The novelty of working from home can wear off FAST. Sure, there are some amazing perks to remote work: no traffic, the ability to work wherever the heck you want and a more flexible schedule, to name just a few. But after a few weeks of working from your home, the desire to get dressed and look cute can come to a screeching halt. After all, why bother getting dressed when no one but yourself is there to appreciate it?
As it turns out, there are plenty of good reasons why you should get dressed and look presentable for your home office. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that stocking your wardrobe with stylish, yet comfy clothes is the ultimate secret to crushing most—if not all—of your WFH goals.
Not convinced yet? Below, here are seven reasons why you owe it to yourself to get dressed for your home office.
- You’ll be more productive
The secret to getting more done in a day? Wearing an outfit that makes you feel confident and capable. Believe it or not, the clothes you wear can actually change the way you think and behave. In one notable study, researchers found that participants who wore doctor’s coats were more focused and made fewer mistakes than those who wore painter’s coats. In other words, that old adage about dressing for success may be truer than you might have originally thought.
- It helps you transition into “work mode”
At your regular office, you probably had a normal routine that helped you transition into “work mode.” Now that you work from home, you may find it a lot more difficult to flip that switch. An easy way to get around this problem is by trying to stick to your regular routine as much as possible, such as showering and getting dressed for the day. The simple act of throwing on a casual t-shirt and skinny jeans can be surprisingly effective at triggering your brain into an “I’m going to work” mindset. Try it out for yourself and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much more productive you are throughout the day.
- It gives your day more structure
Is today Thursday or Friday? Wait—it’s Tuesday?! Stop us if you’ve had this train of thought before. An unfortunate side effect of working from home is feeling like your days are all blended together. If you’re wearing the same sweatpants, day after day, that’s certainly not helping the situation any. Try laying out your outfit for the day and see if it helps you keep track of the days. With any luck, your train of thought will go more like this: Is it Tuesday? No, wait—it can’t be. I wore a denim skirt on Tuesday…
- You’ll save yourself from potential embarrassment
Imagine this: you’re working in your home office, wearing old pajamas that should never see the light of day. Suddenly, your boss starts a video call and it will look very bad if you don’t answer. Yikes! This meeting wasn’t on the schedule—why is he calling?! Now you’re faced with a difficult decision: do you ignore the unexpected call and risk your boss thinking that you’re not actually working or do you answer to have your boss catch you looking entirely unprofessional in your pajamas? If you don’t want to get caught between a rock and a hard place, do yourself a favor and pick an outfit that won’t make you die from embarrassment if your colleagues were to see you wearing it.
- It helps you establish boundaries
Remember that new story about the baby and toddler who crashed their dad’s BBC interview? Although it was hilarious at the time, many remote workers now identify with him and understand the importance of having WFH boundaries.
When you work from home, people in your household may not always understand or respect your time. This can lead to frustrating interruptions that may throw you out of a workflow. Wearing professional clothes can help serve as a visual reminder to your family members that you’re in work mode and shouldn’t be disturbed. The opposite is also true: changing into joggers or any type of casual clothing can help signal that you’re done for the day.
- It lets you express yourself
Obviously, not everyone is keen on using their clothing to express themselves (looking at you, Mark Zuckerberg). In fact, some people swear by wearing the same thing every day to eliminate needless decisions. And if that train of thought resonates with you, then by all means—wear the same thing every day (just not pajamas). However, many remote workers need to express themselves through their clothing to help them stay sane and grounded. Otherwise, some of us start to feel like nothing more than a busy little worker bee trapped in a huge, digital hive.
- It sets the tone for the day
How you dress can set the tone for the day and help you accomplish your daily goals. For example, have you ever rocked some cute athleisure wear and gotten more steps in throughout the day as a result? It’s because you dressed in such a way that allowed you to knock out your goals!
The next time you write down your goals for the day, consider what you’ll wear to achieve them. Got a video conference call with the executive team? Wear something professional that will give you the confidence to speak your mind. Need to hunker down and work on a difficult project? Dress in comfortable clothes that won’t distract you from the task at hand.
Make no mistake—how you dress for your home office matters. The clothes you wear can make all the difference to your productivity, your health and your overall sense of well-being. So, the next time you’re tempted to roll out of bed and start the day in sweats, just think about these reasons for getting dressed. Once you notice the difference for yourself, you’ll never want to work in PJs again.