A ‘tiny backyard office’ instead of a company car?
Belgium is the undisputed champion in company cars. But corona learned Belgians to work at home. So, why not offering a (leased) ‘tiny backyard office’ to your employees instead of a company car? It’s perfectly tax-deductible like the latter, a Belgian specialist in wooden system-building, Systimber, argues.
Corona also learned that homeworking isn’t always that simple for everyone. Moving the laptop from the kitchen table to the living room, noisy children running around, clanging kitchenware; it doesn’t help to keep concentrating on your work. For those who have a garden, the ‘Tiny Backyard Office’ could be the dream solution to find peace.
Gaining momentum by corona
Systimber, based in De Pinte near Ghent, worked out the concept of a backyard office as part of a broad range of system-built wooden structures, from complete homes to garden poolhouses. But the lockdown and the need for teleworking made the backyard office concept gain momentum.
The smallest one measures five by three meters and retails just under €20 000 (ex. VAT). But depending on the local urban development rules, you can go further up to 40 square meters without the need for a building permit, for instance.
Spruce wood beams
The ‘Tiny Backyard Office’ is built using massive 8 cm spruce wood beams, joined together with metal spacers in a Meccano-like way with an EPDM rubber sealing for guaranteed insulation. It has large glass surfaces for the incidence of light and offers a perfect view on the house and the garden. It’s delivered in a complete packet to be set up in 48 hours, with another 24 hours for finishing. Ready to start working.
According to Wolfgang Verraes and Karel Vervaet, both running Systimber, your employer will do well out of it too. VAT can be recuperated and the total purchase price is tax-deductible as a cost. But like a company car, it can be leased too at rates around €500 per month. Systimber worked out a legal concept allowing for the employee to buy the garden office after five to ten years at the residual value.