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Not long ago, working from a home office used to be a luxury reserved for management-level people or above. But these days, thanks to the internet, it is now common to see people at all levels working from home. Some will have stable jobs with established companies, allowing them to work remotely, while others will be solo entrepreneurs going their own way. Today we’re going to examine what you should look for in a home if you’ll be working there, whether full-time or occasionally.
Let’s be realistic; working from home might sound like a dream, but it’s hard to get things done in a space 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 hunting for your next NYC apartment, here are the things to consider. First, make sure you speak with your real estate agent about your primary needs for an apartment. They’ll help narrow down your selection to the units that best fit your needs.
Lots of Natural LightLots 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. However, if you’re working from home and primarily 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 will 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.
When viewing an apartment, check it out at different times of the day to see how light is distributed. So, look for apartments with lots of natural light well distributed throughout the space. Floor-to-ceiling windows are always a winner, especially when facing the east towards the rising sun.
A Designated WorkspaceA Designated Workspace
That luxurious king-sized bed and leather couch might look great for lazing in. Unfortunately, they will not do you any 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 to turn it into a home office with a spare room. 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, you’ll need a large desk or table space. If you are working from a laptop, you’ll need light in the right direction to 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 NoiseMinimalize Your Home Office Noise
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 entirely off. 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. Especially important if you do any creative work since you’ll rely on achieving the right state of mind. If an industrial drill starts up in the middle of this, you’ll find it impossible 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 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. Finally, look for apartments with good sound insulation like double-glazed windows, sound-absorbing materials, and sound-blocking doors and walls.
Good Airflow and Comfortable TemperatureGood Airflow and Comfortable Temperature
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home, so you need to be sure it’s comfortable 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 temperature extremes. Ensure that the walls are properly insulated and check that the air vents can work properly. You’ll want to hire a professional if you suspect the HVAC system is old or poorly maintained. You can always take steps 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 CenterAccess 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 use a fitness center. Look for buildings that come with their gym or fitness center open to all residents. This means paying more in standard common charges than a building without one, but it’s well worth it. If a building doesn’t have a gym, see where the closest one is and 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 AccessBonus Tip: Think about Internet Access
A fast and stable internet connection is vital to getting anything done when working from home. Even if your work doesn’t require constant access, you’ll need to regularly stay in touch with clients, contacts, and sources. Fortunately, this won’t be a problem because NYC is exceptionally well connected compared to the rest of the country – or even just the rest of the state. If you’re looking to buy an apartment, 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 you are considering comes with broadband included, you might want to look at what exactly you are getting. Some landlords are known to sign exclusive broadband agreements with ISPs in exchange for kickbacks. Usually, renters have no choice but to pay inflated costs for subpar service. Technically, it’s illegal, but legislative loopholes allow landlords and ISPs to get away with it. Before signing a lease, you should check what ISPs are available. 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 to choose a different one.