With the growing tech and finance sectors, young professionals from across the country are flocking to Chicago for new opportunities. Depending on the neighborhood, residents are mere minutes from their workplace, but you may also be surprised to know that 3.1 percent of Chicago’s workforce works remotely at least half the time.
This workplace flexibility is another huge perk to Chicago living, and though there are many public places to get some work done while taking in all the city sights, you may want a cozy and convenient office space in your home. If your Old Town or South Loop apartment is a space-saver, however, creating a productive home office can be a challenge.
Fortunately, a few small tips and tweaks are all it takes to create the perfect small at-home workspace without breaking the bank, losing the space or ruining the atmosphere.
Carve Out Your Workspace
With so much of the workforce remote, those huge, bulky desks are a thing of the past. A small desk with drawers, a corner desk or a wall-mounted desk take up little space, but still give you an area to work. A few shelves above it are a space-saving way to store supplies, documents or some of your knick-knacks as well, which also helps your desk area stay clean and uncluttered. Just a find a small nook or out-of-the-way area and you’re good to go.
Another innovative option is a standup desk. With so many models available, it’s easy to find an option that works well for your needs without losing space, and you can lose the chair altogether. Sitting for hours on end isn’t good for you, and though we know you’re getting plenty of exercise exploring the city, a standup desk lowers your risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and helps you live longer as well.
If a desk isn’t an absolute necessity and you want to conserve floorspace you may find that other furniture options serve your needs just fine. A hall table or end table with a dining room chair can double as a workspace, and a folding chair can be used and then stored out of sight. Even a high windowsill or nightstand could serve as a desk, especially if you only need a laptop and a cup of coffee.
Converting an unused closet or nook is an ingenious way to create an at-home workspace without sacrificing your apartment space. Measure the available space and choose your desk or table based on the dimensions, then choose a chair that fits neatly into the space. This gives you a little more flexibility with comfort and ergonomics as well, since you no longer need a multi-purpose chair.
If you need a little inspiration, check out how one of our agents, Mia, solved her space issue:
The entire thing cost me elbow grease and 4 hours. I reused what I had, mixed old leftover paint to create the shade of gray I wanted, repurposed old shelving (only using a screwdriver and hammer), a desk and fabric. Printed photos and tacked them to the wall. Easy peasy.
– Mia, Agent
Sounds easy enough, right? All it takes is a little creativity, even if you’re not the “handy” type.
With this option, shelves are your best friend. Wall-mounted shelves and organizers work well for all your office supplies and you’ll have space left over for a pop of color, some pictures or a few trinkets to liven up the space. You could also add a curtain to the doorway to close the space off, but be sure to check with the property owner or manager before removing the closet door.
Separate Work and Play
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to allow work-related stress to impact your enjoyment and relaxation. While this is true for any home office, having a small apartment can amplify the effects, so it’s important to separate your workspace from the rest of your apartment as much as possible.
For many, simply putting a desk facing a wall is enough to mentally and visually detach your workspace from the rest of the space. Small touches, such as a curtain or room divider, tall, potted plants or a standalone shelving unit with plenty of books and decor, are all it takes to set your office apart. Keeping power cords and wires neat and organizing your mail and paperwork goes a long way as well.
Find Your Downtown Chicago Apartment With HotSpot Rentals
With a little ingenuity, small spaces in your apartment can double as a cozy at-home workspace that maximizes productivity and efficiency. Let these tips and ideas inspire you to create the ideal workspace without losing your apartment’s style and appeal.
We’re no interior designers, but at HotSpot Rentals, we’re always happy to share the innovative ideas we see throughout the luxury apartments we work with. Give us a call today to see what we can do!