Conspicuously absent in The Complete Remote Work Decision Guide is the issue of morning routines. Are remote changes to the start of the day a net positive or a net negative?
A relaxed dress code at home saves both time and money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American spent over $1,800 on attire and clothing services in 2017. While statistics on work-specific spending are difficult to garner, the average white-collar worker will conceivably spend hundreds to thousands of dollars each year on business attire.
To what end? Many professionals enjoy the look and feel of more professional attire, but others like myself are just as happy in their day-to-day casual clothing. Working from home for me signifies jeans and a comfortable collared shirt almost every day of the week. Stiff dress pants and khakis have vanished as has the semi-monthly hassle of ironing clothes or taking them to the dry cleaners. Summers are no longer stifling days of heat in long sleeves, long pants, and suit jackets. And a heavy dress coat, hat, and gloves no longer weigh me down in the wintertime!
What about general morning rituals? Showering, fixing hair, putting on makeup, and choosing that work outfit all spring to my mind. And these factors don’t even include the time spent preparing lunches, packing your bag, or catching public transportation. Even the commute itself complicated my routine: my lunch always spilled in my backpack. Time for a new lunchbox, sure. But maybe time for a new job, too?
Morning rituals provide tangible benefits: a classy look, boost to self-esteem, and means to ‘customize’ each working day. And descent into zero morning routine is a recipe for disaster! Yet the arbitrary sequencing each working morning was all a bit of a puzzle to me. As I woke up earlier and earlier to beat rush hour while still prepping for my day in the office, I got to thinking. Is this necessary? Worth it? Avoidable?
Teleworking is not just the where: it’s the how. Do your due diligence by examining how each and every remote change affects your day. Looking at remote work as just a change in place is morosely short-sighted.