Creating a second hand office space

We, like countless others across the UK started working from home during the Covid lockdown. We gave up our office in the heart of Edinburgh and speedily transformed our box room into a makeshift office.We were fortunate to have a small space in the house to dedicate to working. During the pandemic many worked from kitchen tables, spare bedrooms or the sofa.

Little did we know at the time that our shift to home working would lead us to finding creative and sustainable solutions for our home office.

Where we are now

Fast forward to 2024 and we’ve moved our office out of our house. Our HQ is now housed in a 10 ft second hand shipping container affectionately nicknamed “The Bothy” (as it can be found at the end of a long ‘hike’ to the bottom of our garden). Whilst the rest of our team work remotely from home, a shared work space or always have the option to work in the cozy Bothy.

The Bothy

At Balanced Impact and part of the Rumage team we always strive to operate as sustainably as possible. Our new office setup was another avenue for us to discover ways to be more sustainable using both second hand or recycled items where possible.

  • The office is constructed from a second hand 10 ft converted shipping container
  • Desk #1 is made from a second hand school science bench with the scars of many science lessons
  • Desk #2 is made from the top of a chest of drawers we found in our attic
  • Laptop #1 is a used Dell XPS 13 which had the battery swapped out
  • Laptop case and meeting bag is made from recycled truck tarpaulin from a brand called Freitag
  • Our log basket is an old Fortnum & Mason hamper that was gifted to us
  • The mouse mats are made from recycled car tyres
  • Even the coasters are made from recycled circuit boards

Verdict so far…

We’re delighted with our ‘new’ second hand garden office space.  Not only for the money saved when compared to other options out there but also for the positive experience this experiment has brought us. This success has inspired us to adopt a “second hand first” approach for both home and office. Obviously our first port of call is searching second hand items on Rumage to find the best deals.

Our future office space plans

  • Shelving made from used scaffold board from a charity we’ve used before
  • Some landscaping using slabs that we salvaged when renovating the house
  • Undoubtedly more second hand or recycled upgrades found via Rumage 

2 thoughts on “Creating a second hand office space”

  1. Wonderfully resourceful & a great end-result!
    We recently spent a night in a rather larger container converted into a couple of bedrooms/bathroom/kitchen/living – memorable & showing what is possible!

    • Thanks Sarah. We’re really pleased with the result and that we’ve managed to use so much used and second-hand materials to create the space.
      We’ve even got a scaffold board shelf coming later this week for some much-needed storage.

      It’s really amazing what some have done with shipping containers. A really versatile way of creating useable spaces.


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