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10 Backyard Office Pods in California | 2024 Review
Workplace Inspiration

10 Backyard Office Pods in California | 2024 Review

|Nov 1, 2023
13,483 Views

What comes to mind when you think of a backyard office pod in California? Certainly, the idea of what qualifies as work or as an office space continues to evolve. Years ago, it would be unprecedented to imagine that office workers could do their duties from anywhere apart from the designated office space. 

As time passed, the concept of work being “a thing you do as opposed to a place you go” began to show itself. Now, not only are people working remotely from their homes or coworking spaces, but the environment continues to be modified for greater efficiency and productivity. 

Working from home allows a certain level of comfort and flexibility. Transit time is eliminated from the equation, and one can work in a familiar and comfortable space, eliminating the mental strain of having to function in a corporately acceptable way. 

There are a few drawbacks though. One of the biggest ones is the inability to separate what should be work time from personal time. The moment someone can roll out of bed and get on the computer is the moment things go downhill. 

People aren't even taking proper lunchtimes when they're at home, and companies feed into this. There is almost a subconscious belief that if someone is home, the person should always be able to work. 

So, the question becomes, what can you do to achieve that level of separation that eliminates some of the concerns highlighted here? Well, you could consider a work from home pod for your backyard. 

Pod EPP

Why Would You Want an Outdoor Office Pod in California?

A backyard office shed in California is not the most uncommon thing in the world. The question is how many of them are used for work purposes? Maybe you have a beautiful aesthetic in your backyard with the space to accommodate a well-designed garden office pod

What would you achieve by having one of these structures on your property though? Well, the compartmentalization difficulty that comes with working from home is all but eliminated. 

Beyond the issues discussed above, there is also the matter of how you function when the environment is too relaxed. With a soundproof office pod, you have a properly dedicated workspace, which means you can eliminate these kinds of challenges. 

An office in the house is not the worst idea, but you are still close to a lot of the distractions and the things that prevent you from compartmentalizing. So, why not work from your backyard studio shed in California and take your lunchtime in your house to prevent that overlap? 

You should lay out your designated work hours daily. Once you are outside of that time, exit the pod and head into the house or wherever else you may wish to be. Of course, there may be exceptions, as people often sometimes must put in overtime, but don’t make it your norm. 

Which Companies Can Provide a Backyard Work Pod in California?

How many of us were aware of the terminology home office? Sure, there was a place where we would work weekends or sit up to check our emails, but a home office setup is not something most office goers were familiar with. And it's not entirely wrong to say that home offices and the concept of private workspaces at home combined with modern home office ideas emerged greatly during the pandemic. Many concepts have been drafted from indoor offices, and bedroom workstations to backyard office sheds to deliver the best and most efficient work-from-home experience.

And for people with limited home space, a home backyard office helps them achieve just the perfect environment they need for work. But in most cases, a backyard office comes up with a lot of construction and long-term planning; hence people opt for solutions like a backyard pod which can be furnished into a fully functional office or any spare room for the home.

So, based on what you've heard so far, a prefab office pod sounds amazing, doesn't it? What options do you have if you are now interested in getting one? Luckily, you've come to the right place to have that question answered for you. Here are our top picks for the best backyard studio sheds that can serve multi-purpose.

1. Autonomous

The first stop on this elite list is the Autonomous WorkPod. Here, you are getting the definitive work from home experience by having this unit in your backyard. All the expected necessities, such as cable runs, air extraction, air conditioning, electrical outlets, etc., are well taken care of. 

What's more? Avoid the tension among contractors. Avoid being surprised by additional fees, and save your valuable time. The StudioPod is a state-of-the-art prefabricated studio shed that is extremely easy to assemble and is equipped with everything you need to live your life. You can use your standalone StudioPod as a playroom, a quiet workspace where you can concentrate on your job, a guest bedroom for family and friends, or any other space you like. Whatever you wish, StudioPod can be. You might even list it for rent on Airbnb. StudioPod is designed to work for you.

