all year round. And up here in Northeast, snow and ice and tree-deconstructing rain storms will drive you back indoors in a heartbeat. Nonetheless, for places like, say, North Carolina, Florida or California, the backyard office might be the wave of the future. Install video games on the computer, and it could replace the pool.

"Home Office? It's In The Yard" from Wired

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