Once, long ago, my parents had visions of their daughter scaling corporate ladders in business suits and panty hose. But these days my business suits are plastic covered shrouds in the back of a closet and as a Floridian, I considered panty hose anathema even back when I still shuttled to an office every morning. That’s a world I traded for the yoga pants lifestyle years ago, and I’ve never looked back.
But working from home is not for everyone. If you’re considering becoming a reclu…er…teleworker, here are some of my personal observations for your consideration.
Contrary to popular belief (by employers), productivity does not tank when a worker is based at home. Without the office gossip brigade stopping by at your desk on a regular basis, concentrating on work becomes easy—IF you can stand firm against your cat settling in for a nap on the keyboard. And, oh, right. Social media, shopping sites, personal email and TV also better not be tempting. A love for the job beyond the perk of yoga pants is absolutely required in order to deny yourself such treats in your own home. Though bathroom and kitchen breaks are great for getting a load of laundry done, taking out the trash or feeding aforementioned cat. Oh hell, sometimes I even do yoga.
If you’re a member of said gossip brigade, yoga pants are NOT for you, sorry. My water cooler is blue and virtual, always on and monitored by the NSA. My team sits in the same room over two thousand miles and three time zones away, yet they constantly yack at each other in our group chat on Skype even when I’m not part of the conversation. I’d like to think they do it to make me feel included, but I suspect otherwise. All that furious typing makes them look awfully productive—at sharing YouTube and BuzzFeed links and discussing pets, music and movies. The weather is always popular, too, as are traffic and accident reports, the latter frequently augmented by a webcam pointed out the window. And, yes, gossip still happens. They’re called private chats. Just two people. And the NSA. (Did I say you need to watch out for distractions ONLY at home? Oh, silly me.)
Finally, in the work-at-home world, work doesn’t stay at work (mostly, because it was never there). If your commute entails nothing more arduous than taking three steps away from your desk, it’s hard to turn it off at the end of the day. Having a dedicated office to close a door on? Required. Training your family to respect that door? A must.
Wearing shoes? Never. (Socks okay, but only at temperatures below 75.)
Yoga pants? Always.