Autonomous and indoor office pods and wooden pods are popular among people willing to add a pleasing extension to their homes. This StudioPod prefab shed from Autonomous is one of our top picks for various reasons. Firstly, the design is eminent and is pretty aesthetic if you place it in the backyard.

It has built-in doors and large windows for a maximum clean view of the outside, and the pod is also covered with all the facilities such as insulation, a weather-resistant finish, and the right type of windows and door. It can be purchased fully furnished or be changed as you like; it can be used as a living space, study space, playroom, or even an entertaining gaming setup.

For a more affordable backyard office shed solution available within the state of California, Autonomous also offers their WorkPod Lite. Engineered for users who want the same sleek design lines and high-quality build of the WorkPod and StudioPod, but at a much more accessible price point. The compact design of WorkPod Lite - with 80 square feet of floor space - provides the same flexibility to transform and accommodate any category of living space.

Home gym? Yoga studio? Office? TV room? Guest bedroom? Production studio? WorkPod Lite can handle whatever your work life and personal life throws at it. Clean, minimal, non-fuss, WorkPod Lite is the perfect blank canvas and kinder on the wallet.

2. QualitySheds

QualitySheds starts off the list with its Studio Shed design. One of the most appealing elements of this home office in backyard is the price. No one can deny the level of affordability that you are getting here. 

If you are the type of person who prefers a contemporary design, then this one is almost made for you. Additionally, you can exercise a bit of creative control, modifying the size and visuals that you get. 

Of course, there is the matter of the space you have in your backyard or garden, as well as the amount of internal space you are looking for. It is one of the top backyard studio sheds in California.

What's interesting is that the customization doesn't stop there. If you were to tour California and find five different QualitySheds Studio Sheds, they may look like they were built by five different manufacturers. 

It's certainly an interesting concept from an interesting supplier. Note that the price you're quoted includes charges for the workstation pod, its delivery, and its installation. How is that for a deal?

QualitySheds backyard office pod in california

3. Rattan

The next backyard work pod in California comes from Rattan and the model is known as the Lounger. It's one of the only options on this list that is not fully enclosed by default, though you use its included heavy-duty cover to protect it from the elements. 

The best way to describe it is as being apple-shaped, which appeals to those who are looking for a unique visual that may not embody the dull outlook that most people associate with work. 

It's an open-plan workspace, and it tends to fit right in as a backyard office pod. The interior is outfitted with plush cushions, making for an incredibly comfortable work experience. Additionally, it's not the kind of unit that requires a great amount of maintenance. 

All in all, it's quite a unique design that works especially well in a garden context. You would not be disappointed by giving it a try.

Rattan backyard office pod in california

4. Tetra

The third entrant on the list is the Tetra Shed. Now, it's a little weird to have this one included on the list since it technically doesn't exist in the same way that the others do. So, if you were to choose another option, for example, you would simply reach out to the manufacturer, indicate your desire to purchase, and await your delivery. 

The Tetra Shed never really made it to production, as it's more of a concept. It's been included here, because you may be interested in going the DIY route to build your backyard office shed in California. 

Alternatively, if you don't have that kind of skill, you could hire someone who does and get yourself a well-designed office space out of the agreement.  

If you are wondering about the origins of the admittedly strange shape, the Tetra Shed was designed for a Daisy chain layout, allowing multiple units to seamlessly be placed in a joint arrangement if needed.  

So, if the space is big enough and you want to have that kind of layout with someone else in your house who also works from home, then the Tetra shed is probably what you need.

Tetra backyard office pod in california

5. The Bunkie

The first word that probably comes to your mind when you see The Bunkie: Premier Deluxe is “traditional.” Still, when you start to zoom in on what is going on, you see that the manufacturer paid an immense level of detail to almost every facet of the layout. 

