The first casualty of working from home or being furloughed? Fashion.
These days most of us are navigating through the brand new unfamiliar work waters. Whether you have been furloughed (laid off), your company decided to set a “work from home” protocol, are the owner of a small business that had to temporarily close the doors or you are an independent contractor- like me- who suddenly finds themselves with well, no contracts, we are all in the same position of spending our work day inside the four walls we live in.
During the economic crash of the early 2000’s I found myself stuck at home, broke (because FYI Independent contractors are not eligible for unemployment), depressed and without any type of schedule. Within a week, my look went from effortless Carrie Bradshaw chic to a non-makeup wearing, seldom showering, bra-less grifter hobo.
..and I sat in that persona. Absorbed it, became it, let my mind (and everyone around me) believe that was who I was. My life was out of control.
And then I decided enough was enough. There may have been alot of things out of my control but the one thing I did have control over was my own mind. So I decided that every day I would get up, make my bed, shower, do my hair and makeup and get dressed.
This one act of setting a Work for Home Dress Code completely changed my mental state and productivity. That was the moment I decided to start a blog. I rearranged a room in our house to become my office and created a pretty kick-ass work space to create in. I worked tirelessly to learn WordPress, polish my photography and writing skills and launch my blog. Each morning I would “clock in” and work an 8 hour shift in my at-home office.
Not only did this transform me into a total Boss Lady who was once again driving the bus (not just being a passenger on it) it also ended up creating other income I didn’t even know was possible. Magazines began to reach out to hire me for writing jobs and companies began to reach out to me for sponsored content opportunities which further diversified my income.
I was a much more pleasant person to be around and still to this day even if I’m not going to see anyone else all day, I get dressed for work.
..and the Science is there to back my findings…
There is something called the halo effect phenomenon which is a social-psychology that suggests how you dress can make other people perceive you as a better person, lover, and friend.
And aside from that, most importantly, a killer ensemble can raise a person’s own sense of self worth. Now I’m not saying you need to put on full business-suit corporate meeting attire every morning to work from home.. I just saying you shouldn’t be spending all day everyday in pajamas. Establish a Work From Home Dress Code that works for you.
So, have I convinced you to ditch those sweat pants and take a shower yet?
Here are a few more reasons you need to establish a “Work from Home Dress Code”.
- Video and Facetime Meetings. If you are part of a team and participate in video meetings, it’s important to dress the part. Video connections help form relationships, and if you are not dressed for success, you are sending the wrong message. The visual is powerful, and perception becomes reality.
- BOOST YOUR OWN PRODUCTIVITY. What we put on influences how we act. Dressing for work makes us feel more present, and we have a higher level of commitment and engagement. It will set you up to not only be highly alert but also thinking, creating, marketing, networking. Ready for anything.
- CREATE BOUNDARIES. While the lines between work and home are blurring, dressing for work during office hours can help to create a separation of your work and personal sides. When you work in an office, you get up, get dressed, and leave the house. As you drive away you create a transition from your home life into your work life. Arriving at your office signals, ‘Time to work.’ When you work from home, you need to create a similar transition. Getting dressed and going into a designated work area can do this for you.
Here is my message for today. Get up, snap out of it, take a shower and get dressed. And you know what? You will feel a whole lot better and a whole lot more productive for it.
If you are working from home tackle that work load, if you are furloughed or an independent contractor create some projects for yourself and set a “work day” schedule. Maybe you take a class online (I am auditing Yale’s The Science of Well-Being right now it’s free), organize your work gear, master a new computer software, create videos on TikTok, read a book on marketing.. do SOMETHING towards your career. Put your energy into it. Then at the end of the “work” day feel free to pull on those sweats or pjs, relax and flip on NETFLIX.