Greater than 4 minutes, my friend!
So, you work from home now, is that right?
Maybe for years, you have been working in the corporate world, for a company or an agency, and when you decided to pave your own path and enter the world of entrepreneurship, one of your number one reasons was „I get to work in my PJs“?
Then you started working from home, building your dream business, living the life – in your pyjamas?
I mean, why not? If you are not leaving your house, why bother getting dressed at all, right?
While this sounds like a charming upside of working from home, it really can impact the quality of your work and life. (Read: When you work from home, you actually carry a lot more responsibility for your own health and success.)
Well, let me tell you this:
I get you. I totally do! There just are those days when you feel like staying in your PJs and that is okay. In the end, we do work from home and have the freedom to choose, right? But from my own experience, I can tell you 4 reasons (from the top of my head) why getting dressed, well dressed that is, will help to lead a much more professional and healthy business.
So, here are the 4 “why you should say goodbye to your PJs at work.
You owe it to your job, to your profession, and to yourself. It may sound exaggerated, but it is really not. Have you ever noticed how you speak differently, feel differently depending on the type of clothes you are wearing? Even our posture can be influenced by our outfit. A smart business outfit gives many of us a feeling of importance of sorts, something which shows in our posture. For a woman, wearing high heel shoes, for example, can make a huge difference.
This point is related to the one above. I am sure you are familiar with this situation: Every once in a while, I forget or I simply ignore to get ready for my day, spend a few hours on the computer, walk to the bedroom, and on the way I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. *Ouch* My posture looks bad, my hair is all over the place, my eyes look tired and I am wearing socks over pants. A few minutes in the bathroom, a change of socks-to-pants-relation and a good stretch later, I look… normal! And I feel better, more confident, fresher and a lot more like I am actually working.
Putting on real clothes (I mean, how hard can it be?) will actually help you boost your productivity. Wait, what? Yes! Here is the deal: Taking a shower and putting on real clothes (meaning getting out of your PJs and opting for something other than workout clothes) will help your brain to switch from ‘home mode’ to ‘work mode’ which is crucial for you to start your work day efficiently. It sets the tone, it is the walk to work. Why not consider having a type of uniform that you wear for work, every day? That can be a chosen set of trousers/skirts and tops between which you alternate throughout the week and which you associate with work. This will create a habit and in the end, it is habits that help your brain make the switch.
And last, but not least, on a more vain note:
Postman? Milkman? UPS guy? You are at home all day and people order a lot of stuff. If you live in an apartment building, this may be the opportunity to get on a first name basis with your postman and neighbours, right? Because EVERYTHING is stored temporarily between your four walls. Or going for a spontaneous walk? Nah, you would have to change for that? Too much effort? Let’s just stay home? Well, there are many kinds of situations that concern this vain aspect of the whole PJs issue.
I personally went through three different phases of what I would wear while working from home. While for many homeworkers, the first phase might be the infamous PJs (because they have just left a corporate job), for me it was the opposite. I started dressing smart because I had just finished university where I would usually wear fairly casual clothes.
So, for a few months at the beginning of my career of working from home, it was part of my morning routine to choose a smart outfit. I have a pretty minimalistic wardrobe, and approach to clothes in general: I need it simple, easy, and small in quantity. This way, I could easily choose any two pieces in order to look good and feel invincible. After choosing the outfit of the day, I would throw the items with a whirl of my wrist onto my freshly made bed à la Keira Knightley in Last Night, smile to myself, and then get slowly dressed, all content and happy like Queenie in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. (Yes, you guessed it right, I love those two characters.) This was phase one.
After that, I had a phase of wearing yoga pants every day. I had just bought a new pair and everybody on all the podcasts that I was listening to at the time was talking about wearing yoga pants. With it came a simple, loose top, often the same one for days. I looked and felt comfy, it wasn’t my PJs, and I was somewhat presentable. But a few weeks later, I started feeling odd about this choice; every day was the same and I sometimes really did not leave the house to socialise for days, which is why I did not have to change during the day either.
Now, I have entered phase three. No more yoga pants, although I do miss them a little. But you know what happened? After I had been wearing my yoga pants attire every day for a few weeks, even my capsule wardrobe overwhelmed me when I went out to the movies with my boyfriend, because I haven’t been wearing any of those clothes in a while. But since I have such nice pieces, I decided to do them and myself the honour and started wearing them again. So, now I’ve found the golden mean. My uniform consists of comfortable but actual trousers and a slim fit T-Shirt or jumper.
Either way, play around with those phases, but say goodbye to your PJs at work.
PS. Maybe I will make yoga pants my casual Friday outfit!?