If you get the vibe that it looks like a California house, you're not off the mark at all. The Bunkie was initially intended to be an extended living space, but clearly, it could be adopted for work purposes quite easily. 

Therefore, it was taken in the office pod direction, and it has not looked back since. The townhouse-shaped unit features wall-to-wall glass and works best in a shaded area. Since you are going to be erecting this one in California, there is no need for you to worry about having to get a permit.

The Bunkie backyard office pod in california

6. PopUpHut

Here is another option for a backyard office shed in California for you. The shape of the PopUpHut Office Pod is the only thing traditional about it. It may be rectangular, but it would be very unfair to describe it as anything but incredibly unique and visually stunning. 

If you're an environmentalist, this is a good option too, as it's made of purely eco-friendly material. The internal space is quite generous, allowing for a comfortable fit for two workstations. 

Some people have even purchased a PopUpHut to turn into a guest room, as opposed to an office space. insulation is built into the design, so there goes all your potential temperature worries.

PopUpHut backyard office pod in california

7. Linea

Linea kicks off the second half with its Garden Office Pod low-profile design. As you probably expect with this kind of composition, there is no roof overhang to consider. One of the advantages of this is that you can set it up close to boundaries without having to concern yourself with massive clearance issues. 

A well thought out unembellished exterior complemented by internal guttering characterizes this outdoor work pod and makes it even more attractive. 

8. Professional-ii

The professional-ii Garden Home Office Pod is next on the list, and it is certainly quite outstanding in the visual department. If you ever want to have something in your backyard to make a huge statement, you've likely found exactly what you were looking for here. 

The aesthetic is so exquisite that some people have purchased it to be a pool house, simply because it fits in that well. There is nothing too complex about the design or composition, yet it manages to ooze pure elegance. 

Internally, there is a lot of real estate for you to take advantage of. Like the PopUpHut model discussed above, you can comfortably accommodate two different workstations if you desire. There's not much on the negative side to say about such a standout garden office pod in California.

Professional-ii backyard office pod in california

9. Rowlinson Connor

So, it's essential to start with the elephant in the backyard office shed in California here. The use of the word “elephant” is more than appropriate since this one is on the larger side of the fence where backyard pods are concerned.  

On the flip side, if you know you have a huge and open office space and you want to capitalize on it, then it would be very hard for you to go wrong with the Rowlinson Connor Corner Garden Office Pod. 

The manufacturer went for an open-fronted design, but managed to preserve that compartmentalized pod feeling that you likely bought it for.  

When you hear that this unit is so big, one of the first assumptions you may make is that its price tag is just as large. Surprisingly, it manages to come in cheaper than some of its smaller counterparts, though it does not compromise on its functionality.

Rowlinson Connor backyard office pod in california

10. Platform 5 Architects

The Platform 5 Architects Hybrid Office Garden Shed is another unit that is designed with your garden in mind. You probably already pieced that one together from the name. It is undoubtedly the most otherworldly aesthetic that you are going to find where a backyard pod in California is concerned. 

It quite literally embodies the Fibonacci sequence. Still, the aesthetic is beautiful, and the structural integrity is quite solid. You're going to find metal, tempered glass, oak, and a host of other premium quality materials being used. Expect to score some style points if this is the one you go for.

Platform 5 Architects

What Regulations Should I Keep in Mind When Building a Backyard Office Shed?

Getting a backyard office brings many benefits to your life; you can have more privacy and a quiet place where you can work all the time you want without disturbing others. Nonetheless, you need to do more things than just building the shed if you want to enjoy those perks. Ignoring the local permits and regulations you need for the pod could make you take the place down sooner rather than later. 

Local restrictions are there to make sure we are safe in the buildings we want to get, so meeting them all is essential if you don’t want to cause an accident while working or harm other people. The problem with following those rules is that they vary in all states and cities, so it’s difficult to keep track of all of them, even if you zone it down to California.  

