One of the biggest clichés about people who work from home or remotely is that we do so in our pajamas. Ha! I wish.
Okay, there are some who can and do actually work in their pj’s. Heck, one of my colleagues ‘fessed up to only showering at night and working on his bed. Not naming names, but he’s my co-writer. *snicker*
On the other hand, I don’t usually have the luxury of doing the same. Normally, I work remotely part-time as I do have a day job in an office. These days (i.e., under quarantine), however, I’ve been able to experiment a bit with both options.
I’m sure some might disagree with me, and that’s fine, but after three weeks of working from home, I’m firmly on #TeamDressed. Yep, pj’s are great, but I’ll still shower and dress in the mornings as though I was coming into the office. Here’s why:
1. Dressing up puts you in the right mindset.
One of the hardest things about working from home is setting your boundaries. Even when you’ve got a home office, it’s hard to “get into the zone” outside the office.
Well, dressing up helps combat that somehow. For instance, on weekdays, you can begin your day like any other work day. Take a quick shower, groom yourself, and then get dressed. You don’t have to wear anything fancy, a decent shirt and some jeans or even leggings or shorts will do. This way, you’re already priming yourself for work, even if it’s just in your office downstairs.
Conversely, you don’t have to dress up on weekends unless you’re going out. A handful of people don’t even bother with a shower if they’re staying in for a Netflix marathon. You can bet that your brain can tell the difference and will adjust accordingly.
2. It helps you establish a routine.
Routines are powerful, you see. Done properly, they give us a semblance of order, and most importantly in these times, normalcy.
Unless you’re already used to working in sweatpants or pj’s, getting dressed for work can help ease you into a WFH set-up. That way, at least, you won’t lose sight of what day it is so easily. (See previous item.)
3. Spontaneous Zoom or Skype video meetings are no sweat.
You never know when your client or boss might decide to check in on everyone via a video call. When that happens, do you really want to be the one in grubby, three day-old clothes? (Thank goodness we can’t smell people through Skype or Zoom, eh?)
Kidding aside, no one expects you to look all dressed up for such spontaneous meetings. That’s simply the nature of most WFH set-ups.
Still, being properly dressed means you won’t hesitate to get up and go to the bathroom mid-meeting if you have to. So, yeah, if you can, go and put on some pants.
4. There’s no rush to put on proper clothes when the delivery guy shows up.
Ah, here’s another benefit of being dressed while working at home. When you’ve got no time to cook, food delivery services are your best friend. You wouldn’t want to accidentally flash your best friends now, would you?
5. Getting dressed in the mornings helps break the monotony.
Fun as pajamas are, it’s not nearly as fun to stay in them all day as we might think. Apart from promoting good hygiene, getting dressed in the mornings provides a nice transition from sleep to work. Think of it as a form of “me time” before you get started on your day.
6. You get to road test your outfits.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’re probably familiar with this scenario. You see a lovely outfit or a great pair of shoes in a shop window. You then go in, try them on, and like them enough to purchase them.
When you wear them to work or outside for the first time, you find there’s something off about them. The shoes might end up pinching your toes or digging into your heels. That flowy skirt might have looked great in the dressing room, but it may have turned out a little too transparent for your comfort.
If you wore those outside or to work, there’s not much you can do about them. At home, on the other hand, you can simply change out of them. Best of all, you can take a mental note of the experience the next time you build an outfit.
7. Proper (i.e., non-sleepwear attire) signals that you are on work mode to people you live with.
Even in this day and age, most people still struggle to wrap their heads around the WFH concept. Then again, an outsider would find it hard to believe that someone hunched over a laptop in their sleepwear is up to anything productive.
When you change that person’s clothes into something less comfortable, the picture looks utterly different. So, if you live with roommates, family members, or small children, a small costume change can make them more hesitant to disturb you while you’re working.
8. It increases the longevity of your favorite loungewear.
Look, your favorite pj’s just aren’t built to withstand a lot of abuse. They’re soft, loose, and smooth because the person wearing them is supposed to be asleep (read: immobile) at that time.
Wearing them all day will just wear them out much faster, and who needs that heartbreak?
9. Work clothes make your sleepwear feel all the more special.
Why do pj’s feel so good? Well, it’s because you usually slip into them after a long day in work clothes and ideally, after a nice shower to rinse off the day’s troubles.
Thus, if you don’t wear work clothes, you’ll never be able to appreciate the contrast.
10. It’s fun!
Come on, when did we ever stop playing dress-up? When you work from home, your work clothes don’t always have to be casual or office clothes. So long as you don’t wear pj’s, you can pretty much wear whatever floats your boat.
Think doing plaid on Mondays, denim on Tuesdays, and accessorizing with hats, scarves, and what-have-you every now and then. Some WFH groups even put on some pretty cool costumes for Halloween!
Mind you, this is not to say you should NEVER wear sweatpants or pj’s while working. Of course, there might be some days when you’re too ill or you simply can’t be bothered. That’s perfectly okay. We all do what we can.
Still, if you’re feeling rather uneasy or anxious or are struggling with cabin fever, dressing up can make quite the difference, even if you’ve got nowhere else to go.