Experience Working Naked Day:Fri 2 Feb 2024
Working Naked Day is traditionally held on the first Friday of every February (and now also 2nd Friday in July). The intention behind it is not to show up naked at the office as such, but to promote the freedom and flexibility that goes along with working from home (where this is possible); to focus on the benefits of a better work-life balance; and to promote greater work independence and flexibility. Of course if you want to (and can) work in your birthday suit, more power to you!
WND was first started in the US by Lisa Kanarek in 2001. At the time working from home was less common than it is today, and she wanted to highlight the benefits of allowing a "work from home" culture, such as employees even able to work nude if they wanted to. She has authored seven books on the subject, including “Working Naked: A Guide to the Bare Essentials of Home Office Life”.
Since the COVID pandemic started in 2020, this has forced many organisations to adopt a "working from home" culture. And now that the COVID pandemic is "over", most organisations have maintained their flexible working from home culture, as they have realised the many benefits to the organisation and to employees when the flexibility to work from home is maintained.
What are some of the benefits of working from home?
Research has showed that organisations that maintain a flexible working from home culture has experienced higher productivity and bigger profits. It also enables organisations to recruit competitively - as working from home is a benefit that many skilled professionals now see as a standard benefit. Additionally, organisations can hire employees that work remotely in different regions and thus have access to a wider pool of talent.
It also has benefits to the employees of course, who are able to maintain a better work life balance without the extra added hours spent commuting. It gives more flexibility to the employee.
It has benefits to the community too: Children spend less time at day cares and more with whanau (family, extended). People spend more time and money in their local community, as opposed to spending being focused in industrial/work centers. It means fewer people in CBDs - leading to less crowded, less congested inner cities, making our cities more livable.
These are environmental benefits: less commuting means a lower carbon footprint.
Of course, for some industries working from home is simply not possible - but for most, affording some working from home options to employees is not only possible, but better!
Why Working Naked Day is so important
When we consider all the benefits of working from home, it's clear that some awareness needs to be created around then benefits thereof, this is where "Working Naked Day" comes in. It acts as a promotional tool to highlight the benefits that exist to organisations, employees, the community and the environment when considering working from home options.
After 3 years of the COVID pandemic, it has proved that working from home is not only entirely possible, but indeed superior to the old model of forcing employees into work five days a week. But some organisations are falling back into old habits, trying to drive employees back into the office all the time - despite the various benefits seen when working from home is allowed. This draconian and outdated way of managerial philosophy can harm businesses, employees, community and the environment. Therefore, Working Naked Day continues to be relevant - to remind society of the massive gains the world has made with working from home structures being put in place, these last three years.
BENEFITS OF WORKING FROM HOME
Working naked day seeks to promote working from home, and raise awareness of these benefits to employees and employers.
MORE PRODUCTIVE AND FLEXIBLE WORK FORCE
Research have shown that employees working from home are more productive. The added flexibility assists employees in finding a better balance between working and family commitments. Organisations have reported higher profits after allowing working from home options to employees.
ATTRACT BETTER TALENT
Most industries are currently facing a severe skills shortage and to get the most talented employees, more employers are looking at offering working from home options. This also means they can hire talent working from more remote locations, thus having access to a larger talent pool.
ENVIRONMENTAL, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY BENEFITS
Less commuting means a lower carbon footprint. Children spend less time at day cares and more with whanau. People are more likely to invest time and money in their local communities. It leads to less congestion in CBDs and industrial regions, making our cities more livable.
Working Naked Day in New Zealand is promoted by the New Zealand naturist community. Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature characterised by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment.
HEALTHY ATTITUDE TOWARDS NUDITY AND BODY ACCEPTANCE
When we see naked bodies in media, it is often in a sexual context, or of actors or models. Naturism promotes bodies in a natural context, and seeks to educate that all bodies are perfect irrespective of age, weight or race.
GETTING BACK TO NATURE
With our increasing reliance on mobile devices and technology, we are creating an indoor culture and moving away from nature and each other. Naturism seeks to promote outdoor activities, health and human connections.
Naturism promotes community and whanau - it seeks to establish an iwi of like minded people and foster and create new friendships.
NATURIST RESOURCES AND LINKS
Here's a list of links where you can find out more information about Naturism in Aotearoa.