Regardless of that, what we can do is tell you some general permits and regulations you may need to know in the state, and even if they change a bit depending on your location, we can assure you the change won’t be that significant.

workpod for writer

It’s impossible to set a standard regulation for the country, as each city has its own variation of these rules. Therefore, people looking forward to getting a backyard office shed need to research what the rules are in their location since even if you are in the same state, those regulations change in each city. Some cities don’t even have regulations at all. 

We are not only talking about building or planning permits, though. There are several types of rules you may need to follow if you want to get a shed office in your yard. Here are a few of the regulations you should keep in mind when building one in California:  

Zoning Regulations

One of the most important things you should pay attention to when getting a backyard office shed is its size, height, and location. Depending on where you are, getting pods bigger than average may be forbidden, or you might need to pay a fee to build or install them. It’s important you don’t confuse zoning regulations with building restrictions or setback requirements, as they are not the same.  

While all laws and regulations should complement each other, you can’t take one for granted just because you are taking care of the other. Missing a single restriction could mean taking the whole structure down, and many cities ask you to comply with several different kinds of rules.

Zoning Regulations

Building Permits

Building permits are the most common requirement to get a backyard office pod, and it’s the one people know the most. In a nutshell, it’s just an official document you get from a local government agency that gives you permission to build, modify, or repair a specific structure. 

The fact that you have a building permit ensures that you meet – or at least aim to – all the safety requirements and local regulations the city asks you to meet. You don’t only need these for a backyard work room but also for almost any kind of construction work. Getting it is not difficult, but it can take time depending on how complex your design plans are. 

The process to get a building permit is similar in almost all states, as you only need to submit your design plans and pay a fee. Sometimes, you may need to ask for inspections throughout the construction process to make sure you comply with what the permit asks for. Regardless of that, you don't always need the permit if the pod is not that big.  

While this is not a universal measure and doesn’t apply to all cities, you may not need a permit if your backyard office is around 6’x 8’ or 8’ x 10’. We encourage you to look up the specific size and height limit for building sheds in your city before starting the planning or construction process. 

Setback Requirements

Setback requirements are a bit different from the others we named on this page since they don’t talk about the design or size of the structure but rather its distance from other things. Although height, for example, is not a setback requirement itself, it’s a factor that alters the restrictions you need to follow on that matter.  

These rules tell you how far your shed office needs to be from other structures, property lines, or roads. People call the places too close to other structures the setback zone, and it exists to keep you from building something that could obstruct views or represent a threat to other people. The same happens with buildings that could directly or indirectly endanger the privacy of another person.  

Although this doesn’t happen with all regulations, meeting the local setback requirements is typically a condition to get a building permit, so you can cover both things at the same time if that’s the case in your hometown.

Setback Requirements

Design and Construction Regulations

As its name suggests, design and construction regulations mostly speak about the specific design and size your office shed can have and the impact that could have in the area. However, these regulations don’t only refer to design but also to the materials you can use for the whole structure.  

You can fit insulation and electrical wiring into this category too. Many people think that these rules limit the looks of the place, but it’s nothing related to that. Design regulations are there because the state needs to make sure the planned structure for your building is safe enough for you to be there and for people to be around it.

Many people hire an expert on the matter to help them with it if they have never done anything similar before. They can tell you the dos and don'ts of backyard office sheds and give you some advice on how to work there.  

Homeowners Association (HOA) Rules

Needless to say, homeowners association rules only apply to you if you live in a neighborhood that follows the structure of an HOA, so people who live in an individual house that is not part of any community can skip this. Among all the restrictions we are naming on this page, HOA rules are the ones that vary the most, as they entirely depend on that specific community.  

Unlike design and construction regulations, HOA rules often refer to the looks of the backyard office, as it could have negative consequences on how people perceive the whole neighborhood. Likewise, these restrictions also apply to location and size.  

If you want to know what these rules are in your neighborhood – or if it has them in the first place – you should talk to the president of the homeowners association. They are in charge of checking all the operations of the association and telling everyone the agreements they get with the other homeowners.  

