working from home 101: get dressed

  as of june 26, 2013, I left the office. I quit my corporate job...


as of june 26, 2013, I left the office. I quit my corporate job to pursue my business, inspiralized. with that, I said goodbye to morning commutes, conference rooms, coworkers, lunch breaks and …. an office.

my office started off as my bedroom. yes, true story – for about a year and a half, I spent 90% of my life in my bedroom. I’d wake up, make the bed, wash my face, make coffee, walk Lu out the door and then go back to our bedroom, where my desk was. it was excruciating.

finally, we bought a desk at IKEA and we placed it in the living room, which is where the kitchen is. now, my office is the living room and kitchen (which makes sense, because I need to cook for my blog.)

long story short, I’m someone who works from their home. from this, I’ve adapted to this change of pace and have a few pointers for those of you who may also work from home or simply struggle with being productive when you work remotely.

my first pointer? treat your home like an office, not your home.

wake up like you’re going to an office.

when I first started working from home, my friends would say, “do you just work out of your pajamas? I’m so jealous!” and yes, I was living in my pajamas – well, black yoga pants and a tank top or ratty t-shirt, to be exact. when I was first adjusting to a work-from-home environment, it didn’t make sense to “get dressed.” what was the point? no one was going to see me, but me!

about 6 months into working from home, I was noticing odd habits starting to form. I was becoming messier, letting my workspace become cluttered and disorganized. I was pushing off meetings in person and opting for phone calls. once, I even cancelled a Skype call. why? because I didn’t feel like doing my hair and changing my outfit (well, at least the top, ha!) I also felt myself becoming lazy with work related errands – not having the “energy” to run across the street to mail a package or deposit an important check.

then it hit me: I wasn’t treating my home like my office, when that’s exactly what it is: my office.

recognizing that and making a mental shift to treat my home like my office was key in becoming a more productive, energized working professional.

would you wear your pajamas to work? no.
would you go to work without looking as polished as possible? no.

when you’re starting off in the working world, whether it’s a new position at a new company or simply an internship during your college summers, you always hear, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

well, I want to be a professional, fierce, driven business woman and a culinary star. I want to work with exciting brands and people to bring positive, inspirational content to the world.

I can’t do all that from my pajamas, now can I?

what if the director of the Food Network randomly Facetimed me for an impromptu interview for my very own cooking show? okay, that’s a little far-fetched, but you catch my drift, right?

always be ready for success – physically and mentally.

start with one physical change

first off: get dressed. I’m telling you, it makes a world of difference.

then: start with one “physical” change. I’m not saying you need to put on full makeup, stilettos and a power suit to work from home. it’s okay to reap the benefits of having the luxury to work from the comforts of our home, but there’s a fine line.

the first change I made was doing my hair and putting on mascara. while Lu showers and gets ready for work, I take about 10 minutes to “do” my hair. I have naturally curly-wavy hair, so when it’s more tamed and straight, I feel less anxious and unorganized. that’s me, so find your one physical change and make it – you’ll notice a shift in confidence and less chaos during the day.

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before you finish your first cup of coffee, make sure you’re dressed and your workspace is cleared.

whenever I get that itch to be lazy and just stay in my nightshirt all day, I tell myself this: what if my old boss was to knock on my door right now? how would I want him to find me? looking organized, composed and polished? or disheveled and sloppy?


do you struggle with working from home? or, do you have some of your own tips for working from home?

with love, Ali

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  • My husband is a college coAch and i get the EXCRUCIATINGly awesome experience of following him where the job takes uS. It’s a dog eat dog world to say the least. Luckily i have found a company at our last loCation that allows me to wOrk form home again. Its just so hard to make new friends in a community/state i just moved to. At least in an office setting i Would get to chat with becky The copy lady and bob the receptionist. Now it’s just me and the cat as he works TERRIBLY long hours. I agree there are days i don’t change out of my pJs or WaSh my face. But have you struggled with finding frieNds in new places yet? Any tips on that?