Whether you run your company from home or work from home temporarily, it’s essential to create a separation between your work and personal life. Because when the lines blur, your productivity dips, and family or self-care time is negatively impacted, even if you’re technically working fewer hours.
And you’ve tried pretty much everything. You’ve adjusted to a makeshift setup with everyone coming and going about their day around you. You’ve attempted escaping to a cafe, renting a coworking space a couple of days a week - but you just can’t seem to focus or stay motivated during your most productive hours.
You’re ready to set up your home office, and you’re wondering whether your NYC apartment can actually accommodate one.
Good news: it totally can.
Here are 5 tips for setting up the home office of your dreams without significant investments.
1. Identify your needs
It's essential to identify your specific needs to cover all bases before you claim a corner of your home as your work spot.
If you meet with clients in-person or run a creative business (such as crafting, painting, photography, etc.), an unused room (such as a guest room, loft, or basement) is the best option for your home office. But if your work is remote and you connect with clients and colleagues online, you can convert a quiet corner or even an unused closet into your workspace.
Also, consider how much space your furniture and equipment can potentially take up. If your setup is usually minimal - that is, you can do with a desk, some shelves, and a comfy chair, choose a corner of your home with low noise and foot traffic.
But if you need more space to get stuff done, consider converting a larger room into your studio or home office.
2. Finalizing your location
Once you have a clear idea about how you’ll use your space, it’s time to zero in on the location. Whether you live alone or share your workspace with others (family or roommates), choosing the right place is critical.
Depending on your working style, energy levels, and work requirements, you may need a space where you can completely isolate yourself when needed or work while still being around others now and then.
Also, ask yourself these questions:
Does the location have sufficient natural light, and can you do artificial light if needed?
Is it drafty, gets too hot during summers, or just right?
Do you have easy access to power and WiFi?
Is it quiet enough for you to work distraction-free?
Take some time to survey the spots you have in mind before investing in furniture and other equipment. Try sitting in those spots for an hour or two to see how you feel working there.
Our clients prefer an unused basement and loft for their office space in most cases. With proper insulation, a fresh coat of paint, and adequate lighting, spaces like this can be easily transformed into a fabulous home office.
3. Ensure you have light in your workspace
We recommend choosing a space that already has natural light from a window or skylight and then choosing ambient lighting to filter out shadows.
And when you’re placing your desk, make sure it’s either facing the window or parallel to it. This will ensure that you have the right kind of lighting for your online meetings and other tasks without straining your eyes.
If the spot doesn’t have enough natural light, back it up with a floor lamp (for larger spaces) or a desk lamp (for smaller areas). If you need to be on video for work, you may consider a ring light to ensure you are seen well on screen.
4. Reduce noise with the proper insulation setup
Ambient noise from the streets or simply as a result of your family (or roommates) going about their day can be a major distraction when you’re trying to focus and get stuff done.
Consider spraying foam insulation for noise reduction if you’re transforming an existing space into your home office. This is the least invasive yet most effective way to soundproof your workspace.
However, if you’re investing in a remodel, we recommend fiberglass batt insulation, installed into crawl space, open walls, the attic, etc.
The proper insulation also ensures your space is neither too drafty nor too warm during extreme weather conditions in NYC.
5. Invest in smart storage
Working in a cluttered space can reduce your motivation and productivity.
If you’re converting a reasonably large closet into your cozy home office, you already have some storage space you can start using right away.
Similarly, if you’re transforming an unused guest room into your workspace, the closet can become your go-to space for storage.
For basements and lofts, create built-in cabinets and then install additional shelves for decoration or storage as required.
Need help building your dream home office?
Imagine having a beautiful and functional workspace where you can get things done at your pace. It overlooks the city (hello, gorgeous skyline!), but it isn’t noisy. Here, your family and friends can easily reach you, but you also have the option to retreat (with your beverage of choice) to focus on the task at hand.
And imagine wowing clients you meet in person in a space that makes them feel comfortable and welcome.
Ready to build your fabulous home office? Book your consultation call here.