You can find loads of resources and information on the NZNF website: https://gonatural.co.nz/
See this informative video SevenSharp did on naturism in New Zealand (Auckland):
Naturist Women of New Zealand (for women only)
Below is a list of the major naturist clubs in New Zealand:
There are many fantastic smaller clubs around too. For a full list of all clubs, please see https://gonatural.co.nz/naturist-clubs/
* All clubs mentioned operate on a membership model and are members of the NZNF with the exception of Katikati which is privately owned.
WND also celebrated 2nd Friday in July
Working Naked Day was created by Lisa K from the US in the Northern Hemisphere winter, as naturist/nudist related events & activities tended to be over summer time - not much was happening over the colder months. With the possibility of WND being overshadowed by other summer events, she opted to celebrate it in winter (working naked from home is possible with indoor heating).
In 2022, the INF worked with the South African, Australian and New Zealand naturist federations to come up with a naturist calendar for the Southern Hemisphere. Whilst retaining WND on the 1st Friday in Feb, it also presented an opportunity for a winter celebration - hence you can now also celeberate WND on the 2nd Friday in July.
Twitter: A case study in what happens when working from home policies are abolished
by Dion, 1 Jan 2023
Twitter is an excellent case study to show what happens when working from home policies get abolished. Twitter, like many tech giants, have historically supported employees working from home, particularly software engineers who focus on writing code all day and have little reason to go into the office – so in the case of Twitter, virtually the entire workforce was working remotely with some employees never going to the office because there was no need. Tech giants are also known for making their employees work very long hours – typically 60 to 80 hours a week. This sounds dreadful, but software engineers in these organisations often earn well over $400,000 (USD) a year and some of the top architects can earn millions.
When Elon Musk bought Twitter – for a cool $44 billion USD – he wrote a letter to all employees stating that they would now be required to “work long hours at high intensity” and stipulated that they would now be required to work in the office at least five days a week. The long hours at high intensity weren’t a problem – they were already doing that, but it’s the mandate to work from the office that most objected to. This led to the resignation of 1,200 employees – including some of the most capable and skilled software engineers in the tech industry. Many of those who resigned were appointed at roles at other tech giants almost immediately. Prior to the mass resignation, Musk fired about half the work force – he likely didn’t anticipate the resignation of a further 1,200 which included some of his most senior engineers and architects. The mass resignation led to Musk scrambling to hire back some employees he just recently fired.
Forcing employees committed to long hours to work in this office equated to them spending 16 hour days there, which required employees to setup makeshift beds and living areas in their offices – prompting city officials to launch an investigation into Twitter offices which were zoned for business, not residential buildings. This in turned triggered a work safety investigation. Office lunches were also cut, as Musk found that with all employees coming into the office, Twitter could no longer afford them this benefit.
Meanwhile, Twitter had to rent additional office space in a notoriously expensive industrial office block in Seattle - but was then unable to cover the rental and janitorial bills that followed. Janitors stopped coming. The situation got so bad, staff had to bring their own toilet paper, cleaning materials and paper towels to work. Unfixed plumbing issues led to toilet blocks not working and lack of hot water. Finally, they got evicted for falling behind in rental bills. The problems at the various Twitter offices - now unable to cope with all the employees coming into the office - led to more mass resignations.
Losing key staff resulted in catastrophe. In the first two months of Musk’s takeover, Twitter has faced system outages, key services falling over, data security breaches (400 million accounts details leaked) and a huge increase in fake accounts (some estimating as high as 80% increase). Most alarmingly, the automatic checks against hate, racial, sexual, and violent speech appears to have largely stopped working as effectively as they have before. An exodus of users followed, with hundreds of thousands of accounts closing. All this led to more than half of Twitters’ top 100 advertisers suspending advertising – a massive fall in profits.
Even prolific tweeter US President Donald Trump - who previously had his account suspended - didn't seem interested in going back on the platform following his account being reinstated - saying instead he'll use his own platform: Truth. Before Musk's takeover, Twitter was on track to overtake Facebook as the largest social media platform in history. Now, it's very survival is in question. Safe to say, Twitter is worth a fraction of the $44 billion Musk paid for it.
Musk is also CEO and hold key positions in a number of other firms – notably being CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink. The Twitter fiasco has had an impact on his other companies too, with investors questioning Musk’s leadership capabilities and management style. Since the Twitter takeover, Tesla has lost $1 Trillion dollars of its’ value – that's Trillion with a capital T. Musk also became the first person in history to lose an eye watering $200 billion of his personal wealth due to stock collapse of his various companies.
There are a lot of lessons to learn here….but one of the key take-aways is: Reversing or limiting working from home policies where they have previously been established can have absolutely catastrophic consequences for an organisation.