Demand spikes for backyard offices

·2 min read

"Third workplaces" and remote jobs are here to stay, and the ongoing pandemic is driving desire for more space — particularly in people's own backyards.

Why it matters: The trend sheds light on how COVID has affected our habits and changed the world around us.

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Zoom in: Boulder-based Studio Shed — a startup specializing in the design and construction of sleek, single-room structures — tells Axios it has seen a 150% surge in sales during the pandemic for backyard office spaces.

What they're saying: "People are spending more time than ever" at home and are increasingly in need of places "where they can actually work without the distractions of their homes," Studio Shed co-founder Jeremy Nova tells Alayna.

How it works: Studio Shed's website offers a 3D customization tool that lets customers design their backyard fixtures.

  • Construction materials are manufactured in Colorado and shipped to buyers' front doors. The prefabricated structures can be assembled by the buyer or a hired contractor.

  • Nova says most backyard studios don't require a city permit if under 120 square feet.

The intrigue: With Colorado's housing market prices through the figurative roof, Studio Shed also is seeing a spike in sales for accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, small apartment-like spaces built on existing single-family homes.

  • Nova says sales have skyrocketed by 200% since the start of the pandemic and haven't slowed down.

Of note: City officials in Denver are pushing to allow more ADUs to chip away at the affordable housing crisis and promote the structures as a wealth-building tool.

The bottom line: "These spaces are a component of people making their homes work better for them. And I think that trend is going to continue into the future, regardless of COVID" Nova says.

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