With the increasing inter-connectivity of technology, remote work is becoming more and more common. Studies show that remote workers have higher rates of productivity than their office counterparts. With this trend comes the freedom to control your own schedule, make your own choices and live wherever you want. With a strong enough internet connection, you could work for a marketing agency in London while living in Alaska.
However, this amount of freedom might seem daunting. How do you pick where to live when you can live anywhere?
San Francisco offers an excellent option. The diversity of San Francisco makes the Bay Area extremely appealing to a variety of people. Whether you’re coming for the beautiful weather, chasing after a lucrative tech job or showing interest in the growing market for remote positions, San Francisco has something for you.
In this guide to working from home in San Francisco, we’ll discuss how to look for the best apartments for remote work in the Bay Area and optimize your remote work in a small apartment.
Benefits and Challenges of Working From Home in a Bay Area Apartment
The freedom to live away from your job’s headquarters gives people who normally wouldn’t find a job in the Bay Area the chance to live in San Francisco. This opportunity comes with a variety of exciting perks, like:
- Rich history: Whether you’re admiring the Painted Ladies , seeing the Golden Gate bridge or discovering the countless museums in the area, there’s so much living and recorded history to see.
- Vibrant communities: In the summer, it almost seems like every avenue has its own street fair. Taking part in the festivities and eating the delicious food immerses you in the San Francisco community.
- Unparalleled weather: San Francisco boasts some of the best year-round weather in North America.
- Natural beauty: Whether you love awe-inspiring forests, beautiful mountain vistas, gorgeous oceans or jaw-dropping canyons, the landscape surrounding the city impresses many visitors.
While there are plenty of benefits to living and working in the Bay Area, an at-home workspace in San Francisco can pose certain challenges, including:
- Learning how to work from home in a small apartment: Trying to create a division between workspace and living space becomes complicated when you can’t afford to dedicate a whole room to an office space. However, through some creative hacks and mindset shifts, you can turn even the smallest space into an effective work environment.
- Competing with the noises of traffic: San Francisco has some of the worst traffic in the world. As a result, the bustling and impatient honking might get distracting when you’re trying to work from home.
- Thin walls: If you live in a cheaper residence, you might find that the landlord saved money by installing thinner walls. In such a condensed city, noisy neighbors could strain your sanity. A crying baby or an arguing couple makes concentration difficult.
What to Look for During the Apartment Search
During your remote work apartment search, there are certain work from home considerations to keep in mind in the Bay Area. Here are some key features to keep in mind when creating a work from home space in San Francisco:
- Surroundings: When selecting an apartment, location means everything, especially when the space will double as an office. If you’re near a busy interstate or a noisy nightclub, certain times of day will make it practically impossible to focus.
- Floor plan: How many rooms do you need? When looking at the layout, can you imagine a space where a desk would fit? Or does the floor plan accentuate distractions? If you’re living with other people, you need to pay extra attention to where you put your workspace. While the living room might have enough square footage for a desk, roommates watching TV or having their own conference calls can cause distractions. Putting offices in communal spaces can succeed or fail based on the type of people you live with.
- Community: Which demographics live in the complex? If retired individuals live there, you’ll likely enjoy some peaceful quiet. If other working professionals live there, you can build an at-home work community, so you don’t feel as isolated. If a lot of young families live there, you might have difficulty concentrating with kids running around. On the other hand, if you have kids of your own, other families could give your children people to play with, so they can stay occupied while you work. The type of community you’re looking for depends on your life and work style.
- Amenities: Does the complex have a gym where you can get your heart-rate up after work? Do they have a pool where you can unwind after hours? Is there a picnic area where you can enjoy lunch outside?
- Shared spaces: Is there a communal lounge you can go work in if you need a change of scenery? Is there an outdoor patio where you can work and enjoy the San Francisco weather? Having communal spaces as options for alternative workspaces can help when you hit a creative block or productivity rut.
After you’ve narrowed down your options online, you might ask some questions during your walk-through, like:
- What WiFi providers are available in the area? WiFi is arguably the most important work from home tool. Unfortunately, you might not realize until you move in that you only have one provider option for your area. If they have poor upload and download speeds, you could quickly get behind on your work. Know what providers you have available before you sign the lease.
- Do you have any local coffee shops you recommend? No matter how nicely you set up your home office, it’s always nice to get out and work around other people every once in a while. If you’re in a productivity rut, having other people around could motivate you to get your work done. However, some coffee shops have a no laptop policy, so ask the property manager if they have any good suggestions for locations that will let you use their WiFi to get some work done.
- Are there community quiet hours? In some places, quiet hours can start as early as 10:00 p.m. If you’re a night owl who loves to work into the evenings, this quiet time could give you some much-needed peace to really get some work done. On the other hand, if you’re a musician, quiet hours might severely limit your practice time.
How to Set Up a Home Office in the San Francisco Bay Area
Now that you’re all settled in, it’s time to take the space you chose and transform it into a haven of productivity. Let’s go over some tips for working from home in San Francisco.