Working from home

My only experience with someone working from home, prior to the past week, of course, is with my daughter. When she moved from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, about four years ago, the company she worked for told her there was no need to leave her job in advertising. She could work remotely from her home in Austin.
The client she did most of her work for was Target. That meant an occasional trip to their headquarters in Minneapolis. There were also occasional trips back to LA for in-person meetings. But she spent most of her time in her at-home office.
The first time I visited her in Austin, we got up early, took her dogs for a walk and stopped for coffee. When we got back, she excused herself, and the next time I saw her she was dressed in jeans, heels and a pretty classy top. Her hair was done and she was wearing make-up.
“Going somewhere?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said, “work.”
I asked if she spent most of her day in video conferences, figuring that was why she got dressed.
“No,” she said, “not necessarily.”
But she knew why I asked and explained that even though she worked from home, she wanted it to feel like work. The office opened at 9 in LA, meaning she checked in at 11 in Austin, which she did promptly and faithfully every day. She took a normal lunch, just the way she might at the office, and often returned to work later in the evening. Advertising people rarely work only an 8-hour day.
One of the good things about getting dressed just as though she were going into the office, she said, is that she can get into her comfy clothes when the day is done.
The point is, she made work work and home home.
Thats’a a good thing to remember for those of us doing the same these days. The more routine we can hang onto the better. Working in jammies or sweat pants might seem cool at first, but it’s not good for the spirit.
We’re still going to work. And we should make it feel that way. Even if it’s only in the next room.

Ed Ackerman