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Optimizing Common Spaces in Condos for Remote Work

Property managers understand making a condo feel cozy and hospitable is the key to getting more residents and renters for their space. Emulate the comfort that comes with a home. But with this generation's shift in working arrangements, it’s important to consider people with remote jobs in the mix.


Remote workers can customize their chosen unit and create their own personal workspace there. However, optimizing common spaces in condos can truly showcase your building’s commitment to creating the ideal environment for teleworkers. 



What a Remote Work Environment Should Be Like


A remote work environment should be a space that fuels concentration and productivity. While would-be residents and renters can set up space in their condominium, sharing work and play areas can often create a disparity on when they should focus and relax. How do you clock in and out if the same space you work is where you sleep?


Remote jobs aren’t going away anytime soon. About 22 million workers in the U.S. work from home all the time. If your units seem too cramped, telecommuters will likely scroll past your listing. It’s important to start planning and optimizing common spaces in your condos to accommodate this audience.


12 Strategies for Optimizing Common Spaces in Condos


Every property owner and manager will take a different approach to optimizing the common spaces in their condos. Use the next few steps to prepare remote work spots in your building. 


1. Pick a Location in the Building

There are various common spaces in a condo building that residents can use as a workspace. One of the more popular options is the garden, which provides fresh air while working. You can also set up a small bar by the lobby for an indoor co-working space.


As you pick a building location to set up for remote work, remember it should be farther away from noisier areas of the condo. It can be hard to focus on your laptop if you can see people swimming by the pool or lifting weights at the shared gym. 


2. Reserve Enough Space

After picking a spot for your remote working area, designate different seating areas. Think of it as office cubicles. Every person needs their spot to lay out their equipment and belongings. Estimate the number of people using the space and divide things up.


Figure out how much legroom each person needs. Generally, it’s recommended to give at least four feet of personal space per person. This expanse will provide them with enough room to concentrate on their work. You can delegate more if there’s extra area to spare. 


3. Section off a Private Room 

While most remote work can be done in a shared space, have a private meeting room or two. Some telecommuters need to meet with their teams for certain meetings. If they hold discussions in the open space, it can distract the rest of the workers.


Create a small conference room in the remote workspace. You can get a partition that blocks a vision of the open space. Since most virtual meetings may require your tenants to turn their cameras on, make sure there’s a nice and simple backdrop they can use. 


4. Invest in Soundproofing

Designating condos in a good building location is vital to minimize noise. However, the occasional bystander can still be an earful. Look at soundproofing solutions like noise reduction panels. Acoustic sound sealants can also be helpful.


Surround the entire workspace with these materials to block out sound from the outside. You can also use these resources to reinforce your conference room. An extra layer of privacy is always important, especially if they’re handling extra sensitive data.


5. Install Good Lighting

Remote work can happen at almost any time of the day. However, depending on their career and position, some people’s shifts can occur at night. Provide these late-night telecommuters with good lighting options. 


While warm colors may be more relaxing, you may want to opt for whiter light fixtures. The brightness can help them stay awake throughout their shift. It also assists with matching the glow of their electronic devices. 


6. Ensure Thermal Comfort

Property managers can invest in a good HVAC system and lighting. Miami's sun might be too much for workers, especially if the workspace is situated in an outdoor space. Extreme heat can slow cognitive function and impact productivity.  


Consider having an industrial air conditioner unit for the space. Make sure the ventilation regulates the airflow to keep every corner comfortable. You should schedule regular maintenance checks to ensure everything is operating properly. 


7. Pick the Right Furniture

With optimized space, it’s time to pick out the furniture for your remote workers. A long table can be a good space saver for smaller areas. Individual boards can also be ideal so each tenant has enough surface area for themselves. Plus, the divisions are clear-cut.


Remember to check the seats. While you may not be able to get any spinning office chairs, you still need to look at a good-quality desk stool. Look at the material and see whether it’s comfortable to sit on. Consider how easy it is to clean and sanitize as well. 


8. Mark the Space With Decorations

Decorations can be a simple way to communicate a space's ambiance. For a remote work area, you can stand to get an indoor plant to add a touch of nature. You can also add a painting or two. Motivational quotes can be an excellent mood booster. 


At the end of the day, be minimal and remember to remove distractions from the area. The fewer the interruptions, the more teleworkers can focus on what they need to do.


9. Get Good Internet Connection

Offer a good internet connection in a remote workspace at the condo. The Federal Communications Commission categorizes 100 Mbps for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads as high-speed fixed broadband service. You can still seek better deals, especially if you have multiple tenants connecting. Have a dedicated router or two on the site for guaranteed connectivity.  


10. Have a Refreshment Station

Remote workers need to hydrate while they’re on shift. Rather than making them return to their units, have a refreshment station where they can refill their bottles. You can also sell coffee, tea, or juice to those who want an extra kick when working. Aside from appealing to their needs, you get an additional source of income with the space. 


11. Offer Tech Equipment

Some remote employers offer tech equipment to their workers, but they aren’t legally required to do so. Thus, some people don’t have their laptops or desktops. Only about 96% of internet users have a mobile phone while only 62.2% have a computer. Since some tasks need a bigger screen, consider renting equipment in the shared space. 


12. Provide Outlets and Emergency Power Stations

Remote work can take hours and losing battery is not an option. Ensure tenants have enough electrical outlets to charge their devices throughout their shifts. Estimate the number of users and have enough space to plug in. You can also invest in an emergency power station. That way, they can still have electricity even if an outage occurs. 


Attract Remote Workers to Your Condo


With some people preferring remote work over the typical office setup, property managers should shift gears and pander to this audience. Invest time and effort in optimizing common spaces in your condos. Use these amenities as a bargaining chip to get more queries and tenants.


Evelyn Long is a writer that specializes in housing market trends. She is also the founder of Renovated Magazine, where she writes essential resources for renters and homeowners. She has contributed to several other sites like National Association of Realtors and Realty Executives. Subscribe to renovated.com/subscribe for more posts by Evelyn.

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