When you work from home, the accommodation you need for that is very different from the one you would book while having a one-week vacation.
The place needs to be able to convert from a WFH office to a place where you recharge your batteries.
Even if you think you will be out exploring most of the time — it is doable but not really sustainable. We have been there.
It’s actually surprising, how much time we spend at home.
It's ideal to have at least one room per person. When the meetings overlap, everyone has their own quiet corner. Even if the spare room is a kitchen with its own closable door, it makes a huge difference.
This deserves a separate section. Always check the speed of the internet connection provided. Emphasize that you will need that for working - it is a non-negotiable.
Often times hosts say that "There are no problems with the wifi", "People have used it for working before" or just "Wifi is good".
Somehow more often than not we've ended up with a 10 Mb/s connection while the host doesn't do anything but say "I don’t know, it was faster before..." or "Others have managed with it".
The safest bet is to ask the host to send screenshots of an internet speed test (you can't send links via Airbnb but just ask the host to Google "internet speed test").
Airbnb has introduced an internal internet speed test feature as well recently but most of the hosts haven't included a confirmed speed with their listing yet, unfortunately.
When we're talking about having smooth calls with video, 30Mb/s is a minimum. The ping also matters, but anything below that usually results in subpar experience.
We're usually satisfied with anything above 50Mb/s as this can handle 2 people having video calls or streaming videos simultaneously. The optimal speed is 100Mb/s and we've even been lucky enough to be hosted in a place with over 200Mb/s connection speed.
Sometimes the hosts claim to have 300+ Mb/s connection at the apartment. This usually means that the internet connection is shared between multiple apartments in the building so ask for speed tests within the apartment itself.
Other times the hosts just tell the connection they're paying for to their service provider, not knowing that their router is not powerful enough to distribute the full capacity of the incoming connection. An outdated router can, for example, output only 15Mb/s, whether the incoming connection from the service provider is 20Mb/s, 100Mb/s or more.
Thick concrete walls in the apartment mean that the connection speed varies greatly whether you're near the router or on the other side of the wall. Ask the host whether the router is in the apartment or whether it's being shared between multiple ones and is somewhere in the hallway.
If possible, carry your own internet cable and/or a wifi extender. These can make up for most of the aspects above. And always ask for the speed test from within the apartment.
You are going to spend most of your time indoors. You will drain mentally really quickly if you won't have a chance to go outdoors. Even if it is a small balcony. Makes all the difference.
Check to see what other people liked and disliked about the place. They are probably people like you, who just want to have a good experience.
If they state that the place was super filthy, there should be no reason not to trust them.
If they say it is a good place for a 2-night stay, is it suitable to stay at least a month?
If they state that the place is loud and warn you to bring earplugs. Does it set you off or not?
The place might be nice. But the people managing it might be really off-putting. You can never be too sure. It’s better to do your research than surprise yourself with unnecessary problems.
Check if your potential host has had any bad reviews or are they all good. Keep in mind that there are always two sides to the story, but if a host speaks badly about any previous guests, chances are you can be next and for no actual reason.
If by that you have found your perfect long-term stay — congratulations! If not, try giving up on a dedicated workspace or a washing machine and ask the host about these opportunities.
Maybe they can bring in a desk and a chair for you (has happened!) or could suggest a launderette nearby? Here is already the part where carefully selecting your host pays off!