There is a growing trend of people working remotely as more and more companies are allowing its employees to work from home, either part or full-time.
By Jennifer Norman
It’s a smart idea especially as an incoming class of Millennials move into the workforce and want flexibility in their schedules.
It’s also a good option for companies who want to recruit talent nationwide but don’t necessarily need them at the physical office. A lot of attention has been paid to the benefits of working from home. But have you thought about the things you should look for before choosing your new remote home?
Keep reading for a few quick tips on how to make sure your apartment is remote work ready.
• Check your apartment community for Wi-Fi hot spots
Many apartment communities boast WiFi in common areas such as the clubhouse, conference room or even the pool. If you aren’t distracted by a little outside noise, utilizing the Wi-Fi in these common areas are a great way to have a change in scenery without having to leave your community. Plus, it keeps you from getting distracted by household chores such as laundry or cleaning the dishes.
• Look for apartments with technology upgrades
Many updated and luxury apartments are investing in technology upgrades such as USB ports for keeping all your devices charged while having your computer and monitor plugged in. You will also want to ask about the type of internet they are wired for. This is a must. Slow internet or poor connections will have you pulling your hair out starting day one.
• Make sure your apartment can accommodate a dedicated workspace
Whether it’s an additional bedroom or turning what would be the dining room area into your workspace, make sure your office has a dedicated space in your apartment. This will help you get your day started, get yourself in the right frame of mind and allow you to “leave” work when your workday is over.
As smoke-free communities are on the rise, many new apartment developments are offering solariums as an alternative to patio or balcony space. Solariums are enclosed rooms, typically making up exterior walls of the apartment with plenty of windows, perfect for a home office!
• Check for apartments that fit your noise level
While you may not get a clear answer on how loud or quiet a particular unit will be, you can look for some specifics. Do you prefer something quiet? Try an upstairs unit or one with nature views. Prefer a little background noise? Try an apartment overlooking the pool or even overlooking a busy road. In addition to making sure your apartment is ready to work from home, here are a few more tips to make sure you are ready too.
• Invest in your workspace, even if it’s small
A solid computer chair, desk and office supplies may seem like a given but many people will make due with what that currently have at home. Set up your home office the same way you would at a if you commuted to work each day. A comfortable and prepared office will do wonders for your productivity.
• Use technology to your advantage
Having trouble staying focused on one task at a time? Try out the Pomodora Timer that forces you to focus for 25 minutes and then allows for a 5-minute break. With no officemates to disturb, this timer is a great way to stay on track. Or try out some of these other products to make your at-home work life easier.
If you need a way to easily stay connected and share with co-workers, try out tools like Slack and Zoom for quick messaging and conferencing. You’ll wonder how you got by without them!
• Define your business hours
It’s easy for your work day to bleed into your home life. Set your working hours and stick to them.
• Don’t forget to be social
Grab lunch with a friend. Go out and get a cup of coffee. Go for a run at the gym during lunch. You won’t have even close to the amount of human day-to-day interaction you would have with coworkers at a corporate office .
It’s great when it means less distractions, but it can also be difficult for your social life so don’t forget to get out as well. Working remotely can be a little stressful at first, but with a well thought out working environment and a little structure, you’ll be pushing out reports and taking down tasks like a productivity master.
Jenn Norman is the Digital Marketing Director for iLS Network, an industry leader in online apartment guides and listings.