I moved my office to a SheShed – and it’s amazing

It’s turned from a running joke with my group of girlfriends into a source of pride: I work in a shed. Literally. Like the sheds you see for sale in the parking lot when walking into a home improvement store. Unexpectedly, I have never been happier to open my office door and step inside.

Challenges are an opportunity for reevaluation

Five years ago if you asked my dream office location, I would have told you I would be at one the top floors in the high-rise just north of Colorado’s Capitol. Referred to as the “cash register building,” it’s been an iconic part of the Denver skyline since I was in elementary school. To me, that building signified success. Rent for a single office was higher than the mortgage on our house – but that’s where the “successful” people were.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve never worked further from that highrise. But, when I walk across my driveway with a cup of coffee in hand and then open the door of my “office” I couldn’t feel more fulfilled.

I have no commute, traffic, parking permits, or toll fees for the fast lane when I’m running late (which was basically every day). I’ve traded honking and smog for the occasional goat sneaking in the door and chickens, ducks and guinea fowl making noise in the background of my conference calls.

There were times during the path from the downtown office to the sheshed where I felt like a failure. I had to change my preconceived notions of what “success” looked like for me.

A recent piece in The Economist outlined how the Coronavirus quarantines could make businesses reevaluate some of their practices and find new opportunities in these challenges. Although mine was on a much more micro scale, had some of the things I saw as failures at the time not happened, I wouldn’t be in the ideal situation I have today. Now I get to tell people, with a smile and a twinkle in my eye, that I work in a shed.

Not to be too Pollyanna about everything, but it’s these moments of flexion where your life can spin off in an entirely different direction. You might be surprised how much you like it.

Now I sit here and think: “What better place to organize and write about the Homegrown Year than in a SheShed office?” I feel more connected to my animals, my garden, my family and even myself than I ever did driving downtown in the mornings.

A change of scenery can change your mind

Studies abound about the negative impact an oppressive urban environment and bad architecture can have on the psyche. I never thought that *I* was one of the people that affected by my surroundings, until I changed them.

Sheshed office

We were very fortunate that I managed to buy a fully finished shed from a family friend who had used it as the office for his asphalt company. When he had to move yards he called and asked us if we wanted to purchase the office from him. It was absolutely perfect and I found a company to move it to our property.

The building, moving it, and hiring an electrician to wire and hook it all up cost less than 6 months of rent in Downtown Denver. I’m no less capable as a worker – probably even more creative now. I have the same intellect and skill set that I had when working in the middle of downtown, I just feel like I can smile and breathe a little more.

A no hurry and no expectations update

When I was downtown I tried (and often failed) to strike a balance between what I thought my office said about me to others and who I actually was. I always wanted to read as successful, but not TOO successful, professional, but also down-to-earth. Now that I have a space that is truly and completely MINE I don’t care what it says that I have a daybed across from my desk. I wanted a daybed and I prefer it to sit on and work on the laptop to a couch or chairs.

With the shed, every single thing I have done to it so far, from getting it reroofed, replacing the windows, having it repainted, is exactly how I want it. As I create the list of to-do shed items I have the ability to consider how I was each detail.

Because it is currently serviceable, I am on no specific timeline so it allows me the flexibility to discover what I want in my space. This has created a situation where I get to discover what *I* like rather than worry about what it makes others think about me. It’s a weirdly liberating experience.

Moving where I work made me change the view of myself

I know this is going to sound a little crazy, but having the opportunity to strip away my concerns about what my space said about me, and just being able to spend my days focused on creating has made me a better worker and a happier person.

Could you work in a shed?

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