With the spread of the coronavirus, many employers have no choice but to ask their staff to stay at home and work. With NBN and high-speed internet together with communication technology platforms like Slack, Skype and others, it is possible to stay relatively productive and meet targets and KPI’s. There is a lot of evidence, for a couple of days a week, that employees can be very productive but the Coronavirus requires complete quarantine for a number of weeks. Certainly not a permanent option and for some industry sectors, not possible at all.

Can i run my business from my apartment?

The Australian economy has avoided a recession for decades on the back of small business. Perhaps you are a lawyer, consultant, accountant, architect or similar service oriented business.

You might be worried about the Coronavirus and catching public transport, working in a high-rise office complex all sharing air-conditioning and choose to self quarantine.

You will need to consider the following factors if running a business from your apartment.

Will your business require any customers coming to your door?

The last thing your neighbors want is extra foot traffic. Complete strangers wandering around your apartment complex tend to look lost and potentially, with no business signage, may knock on the wrong doors and cause anxiety and stress.

If any customers or clients are going to your apartment, they will want to park in the visitor parking spots. If you want your strata community to turn on you, then parking in the visitor spots will not go down well in your community. It is always a pain point for owners and raised in every committee or general owners meetings. The abuse of the visitor parking spots, let alone by an owner who is running a business within the complex.

Keep in mind, even a courier constantly delivering parcels to your door can create unnecessary attention.

Increased risk of public liability claim

Running a small business from a residential strata unit may cause an increased risk of a public liability claim based on the increased number of people coming and going. Check with your insurer, they may require the strata community to obtain retail strata insurance, which is more expensive than residential strata insurance.

In these cases, the person who is running a home business will need to seek permission of the body corporate and may require a change to the by-law. Depending on your territory, your motion may require a special resolution to pass (which means 75% of lot owners in favour).

Certainly not a time for everyone to panic, but we are all going to have to be flexible and at times, for those that live in apartments, work or run their business from home.