The increase of home-based entrepreneurs, virtual assistants and virtual employees seemed to be consistently on the uprise and the statistic growth of these professionals working from home are increasing day after day, and so as it seems to be here in the Philippines. Based on Telework Business Network “the latest American Community Survey data, just over 2% of the U.S. employee workforce (2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers) considers home their primary place of work” while Bloomberg Businessweek says “the home-based workforce is well-educated and earns significant income. In 2005, 46.5% had at least a bachelor’s degree (compared to 27.2% of the total population over 25) and had median family income of $63,648 (compared to the national median of $46,242 that year). The biggest share (28%) of home-based businesses were in professional services — lawyers, accountants, programmers, consultants, and the like.”
From here, a new growth in the professional arena has been born. Gone are those days when people assumed that if you work from home, you’re making a mediocre amount of money or you’re a hanky-panky professional. In such a new work liberalization approach, an argument over how one should be dressed up comes up amongst peers and how your image in public doesn’t matter.
Here are my thoughts on it. Just because you’re working on your towels at home (assumingly) and your job is virtual, you need not have to be apt on the real world. You have to bear a keen consideration to what your appearance is in the “outside” world, so, too, does it matter even from home. Dress yourself accordingly to instantly convey your professionalism and establish your credibility
Let’s look at it in mature professional perspective. If you work from home, your integrity and legitimacy as a professional remains questionable. Prior to the industrial revolution, people who work from home are still viewed as less serious compared to their commuting counterparts despite the number of home-based businesses expanding at an incredible rate.
The need to inculcate to this preconceived notion and such standpoint is to portray professionalism upon displaying yourself in the “outside world”. To some virtual workers who view their jobs or business as a daily bread and butter, the basic understanding of dressing appropriately is questionable. However, for those who understand the element of image on an investor’s standpoint, appropriate dressing is a huge impact on how you are branding your business. How so? In the uneducated “outside world” the ignorance of the online trading system works instantly upon your contact with others – and their opinions are influenced on how you exhibit yourself. If you foresee your business growth to leverage dramatically and consistently in the following years, dressing up in public to meet your possible clients’ expectation is necessary. You need to dress the same as your commuting counterparts in your community.
Now, a lot of online professionals would ask as to why there is a need for it when you’re simply out to have a bottle of beer anyway on a weekend. After all, we all do know that putting on a suit or business casual attire wouldn’t improve any skills there is anyway. To add, you’re not even dealing with local clients to begin with since your services are outsourced by other countries. Let me put you in an investor’s viewpoint. How do you asses a big money deal negotiation with someone wearing a t-shirt and jeans? Now do you understand how far you can possibly get if an inquisitive local darn deal came your way which for a fact could’ve educate your community and your gateway to your local business stardom? The fact that your prospect clients are already apprehensive of doing business with you due to the new working revolution is the mere fact that you have to be dressed accordingly — don’t give these local newbie work revolutionist clients another reason to go elsewhere. Why? Because people expect professionals to dress professionally and this denotes that you are a serious entrepreneur that can offer a beneficial service to their business.
So, do you still question the importance of dressing appropriately in the “outside world” even if you work from home? Reflect and evaluate the businesses that you’ve dealt with over the years whether it’s from an outsourced home-based businesses/corporation or from local entrepreneurs in your community . Who got your business more than once and need not have to lowball you on your services? If you still doubt the necessity to dress according to your profession and you prefer to find your business to take a snail’s pace expansion, feel free to dress to please yourself.