make-believe: working from home.

February 27, 2019

I have every intention of showering immediately upon waking and getting fully dressed before sitting down to work in the morning. But on days when I’m not the parent doing the school drop-off, I’m usually so eager to get to work that I start in on things immediately, eating peanut butter toast and drinking rewarmed coffee while typing away at my computer still wearing last night’s pajamas.

At the time of writing, I’ve got my greasy bangs pinned up off my forehead, I’m wearing my old college sweatshirt and, well, I stink. I won’t dare tell you what time of day it is. I love working from home—and the privilege isn’t lost on me—but on this particular sweaty morning, let’s just say I realize that I could stand to elevate my work-from-home routine (and attire). Here, a bit of make-believe:

Perfect pants for when you don’t feel like wearing any.

An overhead light for dreary days.

A pretty bowl for a healthy lunch.

A refreshing mist to change the air a bit.

The comfiest cropped andcozy sweatshirt.

A reminder to sometimes take a proper lunch break.

A beautiful brass hair pin for tying back loose ends.

A teapot for comfort.

(plus a tiny tea cup and saucer.)

A reminder to get back on task.

Dangly earrings to feel dressed up in.

A simple, staple layer for wearing every day.


In an effort to ground all of this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are few other places to direct our attention:

Pay a living wage: Nannies, housekeepers, home health aids, and other domestic workers are excluded from basic labor protections. Sign on to support the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would ensure that domestic workers are protected while they’re on the job. (Related: Everyone’s better off when everyone’s paid a living wage. Read this week’s story from the New York Times.)

Donate your business best: If you have professional clothing that’s not getting use in your closet, consider donating it to organizations helping dress folks for job interviews. Dress for Success is an international organization with a mission to “empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools they need to succeed…” Donate clothes, money, or time.

Stay informed: Most days my work takes place in the antitheses of a corporate setting, but like most people—and whether I like it or not— corporate America still figures pretty largely in my everyday life. I’ve mentioned it before, but the Above the Bottom Line newsletter remains my absolute favorite way to keep abreast of what’s going on in the business world, from the comfort of my apartment.

This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links. Several of the items above are from RMTL banner advertisers, but this editorial coverage is not sponsored.

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  • Reply Rebecca February 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    For anyone looking to donate professional clothing for men (including all the excess ties one may have), may I suggest Career Gear? ( As someone who worked with previously incarcerated people, this was a significant and important resource.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      Yes! Thanks!

  • Reply Colleen February 27, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Is this the same sweatshirt you were wearing in your access is love post?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 27, 2019 at 8:29 pm

      Nope! That’s from United by Blue from a few years ago!

  • Reply Cece February 28, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Oh yes I can understand the need for this make-believe! I condense my hours so I can work a full-time job from home and have a day off with my daughter each week, but that means you can find me at 7am hunched over my desk in some form of pjs/leisure-wear combo, unshowered and frantically typing. I do prioritise making healthy meals for myself though, so I guess that’s something!

  • Reply Sam February 28, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Greasy home office workers unite! Love my work from home situation but it ain’t glamorous 🙂

  • Reply Caitlin Fitzpatrick March 1, 2019 at 11:59 am

    This post is 100% my aesthetic

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