15 Strategies for Working Remotely from a Small Apartment

Where do you work best? In today’s economy, more people than ever are choosing the option to work remotely – and many choose to work from their own house or apartment. Working from home can be a wonderful choice, but if you find yourself working remotely from an apartment, you’re bound to run into a few issues that require troubleshooting.

Tech Concerns

When you’re just starting to work from your apartment, it’s likely you’ll run into some technical issues. Here are a few of the most common tech problems and some suggestions for fixes:

Bad Cell Phone Reception:

Apartments are notorious for having bad cell reception. Bad reception on your cell phone can be caused by a variety of things, but the most likely culprits are metal and concrete within your walls, which block cell signals from reaching you inside.

  • Solution: The easiest way to overcome bad reception for most renters is to connect to WiFi.
  • Solution: If connecting to WiFi is not an option or does not work, try a microcell unit. This is similar to a WiFi router, but instead of creating a WiFi network, a microcell boosts your cell signal. Microcells require an internet connection.
  • Solution: If you don’t have an internet connection, consider buying a cell signal booster instead. These often require that you mount an antenna outside your apartment, so get the OK from your landlord first.

Internet Dependability:

Much like bad cell reception, another problem faced by those working from home is an unreliable internet connection.

  • Solution: First things first, make sure to upgrade your router if necessary. (We like the Eero) And be smart about the placement of the router within your apartment; create as few obstacles as possible between the router and the spot(s) where you’ll be working.
  • Solution: If working close to your router isn’t an option, think about getting a range extender.

WiFi Security:

When working from home, security has to be a number one priority. But how do you keep your WiFi secure?

  • Solution: WiFi Security starts with having a good WiFi password. Make sure it’s not something easy for people to guess, and don’t give the password to anyone you’re not sure you can trust. Contact your service provider to find out further options to protect your WiFi network.

Space Concerns

Houses and apartments were built to accommodate different functions than traditional office space. Sometimes you need to amend or adjust your work-from-home space to make it functional. Pay attention to these issues to achieve a better workspace flow:

Small Space:

One difficult part of working in an apartment on the smaller side is making that space work for you. Finding space for an office in an already crowded apartment can seem daunting, but there are a few things to take into consideration that may make the process easier.

  • Solution: When looking for a spot to work, it’s important to be realistic about how much space you need. Depending on what you do for a living and how much room you need to spread out, a room as small as a closet might work for your office.
  • Solution: Make sure you choose a space that you can keep organized and free of clutter. If you’re hemmed in by too much clutter and not enough space, think about renting a storage unit to house things in your home that you aren’t using.
  • Solution: If your business involves shipping merchandise, you’ll need to devise a workable system for ordering and managing packaging materials so you have enough on hand without having to store excessive amounts.

Roommates and Distractions:

The distractions of home – roommates, unfinished chores, pets – can surround you while you’re trying to work. Depending on your style,

  • Solution: Find a room with a door that closes, and close it during your working hours. If noise is still a factor, try earbuds or headphones playing music or white noise. Here are a few recommendations from WireCutter.
  • Solution: Or go the other direction, implementing your own co-working space with an open floor plan. An inviting place for everyone to work together can be good for motivation and collaboration. Co-working spaces are more popular than ever nowadays.
  • Solution: Whichever option you choose, make sure you establish methods to address noise and privacy issues.

Before you decide to work from home, save yourself potential headaches down the road by making sure it’s legal and acceptable to do your work there. Some communities, property management companies, and landlords have rules about what kind of activities tenants can pursue within their walls and boundaries.

Lease Agreement:

Some rental agreements have strict stipulations about what tenants are allowed to do within the property.

  • Solution: It’s always important to read your lease agreement and be familiar with the ins and outs. This is especially true if you’re working from home. Knowing your lease limits will help you make sure everything you’re doing for work is acceptable to the property owners.

Depending on the community where you live, there may be laws or zoning ordinances in place that restrict people from conducting business in certain places.

  • Solution: Research local ordinances that concern working out of your home or apartment to make sure you’re in compliance with any rules or regulations.

Permits: Some towns and cities – and certain industries – require you to get permits before you’re allowed conduct business from home, as mentioned by Lifehacker.

  • Solution: Make sure you obtain any permits required to work by your industry, or for working at home in your local community. Nothing says “bad day” like having your work shut down by the government!

At the End of the Day

Making the decision to work remotely from home is becoming more and more popular in today’s society. If you choose to work from home, it’s likely you’ll run into a few issues along the way. But worry not: Every problem comes with a solution, and there are many things you can do to make working from home work for you.

Check out more great tips such as these over on the Business Woman Guide with Laura Gayle.