Dressing Up in the Remote Workplace

Your Outward Appearance Affects Your Performance

Photo credt wsj.com

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the American workplace in a lot of ways. We now work remotely, and that means we see our team members only in Zoom meetings. Some have decided that their work wardrobe should be very relaxed. Business casual attire or a suit have been replaced by yoga pants and a t-shirt. Blowouts are not being done and make up in minimal or not worn at all. Its reasonable to want to be comfortable while you are working from home, but does your choice of outfit affect your work performance?

No one is suggesting its wrong to wear your sweatpants and a t-shirt to work in your kitchen. However, there is an argument for wearing something that is a little less cozy to keep your brain in work mode. Fashion designer Tom Ford told “The Sunday Times” he wears a three-piece suit for work consisting of a white t-shirt, a jeans button down shirt and jeans. Tom also wears boots on his feet, not slippers. Tom said he feels too vulnerable in knit wear.

Talia Lakritz from Insider.com wrote a story about her experiment dressing for work while working from home for one week. Talia said about day one of her experiment “As I walked to the kitchen to make my morning cup of tea, I felt a little more energized. Putting on actual shoes made me feel like I was ready to start walking to the subway.” Talia also said by Thursday she felt more productive wearing her actual clothes than wearing her leggings and slippers to work at home.

Sarah Harrison has been running her website hotcontent.com.au remotely for a few years and she understands the importance of getting dressed for work at home. She was interviewed for shedefined.com.au and said “It’s very 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 11am, 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.”

The case for dressing for work at home can also be made when you are in virtual meetings with your co-workers and boss. It is unprofessional to look like you just got home from yoga class when you are in a virtual work meeting. Your boss will notice you take your job seriously if you dress the part (the part she can see on camera). If you want to go the extra mile and glam up for your meeting wear little lip gloss and mascara to make you look even more polished.

Working from home is still work. You should wear the outfit that makes you feel productive, whether that outfit consists of sweats and tshirt of jeans and a blouse. When you feel productive you set yourself up for success.

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