After a year of working remotely, most of us have embraced living in pajamas and would love the option of continuing to work remotely even when offices reopen. Studies have shown that remote working is allowing employees to be more engaged, productive, and happier because it cuts down the stress of commuting and frees up time that can be spent with family or on hobbies. But working remotely also comes with its own set of distractions if you share your home and that is where Nooka steps in – an Irish startup that lets you rent out ting office sheds for your backyard!
Nooka calls these sheds ‘proximity office space’ that people can lease or re-rent, Airbnb-style, to others. Believe it or not, Nooka was developing the concept pre-pandemic after noticing that people who used coworking spaces ended up spending a lot of time working from home in less-than-ideal conditions to avoid commuting or upgrading their coworking space plans. “Even before COVID hit, we saw that a lot of people were working from home, and most of the time, they’re just working from their kitchen table, their sofa, sometimes their bed. The work-from-home experience hasn’t really shifted at all. Nobody’s really innovated on that,” says Leanne Beesley, CEO of Nooka.
You can buy backyard offices but they are really expensive for even the most basic models, so Nooka decided to fill this gap in the market by going for a membership model that takes the best of WeWork, Airbnb, and office pods – the smallest office rents for €299 a month and the two-person size for €399. It can be easily installed in your backyard and comes fully equipped with a desk, chair, closet, high-speed WiFi, power, lighting, a smart lock, heating, and cooling. The team is working on versions that also come with a bathroom. They can be rented out for a few hours or for a few weeks if you are traveling. Nooka also wanted to offer the option for anyone with a backyard to rent the space to neighbors who might not have yards of their own and all of this can be managed through their app.
These office sheds can also be shared by communities for remote working and remote learning even after the pandemic. It allows for people to keep living in areas that aren’t full of offices and offset a trend of people moving to cities because they don’t see opportunities in smaller towns. Working from home and having a flexible lifestyle can improve the quality of life and encourage a lower carbon footprint. You can choose to stay close to home, share the amenities with the community to reduce costs, and even open up a network for expats or frequent business trip flyers where they can have an office pod to work from!