My name is Jessica, and I work from home.

On 13 November 2009 by Jessica

(Please note that if you didn’t read the above title as if you’re standing up and introducing yourself at an AA meeting, you’re doing it wrong.)

One of the things I love best about my job is the flexibility, which includes being able to work from home. I go into the office a couple times a week, usually – once for a weekly departmental meeting, and once for a weekly lunch with colleagues. It’s not a dress-up kind of office, but I do like to make myself presentable on the days when I make an appearance there.

On the days I don’t go into the office, I am a veritable slob. Ask the husband. He’ll vouch for me on that one.

I tend to wear the same comfy, slouchy clothes for days (and they’re only “clothes” in the sense that they’re not pyjamas – but I still wouldn’t go outside in them, lest anyone see me). I bathe regularly enough, but I only wash my hair a couple times a week now, and only usually because it’s beginning to take on a life of its own or I’m going to be out in public. There are weeks when I don’t even set foot outside my house for 2-3 days in a row – not even to get the mail.

So, you understand now why the title of the post needs to be said in that resigned sort of voice from a 12-step meeting introduction, yes?

My name is Jessica, and I work from home.

Many of the people I’ve come to know over the last few years also work at home most of the time, so it didn’t surprise me when the topic of “work at home fashion” came up on Twitter earlier today. There were announcements about the horribly mismatched attire people were sporting as they worked, talk of how “work at home fashion” should get its own glossy spread in a glamor mag (complete with a pile of dirty laundry on the floor), and a discussion about what custom perfume would be created to go along with the designer line of “work at home fashion” wear.

It’s all quite funny, and yet sadly it’s also quite true. In fact, the days when I actually wash my hair, “get dressed” (and by that I mean into something I’d be willing to go outside in), and put on makeup – all in one day – are so rare that the husband and I actively try to squeeze in quasi-dates on those nights. It’s ridiculous. We act like this is something we don’t have any control over, so we have to take advantage of it when it happens.

Well, perhaps that’s how the husband sees it.

The reality, however, is that I’ve just gotten more and more lazy over the last few years of working at home. I don’t want to go back to being in an office every day, and I don’t think I need to put on heels and hose just to walk down the hall from my bedroom to my corner office, but I do think there’s some room for improvement here.

And here we come to reason #4379 why I need to be living in Italy*: Italy forces me to step up in the fashion department.

On four separate trips to Italy now I’ve spent the bulk of my daytime hours hunched over a computer screen the same way I do in my home office, only I’ve been in a hotel room or a rented apartment somewhere in Milan or Rome or Florence. But unlike at home, going out for a quick morning coffee at the bar across the street or meeting friends for aperitivo in the evening (even if you later make dinner at home) isn’t something that only happens once a week. It happens every day. And that? That, my friends, requires people like me, people who are so lazy as to not care about their appearance unless they’re going outside the house – that requires us to be a little less lazy.

Besides, c’mon. It’s Italy. Like I’m gonna go out on the streets of Milan with my hair tied back in a sloppy knot. Seriously.

There are some aspects of life in Italy that I’ve incorporated into life in Oregon, but this one is tough. We don’t live close enough to the majority of our friends to make last-minute, “Hey, let’s meet up for drinks” arrangements. We both work such bloody long hours and are often so tired by the time we shut down our computers that the idea of then driving 15-20 minutes to get closer to our friends where we could meet them for drinks is just too exhausting.

In other words, if I’m going to get less lazy in the area of “work at home fashion,” I’m going to have to make a concerted effort to do it. We’ll see how that goes.

Place your bets now, folks.

* For the previous 4378 points on this list, please refer to any conversation you may have had with me re: how much I love Italy. I’m sure they’re tucked in there somewhere.

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7 Responses to “My name is Jessica, and I work from home.”

  • hello. love your blog! how i wish i could travel like you do and have a career that would allow me to be flexible with my time. =)

  • hi there! i want to try work at home but i’m not sure if i can pull it off… well hopefully that will be the plan this 2010.

  • Hey 🙂 I just found your blog and I love what you´re writing about. I can totally relate… I´m from Florida, and frequently went out to eat, the store, wherever it may be in sweatpants and a bird nest on my head… I´m currently living in Madrid, and now i´ll be damned if i go outside without makeup and a put together outfit. I don´t know what it is, but it just feels strange. And thanks to the ease of public transport here, my friends are just a quick trip on the metro away to grab a drink at whatever hour after work… siiigh… the moral of this story is, move to europe! 🙂 happy new year!

  • Still pretty cool, the whole work from home deal 🙂

  • I’ve worked from my home office my whole career and may be switching jobs shortly to one where I have to go to a *gasp* office EVERYDAY. I honestly don’t know if I can handle it. My slippers will miss me so much. And I think it means I have to shower more often too. Grass is always greener, I guess.

  • This post is So True about stay at home work fashion! The other day I looked at myself, and realized I was wearing: pink Crocs with white socks, navy blue sweatpants, red plaid flannel shirt, topped by a green sweatshirt. At least my hair was clean. 🙂

  • ahhhh! don’t i know it. hubby’s usually all over my back to go out more (alone, wt girls, not only when we go out together). but when work is piling up …you know the deal.

    and on top of that my girlfriends are so busy that we need to plan 2 weeks in advance to go out on a Sat…for 2-3 hrs. boohoo

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