Coronavirus

Will home offices move to the top of NYC apartment hunters' must-have lists?

This two-bedroom Soho loft at 492 Broome St. has an office behind pocket doors.

BOND New York

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Right now, many New Yorkers are working from home because they have to—and that may well be the case even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

Working from home was already on the rise in the U.S. and the pandemic is expected to accelerate the trend as more businesses see the cost and health benefits of having staff work remotely. Jennifer Christie, chief human resources officer at Twitter, told CNBC, “I don’t think we’ll go back to the same way we used to operate.”

This may change the way you think about your apartment search as well. Working from home for many people these days involves video calls and most people like a little privacy for those—working from a bedroom or living room may not cut it—so a separate home office, either in a room or in a nook, may move to the top of your list of must-haves.


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Already, brokers say they are seeing interest in apartments with home offices.

“Since we don't know how long it will take for people to be able to work together in shared spaces, we do see an interest in home offices,” says Kobi Lahav, senior managing director and director of sales at Living NY, who is getting inquiries from both buyers and renters. “People believe that if we ever face a situation like this again, it might make sense to have a separate office in the apartment."

It’s also something to consider if you’re listing an apartment that can accommodate an office. You may want to make it clearer or have your broker play up the fact that your apartment has room for a home office—especially helpful when you have a room that isn’t considered a legal bedroom.

“That odd alcove or windowless room brings added value and added cost to the ordinary one bedroom where one's living room would double as office and dining room," says Douglas Wagner, manager of brokerage services, BOND New York. 

On the hunt right now for a rental where you could set up a home office? Check out these listings.

492 Broome St., #1, Soho

This newly renovated two-bedroom loft has a gourmet kitchen and wall of south-facing windows. Both bedrooms have en suite baths, and a third room, accessible through pocket doors, can be used as a home office (also show top). It is asking $16,500 a month.

45 Beekman St., #3N, Lower East Side

This gut-renovated loft near the East River has an open kitchen with a sit-down island, stainless steel appliances, and large windows. It is asking $4,595 a month. Owners are currently using the home office in this apartment as a third bedroom. A video tour is available.

206 East 20th Street, #3, Gramercy

The second bedroom of this apartment, which is in an eco-friendly and respiratory-healthy passive house, can be used as office. The apartment is available furnished or unfurnished, short- or long-term. It comes with bedding and towels and cleaning services (for a fee). Utilities are lower than at other buildings, according to the listing. It is asking $8,000 a month.

35 Howard Street, #5, Soho

Where do you put a home office in a floor-through loft? The answer is: Anywhere you want. Consider a glass cube with black metal frames to enclose an office while preserving light and blocking sound. This loft is on the top floor of a walk-up cast iron building with a 56-foot great room. It is asking $8,950 a month. Check out the video tour too.

1808 Avenue P, Brooklyn, NY, 11229

1808 Avenue P., #303, Midwood

This two-bedroom, two-bath has a separate home office and two private balconies. It’s in a building with 12 units near the B and Q trains and shopping along Kings Highway. It is asking $2,725 with no fee and one month free. A video tour is available.