The perk of speaking to the president of the HOA directly is that you can get to an agreement with him on the rules the association has. Hence, if there’s a rule that keeps you from installing your shed, you could try to convince him to make an exception for our version of it.

Homeowners Association (HOA) Rules

Accessibility Regulations 

Accessibility regulations are sometimes optional, as they only apply in specific cases when disabled people go to that building frequently; therefore, it includes things, such as building a ramp or adding a parking spot for disabled people. You may also need to follow a few of these rules depending on what you want the shed for, but you may not need any of these for an office pod.  

Public buildings, such as libraries, government offices, and community centers always need to comply with accessibility regulations. The same happens with shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. Entertainment venues don't always need to follow these rules unless they are big theaters and stadiums. Needless to say, you will always see healthcare facilities following these restrictions, as they are essential for their visitors. 

The only instance in which you will see residential structures following accessibility regulations is when they have common areas open to the public; that includes apartment complexes and condominiums. 

Utility Connections

If you want your backyard shed to be your office, you will spend most part of your day there, so you will need to have access to water and electricity. This doesn’t often include getting a specific permit or following regulations, as they are almost always in the safety requirements you need for a building permit, but you may need to hire a licensed contractor to install your plumbing and electricity connections.  

When you start the planning stage of a new shed, you should make sure the structure will not obstruct access to water or electricity lines, as that will make the whole process more difficult. Even after you build the pod, you should regularly inspect the utility connections in it, as that will keep any accidents from happening in the long run. Energy efficiency appliances and fixtures often reduce energy consumption, which lowers utility costs.

Utility Connections 

What Happens If I Don’t Follow Those Regulations?

Many things can happen if you don’t follow the safety regulations for building or installing a backyard office in your house. Legally speaking, you could face criminal and civil consequences, depending on the requirements you ignored, and those penalties can be the removal of the shed, fines, or criminal charges. However, the problem goes way beyond just that.  

In the best-case scenario, you will just need to pay a fine or remove the shed and rebuild it meeting the city requirements, but what if not following those rules injures another person? That would lead to more severe legal consequences.

If you want to avoid this but don’t know where to check all these regulations, we recommend you hire a professional contractor who can tell you everything you need to know about the matter. It will mean spending more of your budget than you had in mind, but that could mean saving way more money in the long run.

What Happens If I Don’t Follow Those Regulations?

Do All Prefab Sheds Follow Those Regulations?

The short answer is no, as not all the prefab sheds you find online will comply with the regulations we stated below. It’s highly challenging, not to say nearly impossible to meet them all at the same time, as a few of them say the opposite depending on the state. Regardless of that, you will always have one or two rules that will always be there.

Hence, the best you can aim for is a pod that meets the requirements of almost all states, or that at least gets the ones of your city right. Our recommendation is to go for any of the pods available on the Autonomous website since you don’t need a permit for them in most localities due to their size and design.

You can always, of course, try any of the other options listed on this page, but we can’t assure you that they will follow the same standards as Autonomous. If you want to build a backyard office from scratch, hire a licensed contractor who can tell you all the things you need to keep in mind throughout the planning and construction process.

How to Choose the Best Pods for Your Backyard

Choosing a pod is a serious decision because pods are an expensive purchase and a one-time investment for the next few decades. It would help if you were looking for multiple features from design to accessorizing your pod to the desired use.

Price

The price of pods is always on the higher side, but one should compare and contrast multiple options before deciding. Some companies make expensive products, while some offer more reliable solutions and perks like employee purchase programs.

Price of Backyard office shed

Energy Efficiency

For people in colder or hotter regions, you might be paying hefty bills If your pod isn't energy efficient. Hence check the energy efficiency rating before opting for an outdoor office setup.

With the use of structurally insulated panels that are known to keep the temperatures at reasonable levels, there are various attractive and energy-efficient backyard workplaces.

