It seems that shorts, a T-shirt, and “flip flops” are now considered appropriate wear at just about any public place. How did we, as a society, get to this point? When did “being comfortable” become more important than self respect and respect for others? Our society seems to have lost what was once common knowledge – that our outward appearance has a major impact on our attitude and on the attitude of others.
We have probably all seen the advertisements for a “Work at Home” income. Aside from the fact that they are almost always a scheme to separate the gullible from their money, they also usually paint a picture of working while wearing pajamas and slippers. Perhaps there really are some people who can work that way, but my experience has shown just the opposite.
I have worked from my home, full time, since 1995. I am what many would consider an entrepreneur – I started a business after designing and writing a software program that turned out to be very popular within its niche. I have seen less than a half dozen of my customers face-to-face, so I could easily get away with spending my days unshaven and wearing whatever seemed to be most comfortable. While I have done just that for very brief periods, the effect it has on my attitude has proven to me that good grooming and dressing well are every bit as important – if not more so – than in an office filled with co-workers and clients.
While I sit in my office at home, I make sure than I shave each morning and put on nice dress clothes. At a minimum, I wear dress pants and a long sleeve white dress shirt. On occasion I will even wear a coat and tie. I have found that it has a profound effect on my productivity, my level of professionalism, my attentiveness, and how I deal with my customers on the phone. All are greatly improved as a direct result of my outward appearance – something that typically only I and my wife will see.
(Originally posted on May 27, 2010 – re-posted on June 30, 2011)