Working from home (WFH) has become the new normal, actually the normal for many of us. The idea of spending our days working from home on the couch in our pajamas is tempting. But not getting dressed for work could have a negative impact on your productivity and mental health.
Dressing up in the morning is just one part of a routine, but it can have a surprisingly big affect on your overall mood, and well-being.
It’s not just about sitting at your desk in a tailored suit. Comfort is just as important as anything else when working from home. The point is, change into something other than your pajamas.
Getting dressed properly for your workday, you will tackle the day with a whole different mindset. And here are some reasons why:
- Getting dressed has a positive influence
Many of us that used to work in a corporate, office setting have realized that making the switch to WFH required a shift in perception, attitude and behavior.
It’s easy to get caught in the work-from-bed vortex when you first wake up, reach for your phone and start firing off emails. Before you know it, it’s 11 am, and you haven’t left your bed. Failing to get out of bed and adequately preparing yourself for the day ahead can leave you feeling just as disheveled as you look and feel.
Whether you work for yourself or you’re working remotely for a company, your energy, motivation and performance are intrinsically linked to how you feel mentally and physically. Keep a healthy routine that involves getting up, getting active and getting ready.
- Clothing can make you feel good (or bad)
Maintaining a daily routine of getting up, having a shower, and putting on a comfortable outfit is key when you work from home.
When you feel like you’ve made the effort to get dressed and put on something you feel good in, then you’ll be more likely to approach your day with confidence and purpose.
Often times, we underestimate the power of clothing and how it can make you feel – good or bad. Something as simple as wearing a bright colored top or your favorite piece of jewelry can set you up for a productive day!
- It prepares you mentally
If you’ve been involved in the world of full-time work, you know that your routines before your workday starts tend to stay the same. And a big part of that routine is getting dressed appropriately.
When you put your work clothes on, you send a message to your brain that it’s time to act a certain way – time to get ready to work. Mindset is affected by the smallest thinking patterns and habits. And getting dressed when working from home easily sets your mind on the right track.
- Separating work and home life
Not all of us have a house big enough to have an actual office set up. But even if you are working at the kitchen counter or a corner of the living room, you should separate the time you spend at your workspace from your everyday life as best you can.
And the best way to do this would be by getting dressed when working from home. It gives you the signal that the day has started. And if you have small children, it helps them to separate the time of day when they see that you are home all day, every day.
- You gain confidence
It has been proven so many times, that when we dress up in a way that we feel we look good, it boosts our confidence. And when we feel confident, we can accomplish anything.
Happiness is all about appreciating the little things in life. And one of those little things is being aware of the affect the way we dress has on our mood. When we are in a good mood because of these actions in our everyday lives, it then becomes a habit.
Getting dressed, when working from home, keeps you more accountable and is an affirmation to yourself every morning that you are ready for what the day will bring.
- Get dressed to signal a shift in your day
Getting dressed for the day, especially when you’re working from home, sets you up to have a more productive day. While it’s important to dress for work, it’s also important to change out of your work clothes and into something more casual at the end of the day. You need to have that differentiation between being in work mode and the end of your day. If you are working from home, and not leaving the house, your environment is not changing so it’s important to change your outfits to signal the end of your day.
What to wear when you WFH
So, you have read all the reasons why it’s important to get dressed properly when working from home, but what should you wear? You want to be comfortable, but you also want to present professionally.
Here are some tips on the types of clothing to wear when working from home:
Make it fun but stylish
The key to a good work-from-home wardrobe is wearing something that makes you feel equal parts comfortable, productive and good about yourself.
Summer cotton pieces can be fun and stylish, mixed and matched. Winter is jeans and an oversized, flattering cardigan, ideally with a long-sleeve top or high neck. You can always throw on a blazer if you need to be a bit more dressy for a video conference call.
Choose the clothing you’d actually leave the house in
When it comes to WFH attire choose clothing that you would actually leave the house in. You still want that element of comfort and practicality, but ask yourself: would I go to the office or shopping in this outfit, let my friends and family see me dressed like this?
Jogger pants, a cashmere sweater, and tops in soft and stretchy fabrics are great options when working from home.
Don’t forget shoes
Wear proper shoes, other than Uggs or slippers. This will help you to feel more in the work mode. A pair of slip-on loafers, soft flats, or a pair of sneakers are ideal when working from home.
When you work from home, is every day is (very) casual Friday?
There is no dress code in a home office. Fashion, in general, has become increasingly casual over the past few decades. These days, activewear or “athleisure”, which historically was considered gym or weekend wear, is now accepted work attire in many businesses. Remember the day when you wouldn’t leave the gym without a shower and change of clothes!
Formal work attire has become the exception, not the rule —as many companies have adopted a more flexible dress code. For some, every day casual work attire creates a feeling of broken routines and under-motivation. For others, it’s ultimate liberation. What’s your thought on this?
How disheveled do you look when you’re working from home? Do you stay in your pajamas all day? Or are you one of those people who needs to look your office-best even while working on your computer at home? Do you get dressed in the morning when you work from home? Or can you still produce as much great quality work in your pajamas? At Ann Albrecht Consulting, we want to hear your take on this – comments welcome.