Each time I am on a conference call with the Office, I get asked "Are you wearing pants today?" Seriously... it's asked each time.
One of the biggest stereotypes in telecommuting is that the employee is lounging about, feet up, wearing pajamas and bunny slippers. I'm sure this is an Office Worker Jealousy, or OWJ, issue: They have to wear what the Office dress code is. I don't.
This isn't to say that many of us do not get dressed daily. I do have a casual day, just like a lot of traditional offices do, where I allow myself to wear whatever I want (yes, even the occasional bunny slipper) that day. But every other day of that work week I do get dressed. Getting dressed is probably a big part of what gets me in the right mind-set for working. The physical act of "getting ready for work" really helps to mentally prepare me for the day's work. Lots of other sites offer the advice of getting dressed for work for this reason. It's good advice for teleworkers who are just getting started. A new trend in teleworking is the use of webcams to allow employers to monitor employees. For slackers this could be a problem, but for those who are used to dressing for work, it's not an issue.
But I have found that there's another reason to get dressed that most sites don't tell you about -
Answering your door.
Most Office workers don't realize how many times a person at home all day might be at the door. UPS shows up about once a week for me to sign for a package. The neighbors stop by to drop off tomatoes from their garden. Kids selling stuff for school. Girl Scouts. No joke, I never knew the doorbell got such a workout. Heck, I was at the Office all day. How did I know the doorbell rang so much? It’s not just answering the door either. I have to go to the curb daily to get the mail. Add it all up and you get a lot of exposure to other people. Dressing normally makes this much easier to handle.
Being able to wear what you want in your Home Office is one of the great benefits of being a remote employee. It adds a great deal of job satisfaction and has the nice side benefit of making it easier to stay within the employee’s clothing budget.
That brings us to today’s Home-Office Life Lesson: No rubbing. Don’t rub it in the virtual faces of your Office co-workers, no matter what you may actually wear to your Home Office each day, or how much some of those folks back at headquarters deserve it.