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Some observations after several months of working from home

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    Some observations after several months of working from home

    I actually do wear cologne for myself, not just how I present to others.

    Haven't worn dress shoes in three months. Inside my home, we don't wear shoes that are used outside. So I'm mainly barefoot or in socks.

    Am wearing a short-sleeve button down collar shirt pretty often as it gets warmer, and am about to buy a few more. I have to turn the AC down or off when I'm on calls due to noise near my mic, so it's quite a bit warmer than my office. I guess I could be wearing dressier polo shirts as an option.

    Am wearing darker colored shirts to deal better with my webcam. My skin is very dark, and having large light-colored areas (such as shirts that were substantially white) often resulted in worse results on screen.

    When we go back to the office I might change the sort of shoes I wear due to walking even more than in the past on my commute to avoid crowded subways/buses.

    #2
    For the first couple of months I basically wore gym clothes, sitting at my desk at home. I've recently been promoted, though, which means I've upgraded to collared shirts, for the times I have the camera on. I'm doing okay, I think, with casual short-sleeved Bonobos. There have been only a couple of times I've had to put on a tie, and then I didn't fake it--dress pants, dress shoes and all. "Enclothed cognition," as Joe would put it.

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      #3
      Originally posted by JT10000 View Post
      Am wearing a short-sleeve button down collar shirt pretty often as it gets warmer, and am about to buy a few more. I have to turn the AC down or off when I'm on calls due to noise near my mic, so it's quite a bit warmer than my office. I guess I could be wearing dressier polo shirts as an option.
      There's a few software options to help deal with background noise on video calls. A recent introduction is RTX Voice from Nvidia, which has down some impressive results in filtering out both environmental noise and extraneous human voices (including yelling children). Technically it's meant only to work with RTX video cards, but it's easy to set it to work with Nvidia cards going back several generations. Might be something to look into as the weather is only going to get hotter and about a third of American states are seeing SARS-CoV-2 cases climbing in the last couple of weeks (meaning we haven't seen the impact of the protest gatherings yet).

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        #4
        My main observation: clothes are not actually necessary

        i don't even wear pants 95% of the time

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          #5
          Let's see...
          • My watch of choice has been the Casio MDV-106 almost exclusively. Although the Seiko SKX-009 does make in to the rotation too.
          • I haven't worn pants in I don't know how long. Shorts and T are my go-to. I do wear a polo shirt if I have an important Zoom meeting though.
          • Dress shoes? What are those again?
          • Oh, and when I get chilly sitting/working downstairs, I put on and zip up a hoodie
          My wardrobe has definitely changed. With summer around the corner, I foresee myself sitting on the deck banging away on the laptop too.

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            #6
            I've had big shifts in my clothing. I had my first ever Zoom interview last Thursday and it was the first time I've worn a collared shirt, tie, and suit since March. Crazy from going every day suit and tie to t-shirts and shorts.

            Watches - I've been wearing my wife's old Apple Watch (Series 2?). I always loved watches but being at home the functionality of the apple watch has me seriously considering getting one for mostly full-time. I love the sit/stand reminders, the pulse, and other health functions. This has been a bigger change that I've appreciated then I would've ever thought.

            Pants - stopped wearing those come April when it got warmer. I keep my house temperature at "cheap", so I'd rather adjust to shorts. Most of the time I'm in gym shorts due to errands or a lunch time workout.

            Dress shoes - they haven't been touched since March 13th.

            Collared shirts - none outside the interview. There's limited benefit with my work. Most zoom calls are presenting slides versus seeing video. On the few video ones, everyone is in t-shirt, etc. I wore a collared shirt to the first one and stopped after.

            T-shirts - I am in search of more plain t-shirts. I used to just keep whatever give away (blood donation places always give you a shirt) or a handful of others. Well now that I am wearing t-shirs a lot more than just the weekend, I want to invest in some primary colors.

            Athletic socks - I've had to buy more since I wear them a lot more and I guess wear them out quicker being in them longer periods of time.

            Hair product - my wife buzzed my hair, so I haven't used hair product (used to be daily to tame my "flow") almost at all since March.

            I've gone in my opinion from dappered with functionality to more functionality focused. Fit still matters in making even gym clothes etc. as presentable as possible but now functionality is a major driver.

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              #7
              I'm in virtual meetings more than half the day so my wardrobe hasn't changed much at all. With the exception of wearing my house shoes, if I had to get up and go into the office, I wouldn't have to change a thing 90% of the time. The other 10%, the rare occasion that I don't have a meeting, I'm probably just wearing a henley or one of my golf shirts (cause I'm probably about to use it).

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                #8
                Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
                Hair product - my wife buzzed my hair, so I haven't used hair product (used to be daily to tame my "flow") almost at all since March.
                Great observation! Same here.

                Though I will say that as my self-administered buzz cut grows out (I'm on my own), I have come to realize that cutting hair is definitely a skilled profession. :-)

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                  #9
                  Unwilling to admit it, I probably won't be able to wear the previous suit.
                  I don't really need to take care of myself every day and spend most of my time at home preparing food.
                  For the first month, I would wear a suit when I was at Zoom, now I'll wear a polo shirt. Time to start exercising.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Leonardo Wang View Post
                    Unwilling to admit it, I probably won't be able to wear the previous suit.
                    I don't really need to take care of myself every day and spend most of my time at home preparing food.
                    For the first month, I would wear a suit when I was at Zoom, now I'll wear a polo shirt. Time to start exercising.
                    I've gone the opposite way, since I'm not in a suit all day I can do something reasonably strenuous whenever I like so my activity level's gone up. Instead of grabbing a Coke or a tea when I need a pick-me-up, I do a couple minutes of squats or grab my dumbbells; a little exercise has the same effect of wakefulness as caffeine. Plus no office baked goods (there was something brought in at least once a week) and the smaller portions of homemade rather than restaurant lunches.

