Not long ago, working from a home office used to be a luxury reserved for management people level or above. But these days, thanks to the internet, now common to see people at all levels working from home. Some will have stable jobs with established companies that allow them to work remotely while others will be solo entrepreneurs that are going their own way. We’ve already covered the process of getting a mortgage if you’re self-employed in NYC. So, today we’re going to examine what you should look for in a home if you’ll be working there whether it’s all the time or on occasion.
Let’s be realistic; working from home might sound like a dream. But it’s hard to get things done in a space that’s been designed for relaxation. The key is to find the right balance. A space with all the comforts of home and all the functions of an office. When your hunting for your next NYC apartment, here are the things to look out for. Make sure you talk with your buyer’s agent about all your primary needs for an apartment. They’ll help narrow down your selection to the units that best fit your needs.
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Lots of Natural Light
While this might not be a common aspect of most office spaces, at least the process of going to and from work gives people some access to natural sunlight. If you’re working from home and especially dedicated to your work, the hours tend to blur together. This can lead to you spending an entire week or more in your apartment without almost ever leaving. Do this long enough, and the lack of Vitamin D is sure to affect your health, mood, and sleep quality. A tell-tale sign of this is to hit a brick wall in your work motivation before it’s even Wednesday.
So, look for apartments with lots of natural light that is well distributed throughout the space. Floor-to-ceiling windows are always a winner, especially when they face the east towards the rising sun. When viewing an apartment, check it out at different times of the day to see how light is distributed.
A Designated Workspace
That luxurious king-sized bed and leather couch might look great for lazing in. But they’ll do you no favors when it’s time to work. Anyone that works from home can attest to the difficulty of staying focused during work hours. This is why it’s vitally important that you have a designated workspace that allows you to work with a minimum of distractions. Try to work from a place you also relax in, and your mind will quickly start drawing you towards the easy option – a five-minute break that turns into one hour, that turns into an entire afternoon lost. Separate your work and play areas.
The best way to do this is with a spare room that you can turn into a home office. But you can also cordon off a small area to serve as your workstation. How you set it up and how much space you’ll need depends on the nature of your work. If you are drawing, writing by hand, or building models, then you’ll need space for a large desk or table. If you are working from a laptop, then you’ll need light in the right direction, so it doesn’t produce glare. Draw out a plan for your ideal working space and ask yourself if you could make it work in the next apartment you’re viewing.
Minimalize Your Home Office Noise
Nobody likes to live in noisy areas, and if you’re working from home, it’s a surefire way to make you quit and look for a regular office job. Our brains are built to react to loud noises, and it only takes a few of them from the street below to throw our focus completely off. This is especially important if you do any kind of creative work since you’ll be reliant on achieving the right state of mind. If an industrial drill starts up in the middle of this, then you’ll find it impossible ever to complete anything.
Yes, this is New York, so it’s almost a joke to think you can eliminate noise (there’s an ongoing project to map and help reduce NYC’s noise pollution). But you can help to mitigate it by following a few steps and guidelines. Stay clear of apartments that are located on streets with busy bars, sporting venues, and other popular spots; crowds can draw a lot of noise. Subways snd Bus Stops be aware of; although convenient sometimes living above is not the greatest. Look out for apartments that have good sound insulation like double-glazed windows, sound-absorbing materials, and sound-blocking doors and walls.
Good Airflow and Comfortable Temperature
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home, so you need to be sure it’s comfortable to do so throughout the year. NYC is a 4-season city where temperatures can plunge to 3°F in January and rise to 84°F in July. With that in mind, you’ll want to shop for a home that can handle both extremes of temperature. Ensure that the walls are properly insulated and check that the air vents can work properly. You’ll want to hire a professional for this if you suspect the HAVAC system is old or poorly maintained. You can always take steps of your own to regulate the internal temperature once you’ve moved in, like installing a smart thermostat and window blinds. But you’ll want to get everything you can in your favor before you move in.
Access to a Fitness Center
Working from home can be liberating, but it can also lead to feelings of isolation. The best fix for that is to get out when you can, and there’s no better way to do that than to make use of a fitness center. Look for buildings that come with their gym or fitness center that are open to all residents. This will mean paying more in common charges than a building without one, but it’s well worth it. If a building doesn’t have a gym, then see where the closest one is and what they charge for a yearly subscription. It’s a great way to stay fit, get a change in scenery, and make friends in your building or neighborhood.
Bonus Tip: Think about Internet Access
A fast and stable internet connection is vital to getting anything done when you’re working from home. Even if your work doesn’t require constant access, you’ll probably still need to stay in touch with clients, contacts, and sources regularly. Fortunately, this won’t be a problem because compared to the rest of the country – or even just the rest of the state – NYC is exceptionally well connected. If you’re looking to buy an apartment, then you needn’t give much thought to this. Just shop around for what you think is the best service provider and broadband package in your neighborhood.
But if you’re looking for a rental and the unit your considering comes with broadband included, you might want to take a closer look at what exactly your getting. Some landlords have been known to sign exclusive broadband agreements with ISP’s in exchange for kickbacks. This usually leaves renters with no choice but to pay inflated costs for subpar service. Technically, it’s illegal, but a series of legislative loopholes allow landlords and ISP’s to get away with it. Before signing a lease, you should check what ISP’s are available in your area. Then call them to see if they can access your specific building. If your landlord has an exclusive service agreement with an ISP, it can be problematic if you want to choose a different one.