Australia's Work in the Nude Day

KATE JONES
Last updated 13:36 06/12/2013

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Going to work in the nude is something most of us only experience in our nightmares. But for thousands of Australians who work from home, it's a dream come true.

Today, the advantages of working from home will be celebrated with Work In The Nude Day, organised by micro-business community Flying Solo. Dozens of brave solo business people will bare all while going about their usual work day.

I don't have to shave every day, I can have bad hair days, take a nap in the middle of the day and can sing in a falsetto voice to Radiohead. 

With so many home workers taking advantage of their seclusion from the typical office, it poses the question: what else do they get up to?

Photographer Mark Johnson, from Catch 'n' Kiss Photography, says he enjoys breaking traditional office rules.

"I don't have to shave every day, I can have bad hair days, take a nap in the middle of the day and can sing in a falsetto voice to Radiohead," he says.

"I also have a habit of talking to myself, so I can do that without getting any strange looks."

Johnson will be participating in this year's Work In the Nude Day and contributing to the Flying Solo selfie competition. Last year he came second thanks to a shot of himself in the raw with a strategically positioned camera lens.

In this year's pic, a strip of film negative is all that separates Johnson from total nudity.

Solo businessman Damian Cerini has also stripped for the camera, contributing a shot of himself partially hidden behind a bike wheel.

The solo businessman, whose company Tour de Vines leads cycling winery tours in Australia and overseas, says Work in the Nude Day symbolises the freedom people working from home enjoy.

"It touched a chord for me because it's a statement that I can chose to work the way I want," he says.

In addition to wearing, or not wearing, whatever he pleases, Cerini says working from his home office gives unparalleled flexibility.

"I live near the beach, so I jump in the water whenever I can for a surf and that's a real indulgence," he says.

"I quite often walk around with not much on and I'm a very bad acoustic guitarist, which I can practice during the day without annoying anyone."

No dress code is also a big plus for Fineline Type and Design graphic designer Melinda Vasallo - another Work In the Nude participant.

"I'm not necessarily in the nude, but there are some days I'll be in my pyjamas till 12 and then my standard uniform is a T-shirt and jeans," she says.

The rewards of working from home are rich for the working mum, who says she can easily shift her hours to attend her children's school events or go to a hairdressing appointment in the middle of the day.

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But Vasallo says her guiltiest pleasure is making the most of a hot day.

"I sometimes sunbake in the middle of the day or jump in the spa," she says.

For writer Kate Toon, working from home gives her the chance to be spontaneous.

"I can sing, do a spot of chair-dancing, talk to my dog or shout at my computer," she says.

"No one can see what you're doing, so you can do what you like."

Arienne Gorlach, co-founder of personalised art company LifeTyped, used to work in an office where she wouldn't get away with a lot of her working from home antics.

"When I have a win at work, I like to do the happy dance," she says.

"I can sing along to cheesy radio music and speak quite loudly on the phone without worrying about irritating anyone else."

Flying Solo data reveals there are more than a million solo businesses in Australia. Of those, 70 per cent work from home.

Flying Solo editor Jodie McLeod says more than 500 Australians who work from home took part in Work in the Nude Day last year. This year McLeod anticipates an even higher participation rate.

"Working in the nude is the ultimate expression of freedom," she says.

"Submitting a selfie is taking it that one step further. It's showing the world you have control of your work situation and you've got a sense of humour.

"This year we're hoping for even more participants, particularly to the selfie competition."

Although working from home has it's obvious benefits, isolation is a big disadvantage. McLeod says Work in the Nude Day was created as a fun way to remind home-office workers they are not alone.

"It can be a lonely world out there when you're working on your own," she says.

"We're hoping this day can cut through."

- Sydney Morning Herald

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