                    That said, I'm probably going to have to get a few of my suits tailored to let the chest out now that I've regained some lats. Though not sure how much that'll be possible since I already had the chest let out and the waist suppressed when I bought most of them.
                    Last edited by Galcobar; June 16, 2020, 04:51 AM. Reason: Typo (and yay, editing is possible)

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                      #11
                      I definitely have jettisoned all use of anything more dressy than an OCBD since working from home full time. I was losing sleep due to stress at the beginning of the pandemic and lost about 10 lbs. due to the stress (it came off so fast that I was worried there was some health related thing going on, but then my weight stabilized and I've gained back about 2 lbs.). Some people eat more when stressed but I tend to eat less as it reduces my appetite. Also not eating out at restaurants and cutting back on alcohol consumption probably had an impact too.

                      I wouldn't say I'm working out more. I'm still putting in 13K-16K steps walking the dog and such but I used to get that in commuting as I have a trek I usually did by foot to the metro station to take the train into work. Or, alternately, I bike into work which is either 10 miles one way with some non-trivial hill climbs in both directions, or 17 miles around the Sligo Creek-NW Branch-Anacostia River trail, which has no hills but obviously is closing in on twice as long. I'm no longer riding my bike - a crash last August (I was hit by a car - the driver's fault) has made me gun shy about getting on the bike - I was not seriously injured in that crash but it doesn't take much on a bike to wind up in the ER, and I don't really want to increase my risk of having to go there right now.

                      Instead I bought a rowing machine (Waterrower model A1). I've never been much into stationary workouts - I'd rather go outside for a run or bike ride even if the weather's crappy than ride a stationary bike or run on a treadmill, but have sporadically used rowing machines at gyms and found them to be the least objectionable stationary workout. Part of it is unlike biking or running, paddle sports are not something you can just do right outside your front door for free unless you're lucky enough to live right on or near the water, so it seems less redundant to use a machine that simulates an activity that you'd have to go out of your way to do regularly.

                      I've discovered, though, that I really like this workout - it works a ton of muscle groups and burns a lot of calories - not quite as much per minute as running but in the same vicinity. I can't say enough positive things about this machine as a piece of fitness equipment - it's got a hardwood frame that makes it much more aesthetically pleasing than the typical piece of fitness equipment, and it is quiet - much moreso than an air-resistance rower. Also it stands on end vertically and has a small footprint when stored that way so I really doesn't take up much space. It has front wheels so it's pretty easy to move around the main level of the house - I even roll it out on the back deck to row outside.

                      “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by RSA View Post

                        Great observation! Same here.

                        Though I will say that as my self-administered buzz cut grows out (I'm on my own), I have come to realize that cutting hair is definitely a skilled profession. :-)
                        Yes, my wife did fine with the lower cut but when it grows out the true differences show between a professional and a do it yourself or even haircuttery cut. My concern internally will be when am I comfortable again with going to to get my haircut. I prefer having my hair long enough to cut and part over. So about 3-4". I am not there yet but I am also using the 40 or so dollars I'd spend with tip almost every month on other fun stuff.

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                          #13
                          I definitely polished every single pair of dress shoes I have in my current rotation. And they stayed that way much longer than they usually do!

                          I wore suits less and denim more. Watches less. But still did other standard grooming routines, to try and remain a semblance of normal.

                          I've worked from home for a very long time, but now it was more about removing the option for working from coffee shops, having meetings at restaurants/bars/etc. My standard "be done with work" routines were completely changed, and have now adapted to more time outdoors in the woods.

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                            #14
                            For me, WFH has changed my mindset about dressing routines. For my entire thirteen-year entire career, I religiously wore khakis/button-down shirt or polo/leather bluchers Monday thru Thursday and jeans on Friday for no reason other than it was my routine and I adopted a casual Friday uniform because it is something that just seemed to make sense but was not based on any real norm or policy at work. The majority of my co-workers wear jeans with sneakers and a button-down shirt/polo/tshirt/henley. I do enjoy wearing khakis that fit well because I typically find them to be more comfortable than jeans. Since I started working from home in March, I have adopted a very casual uniform of jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. I have frequent meetings but they are voice only. I am enjoying a few things about this new routine. One, it has broken me out of the rigid mindset that I can't wear jeans more frequently during week. Two, I'm using this extended working from home time to try to work on wearing/breaking in my dark indigo jeans from 3Sixteen. I've tried this several times before but never got far because I used to only wear jeans 1-3 times a week. Now I'm wearing them much more often and hope I can achieve some a nice worn-in look that you see in denim blogs. Another benefit for me is that I have struggled to find polo shirts that fit me well this year but I don't need them because I realize now the only time I ever wear polo shirts is to work. Finally, no ironing! So, for me when we get back to office I'm going to not let myself slip into the old routine. I'm going to allow myself to enjoy wearing more casual stuff more frequently.

                            gym - I used to run on treadmill 3-4 times a week and do my long run outside on weekend. Since my gym was closed for three months, I began doing all my runs outside and I do not think I will return to the treadmill anytime soon even though the gym is open again. Whereas I used to love the treadmill, I have found I am simply enjoying running outside more. I would have never in a million year prior to covid have believed I would ever say that, but because I was forced outside exclusively, I adapted and now enjoy it! I use gym only for weight nows.

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