All Tea No Shade with Andrea Lo
As the world adjusts to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home is becoming the way forward. There’s plenty of advice out there giving productivity tips, as well as maintaining a work-life balance and, of course, your sanity.
They say that we should set an alarm and a schedule as if you were in the office, and change into “office clothes.”
As a freelance journalist who has been largely working from home for the last five years, I am here to tell you something different.
I used to be one of those people who got up at a certain time, put clothes on, and worked a “normal” nine-to-five. And it didn’t work for me.
Yes, for some people, getting dressed may create a semblance of working “in the real world.” And if that helps you boost productivity, then more power to you.
But I feel really strongly about putting out a message out there: that you don’t have to feel like you need to do certain things to feel a certain way.
It is okay to work alone in a robe, in your pyjamas and underwear, or naked. I do a combination of the above, depending on how I feel when I wake up. In fact, I would say I’ve spent the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic barely dressed. (Barely any laundry: win!)
I prefer not being a morning person unless something requires it. And why should I be one when I have the power of choice? I get things done whenever they need to be done, and if that means I work until 3am so I can submit my pieces at a “normal people hour” and nap afterwards, then so be it.
It is okay to work alone in a robe, in your pyjamas and underwear, or naked.
So why am I telling you to ignore some of the most popular WFH advice out there?
With so much pressure to perform remotely — perhaps out of fear of appearing not to be productive, or because some of us feel we should be grateful that we even have a job at all — it is not unusual for remote workers to overcompensate, putting in more hours at home than they would in the office.
I am fortunate enough to live alone and have a little space I use as my study. And admittedly, it helps to have a dedicated office space for that all-important separation of work and personal life. Plus, not working from your bed and taking regular breaks are also great tips to follow.
Ultimately, what I’m advocating for is letting go of all the worries and focusing on the tasks at hand.
Don’t think too much about how you’ll conduct yourself while working from home or what kind of outfit you need to change into. The only time you need to worry about that is when you’re on Zoom. But even then, everyone’s too busy checking themselves out anyway.
Love it? Hate it? Tell Andrea all about it: firstname.lastname@example.org.