Home Working #2
I read someone describe on social media how their home working work colleague dressed in work clothing from the waist up for a Zoom meeting. The ‘bottom half’ unwork-clad. Really?… my immediate reaction. Why would you do that. That’s not what working from home is all about.
The thought of putting on an ironed shirt, tie and jacket to sit at your desk with your ‘bottom half’ an unworkable state, in your Y-Fronts, boxers, budgie smugglers, briefs or whatever, as the tie drops and tickles your tackle…well it beggars belief. All you are keeping up is appearances.
As an experienced home worker for many’s a year, one of the benefits is being safe in the knowledge that what I wear for work and meetings in the safety of my own home is my business, and no one else’s. People work with me because I can help them, irrespective if I look like a badger’s arse dragged through a hedge backwards.
I have heard all the rationally argued points that psychologically you need to switch into work mode in your home workspace and therefore changing into your ‘work clothes’ is a good habit. The increasing tyranny of the teleconference makes things trickier. It’s a nonsense.
Do the people espousing this way of life wear a chef’s attire when fixing their lunch; overalls when leaving out the bin or a maid’s outfit when cleaning the home? Of course they don’t.
Work attire and business suits, like desks are an office construct, a feature of the formal workplace. It all started with Skype meetings, and now the proliferation of videoconf apps threatens the liberty of long distance workers to wear what they please for the sakes of appearance.
I have conducted significant and high powered meetings from a range of locations in various states of dishevelment and undress,shaven and hirsute. The sofa of course being one. Often having been woken up thereon by a scheduled call. The throne room another challenging venue, and in passing, a word to the wise, the mute button comes in useful when flushing.
What the new found home work gurus don’t explain are the practicalities of dressing. For example, in the cold of winter rather than heat the entire house it’s more sense to wear warm outdoor clothing including thermals and gloves. In the summer if it gets warm t-shirt, shorts and your flip flops or sliders. Just in case you’ve to shoot down to the beach. I enjoy contacting clients when I’m at the beach in summer indeed year round. There they are with the suit on in the office fugue, tied up in meetings.
In these uncertain times, home working means upon us all a little rain must fall. Twenty four hours slips into days. We must endure the wearing and tearing.