Lighting

Many pods come with a built-in lighting setup, which only needs to be powered by electricity. But in most cases, windows are a keen feature of a pod because what's the benefit of working outdoors when you have to pay hefty bills and cannot utilize the natural light much? The oversized windows are a plus feature because they let the natural light in, improving the working efficiency and reducing the electricity consumption.

Lighting

Windows

Windows (large) is a wonderful feature to note down in your work pods if you desire to achieve multiple benefits. Not only do windows provide natural light and cut electricity consumption by half, but they also offer other benefits. However, it is also important to have solid walls as much as you look for windows.

While the strong wall shuts the scenery, you don't want to view and stress over when working (such as honking cars or busy traffic). A large window offers views of the garden. You can request a garden and backyard office shed design that will fulfill your requirements, such as extra room for client meetings or a separate sleeping area.

Moisture Resistant Paint

If you are lucky enough to have space free besides your pool, this type of scenery would be perfect for a home office backyard setup. You could gaze into the sparkling still water and catch the reflection of the sun on the water, and by night the moonlight shining on the surface would be enough to calm you. Some office sheds are designed especially for the poolside area because they are durable to withstand moisture-prone locations.

Imagine how amazing it would be to work in a backyard office shed with a pool view at the front where your kids could play, and you could watch them while working and not get disturbed. 

Moisture Resistant Paint

Privacy Pod

A backyard studio office is ideal for various reasons, but the way it provides a private workspace tops the list. For remote workers who have to focus on their work challenges, consult with clients and achieve the right work-life balance, it is important to have a proper private workspace where no one from the surroundings disturbs them. This substantially improves their work efficiency and also minimizes distraction at work.

This privacy pod from Autonomous is the best answer and also one of the best indoor office pods because you could even place it in the middle of the room and get your privacy filter on. It has acoustic panels, so the surrounding sound doesn't disturb you, and though all these features add up to the cost, you can pay a decent price through the employee purchase program.

Wooden Pods

If you are planning a garden office, don't ruin the theme with a transformer-looking metal shed; instead, opt for natural wood, which is both uniform in theme and a graceful option for your backyard office. When it comes to outdoor sheds, the wood material remains one of a kind.

The most beautiful thing in the world is siding made of wood planks. And it appears that office pod producers are the ones that understand it the best. This kind of siding makes even the most contemporary office look stylish and welcoming.

Wooden Pods

Insulation

For outdoor office sheds, there is this one factor that you cannot ignore: it is the need for proper insulation. Some office sheds are known for exceptional quality and reliable insulation, which keeps your outdoor office safe from weather changes and provides a comfortable working environment. Hence you must check for the type of insulation your pod has designed, so the office remains functional throughout the year.

You can work in the proximity of nature without being affected by temperature changes such as high mercury bars, hailstorms, winds and heavy rains. This is because these sheds are made durable and built to last.

Final Remarks

So, with that, you have quite a high level of insight into how a backyard pod in California for outdoor use fits into the equation. Certainly, remote work comes with a host of benefits that contribute to a higher level of productivity in today's workforce. Conversely, there are a few drawbacks that, if not addressed adequately, lead to a counterintuitive outcome, making working from the traditional office the better option for you. So, review the 10 options presented, and choose the most appropriate work pod for outdoor needs.

What's more? Many people see getting regulations and restrictions as a nuisance they have to overcome to build their sheds, but it’s nothing like that. Those rules are necessary if you want to make sure your backyard office is safe enough for you to work there all day, so you should be willing to meet them all and understand why they need them.

After reading this page, you already know what rules to look up before starting any construction or planning process, so take all the time you need to do it. If you want to read more informative blog posts like this one, you will find more on the Autonomous website.

Regardless of that, you should still see if the pod you want meets all the specific requirements in your town before buying anything. If it doesn’t, you can check if the other options do, as they offer similar features that make working from home a more enjoyable experience.

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