In 2020, more of us than ever before are working at home. Even if you’re self-employed, the chances are that you never used to work at home quite this much. The option of powering through emails from a coffee shop or co-working space has all but disappeared.
If you’re used to getting up in the morning and getting dressed for the office, the idea of working at home in your pyjamas seemed very appealing at first. But (as you’ve probably figured out by now) the work at home life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Working alone without the chatter of your co-workers can be isolating. It can also be very difficult to concentrate and get in the right zone to be productive when there’s no separation between your work and home life.
One thing that can help get us in the right head space for the working day is getting up and dressed for the day ahead, even if you’re not leaving the house.
Of course, one of the perks of WAH life is that you get to wear comfier clothes than usual, and for those in corporate roles, you don’t need to dress up in a shirt and tie every day just to get work done. But putting some thought into your work at home wardrobe could be just the mental boost you need.
Think Smart but Casual
If you’re still taking conference calls while you’re working at home, it’s important to look the part – as much for your own state of mind as the opinion of co-workers. Relaxing in yoga pants and a T-shirt may feel comfortable but it can come across as unprofessional, and most importantly it can negatively impact your self-esteem and confidence.
Instead, a good rule of thumb for an outfit is if you’d be happy to bump into an important client wearing it on your down time. The good news is it’s easy to make changes that work, such as smartening up your simple white tee with a blazer before you go live on calls.
Keeping up our usual grooming standards is not only a good move professionally, it can also create a sense of normality and a self-esteem boost when working in isolation. If you normally wear makeup, “putting your face on” can help to put you in the mood for work, even if it’s just a touch of tinted moisturiser and lip gloss.
You Can’t Go Wrong with a Dress
Now the weather is getting warmer, picking out a patterned dress can be a successful way to bridge your home and office wardrobes. Dresses always feel like more of an outfit than leggings, but they don’t require much more effort. If you need to look smart for calls, choose a more tailored style rather than something loose and beachy, accessorising with jewellery to help you to feel even more polished. Playsuits are another great alternative to a dress that are a fantastic choice for summer and look smarter than loungewear.
Dig Out Your Jeans
If you’ve automatically opted for yoga pants or leggings up to now, something as simple as graduating up to jeans can help differentiate between work and non-work time at home. Changing out of them at the end of your working day is a really helpful mental cue to help you to step out of the virtual office and into your down time again.