11 Work From Home Ideas for New Yorkers with Space Issues

If you work from home in NYC, chances are you don’t have tons of space to do it. But as long as you set up the right space and the right routine, you can be plenty productive. Here are work from home ideas for anyone looking to escape the cubicle life.

Just because you don’t go to an office every day doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Here are some work from home ideas, specifically for New Yorkers, most of whom probably don’t have much extra space for setting up an office. (Another room? Yeah, right.)

Most importantly, you want your home office space — however small — to be inviting, so you’ll actually want to spend time there and not be tempted to hang out on the couch all day.

But aside from setting up your space well, you also need to be smart about setting up your routine. Here are our work from home ideas you can incorporate into your NYC apartment.

Setting Up the Space

1. Consider the Closet

If you don’t have an extra room or a large enough space within your living room or bedroom to set up an office area, an underused closet can be great. Clear it out; paint or wallpaper it; install a couple of shelves, a desk, and a filing cabinet, and you’ve got yourself a cheery little place to work.

2. Let There Be Light

Make sure things are bright enough in your work space to keep you focused and awake — one or two desk lamps are probably enough.

3. Make Sure You’re Comfortable

Your office chair is important because if you’re physically comfortable, chances are you’ll want to spend more time there. Shop around for the most comfortable option in your price range.

4. Make It Pretty

No more drab cubicles for you. Make your space feel warm, inviting, and personalized. Put up photos or artwork you love and choose great accessories to really make the place pop, like cool, colorful vases for holding such supplies as paper clips and pens.

5. Minimize Distractions

If possible, set up your home office as far away as possible from the kitchen, your couch, and the TV. The pull won’t be as strong to veg out when you can’t see those temptations.

6. Ensure Internet Speed

Good Internet is probably the most important tool in your home office. Shaky Skype calls and slow downloads can stop you from finishing your work on time.

7. Turn Off the TV

While some people like the background noise TV offers, it can be distracting if you hear something that catches your attention. If you want to stay up to date on the news, radio and podcasts might be better.

8. Make Sure You’re Well Stocked

Like your old office, your home work space should be stocked with supplies. Having to run out to buy things in the middle of the day is a waste of time. Make sure your office supplies are organized well or you’ll waste precious work time looking for things.

Setting the Routine

1. Take Breaks

Be sure to walk around and take breaks several times throughout the day. It helps boost your energy and is healthier than sitting in one spot all day long.

2. Set a Daily Schedule

Set a time that you plan to start and end each work day (with some flexibility). Give yourself breaks throughout, including lunch. And before you finish work for the evening, set up a to-do list for the next day.

3. Get Dressed

Taking a shower and getting dressed in the morning helps pump you up. Plus, it helps your mind differentiate between work and leisure time. If you don’t feel like changing and really love your pajamas, at least consider putting on some jewelry or makeup. You’d be surprised at the boost it gives you.

Image Source: Flickr/Yasuhiko Ito

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