Lately, in the twilight years of his tenure as mayor, the Daily News has really been giving Bloomberg the business about his wavering stance on telecommuting. Does he think it's "one of the dumber ideas" he's ever heard? Something that's OK to do "when absolutely necessary?" It varies.
Which is actually understandable. Not necessarily for a hugely influential politician and businessman, who should probably have a thought-out position on the issue, but from the perspective of someone who occasionally works from home. It's a double edged sword! Sure, you can peacefully get work done in the privacy of your own home, avoid wasted commute time, skirt your obligation to make human contact. But you can also end up a delirious, soon-to-be-unemployed mess with crumbs inexorably stuck to the sweaty backs of your legs. It's a continuum. One that we would like to help you navigate, successfully.
So congratulations, you don't have to buy some preposterous $12 salad just because you didn't get it together to pack something! You can leisurely snack on whatever's in your fridge. Bask in it. Use it for breaks. Enjoy this significant perk.
Slow down, tubby! Nobody said eat all the food in your fridge. This is a pretty common pitfall of working from home. Buy some carrot sticks or something.
Schools of thought vary on this, but most trustworthy people will tell you that basic grooming and a change of clothes make a pretty significant difference in your mental state. Put on some pants, and spare your self that horrible, stale, all-day-in-pajamas feeling.
Just because you're not spending the day in your own filth doesn't mean you have to go overboard here. No need to bring your nicest skirt suit or blazer or whatever one day closer to an expensive dry clean. Jeans are fine.
For your own well-being, but also, so people know that you're around, if not necessarily getting much done.
Don't let the subtle, tyrannical demands of the "casual" modern workplace convince you that, in exchange for the "luxury" of working out of your apartment, you should never leave it for any reason. Go to the deli or take a walk around the block or something. The same ways you'd kill a little time if you were at the office. You'll be better for it.
Another good excuse for breaks. If you have a dog, walk it for a little bit. If it's a cat, hassle him while he stares out the window for a few minutes. Whatever's applicable. No one can yell at you for caring for another living being.
Any day not spent in the office is a day that's perfect to get your super to come by, schedule package deliveries, do 8 Minute Abs workouts in your underwear in between tasks, have work calls out of the uncomfortable earshot in which they probably happen at your actual office. I assume, anyway, that a company that makes you work from home even sporadically is a company where every single other person in your office can hear everything you say at all times, which even if it's normal, is embarrassing.
The point is, while often a shitty (and ultimately unproductive) money-saving ruse, telecommuting has its upsides. Do it right, and you'll never have to come face to face with a colleague (or anyone) again.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.