Working From Home? 3 Reasons Why You Should Still Be Dressing Up For Work

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Working From Home? 3 Reasons Why You Should Still Be Dressing Up For Work

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe, many countries have issued a stay at home orders — which means many of us are now adapting to working from home instead of in an office. Many of us are now stuck at home trying to figure out how to work with Zoom calls, have meetings in Google Hangouts and struggling with conference calls.

So, how has working from home been working for you? Are you waking up before your scheduled time to sign in to your job to get dressed up nicely and make your coffee so you're prepared to take on the day, or are you sleeping in until you hear your email notification chime?

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Whatever your answer may be, it is important to look at the bigger issue many of us are going through: should we get dressed up for work or should we, instead, be working from home in our pajamas. No one's going to see us anyway, right?

You're probably wondering why you have been feeling sluggish and drowsy throughout the day as you're working at home and guess what? Your clothes may be to blame. If you're in clothes you'd normally wear to bed, it can be hard to feel motivated to get your job done, which can cause you to end up working more hours in the long run (because you're not working as efficiently now as you had been in the office).

Because we are not in our offices (or on campus if you're now taking online classes for school), we do not feel the need to dress up in comfort in our own home.

Is that such a bad idea, though? I'll tell you one thing, I have become a victim of leaving my week old sweatpants on and not combing out the knots in my hair.

But there are good reasons to make the effort to get dressed up for work you may not have considered. Take a look below at why you should be trading your sweatpants, PJs and messy bun in for a full-on boss-lady work outfit — even when you're working from home.

1. Dressing up for work at home gets you in the right mindset to get things done.

The main benefit of changing from your pajamas or sweatpants into an outfit you can wear to work is to put yourself into the right mindset. You want to switch your mind into thinking, "When I put these clothes on, I am on work mode."

We all have a set routine when it comes to getting ready for work. And when that routine is disrupted, the tendency to be extremely laid back sets in. Not only does getting dressed make you look good, but it also makes you feel good!

I have to admit that while working from home, I stay in my pajamas for 95% of the day. Does this hinder my work performance? Absolutely.

Joy V. Peluchette and Katherine Karl are researchers who conducted a study on this very idea, and their results proved that participants who dressed up for work while working from home felt more in charge and competent.

"Significant two‐way interactions were found between dress preference and mode of dress worn on self‐perceptions of productivity, trustworthiness, creativity, and friendliness."

Studies have also shown that when you dress for the occasion you are engaging in, you will outperform someone who does not dress for success! Northwestern University conducted an experiment and gave half of the participant's lab coats while the others did not. The study concluded that the participants who wore lab coats performed significantly better than the others.

If you are dressed for a specific occasion — like work — your mind will trick you into believing you are the person you are portraying yourself to be.

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2. Putting on your work clothes helps you separate work life from personal life.

Another benefit of wearing proper work attire is that your clothes can help you separate your work life and your personal life when you're at home all of the time.

If you are constantly in bed in your sweatpants working eight hours a day, not only are you going to feel sluggish, but you are bringing your work into the place that you sleep/relax in.

Our regular work routines have been disrupted, which means our perception of "work" and "home" have been slightly distorted, too. Your home has turned into your workplace, and if you don't differentiate the two you could be in for a lot of stress on your personal life (and a lot more hours of work as a result).

Dr. Karen Pine, a fashion psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire stated that what we wear is a direct reflection of our own self-identity and practices. "A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear’, so when we put it on, we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning," she says.

I understand that most people do not have space or extra room to work in, but even if you move from the bedroom to the kitchen or living room can create an artificial work office! So you should wear work clothes that help you make that distinction as well.

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3. Putting on your work (from home) outfit gives you structure (which you desperately need when you WFH).

In an interview with Fox News, psychotherapist Dr. Kathryn Smerling stated, “Any kind of structure is important in this time of unprecedented disorganization."

Our brains usually tell us that being in comfy clothes means we are either going to sleep or want to relax (which often leads to a power nap or actual sleep). “You think better if you notice when you take a shower — when you have a structure,” says Smerling. “It’s just one of the variety of ways to mentally prepare yourself for the end of one scene and the beginning of another."

Anyone who is still working from home months after the initial stay at home orders is probably going a little crazy (me). We didn't expect 2020 to turn out this crazy, but we were made to adapt life's toughest challenges! Sure, being at home and having to work for eight hours isn't ideal, but many of us need to be grateful for still having a job.

Things will go back to normal soon enough, but our past normal isn't something we should want to go back to. If there is anything I have learned from this pandemic, it is that so many people can easily work from home full-time.

It may not seem ideal to a lot of people, but for the parents who cannot afford a full-time sitter or for the people who work an hour or two away from work, this would be the perfect scenario to keep pursuing even after the pandemic has slowed down.

With that being said, get out of your PJs and throw on your work clothes while you tackle today's meetings.

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Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers self-care, astrology, and love and relationship topics.