Finding ways to enhance work/life balance is top of mind these days for many city-dwelling professionals. Lower property prices, access to the great outdoors and an increase in remote workdays are luring homebuyers outside the city limits. Converting a recreational property into a part- or full-time remote office will take some creative knowhow, but nowadays, anything is possible.
Even if you’re not thinking of taking the leap and permanently relocating to the lake, having a functioning remote office makes sense. It means you can potentially extend your long weekends, or negotiate some “work from home” weeks (at the cottage). So, look for a property that offers enough rooms to dedicate one to an office, or has a separate, fully wired outbuilding.
Room with a View
If you’re taking all this time to set up a remote office at the cottage, you may as well make it special. Choose a room with windows looking out at the natural beauty you come up to the cottage to enjoy. In between conference calls and answering emails, you can look up and bathe in the lake, forest or mountain views.
Being able to shut out noise is also going to be crucial in choosing the right spot for a remote office. There will be days when you have to leave the merriment and general frivolity to finish a report or call a client. Having a quiet, sound-proofed room — or even a separate structure removed from the main cottage — will help you focus on your work.
A golden rule for buying a recreational property is to ensure it’s no more than three hours from a city. When it comes to also turning it into a remote office, that distance shifts even closer. Aim for a two-hour-or-less commute from the cottage to the downtown core of the city where your work is based. If you need to get there quickly for a meeting or to pick up supplies, your recreational location won’t impact your work.
All of these elements work together to help create a great remote office, but none are more important than having reliable Wi-Fi. Do your research into local Internet providers and their services, and ensure they can provide you with top speed and coverage. Also, prepare for power outages now so that you’re not caught on deadline with no signal. Look into gas generators to power your electronics and a battery-powered satellite Wi-Fi receiver to get your work where it needs to be.
As our work worlds moves away from the traditional 9-5, so too does our perception of workplace. With ever-advancing technologies, so much more can be done from anywhere in the world — including a lakeside cottage or mountaintop cabin! Setting up a remote office at a recreational property gives you options when it comes to where — and how — you work. With this in mind, are you ready to take the plunge and find the work/life balance for yourself?