Workers had started investing more in a home-office experience, whether it was for a day at the back end of the week, or a wholesale abandonment of the traditional workspace. Back in 2016, nearly 3.5 million Australians worked remotely, compared to just under a million in 2001. However, now with the Coronavirus, this figure has shot up drastically.
So why is it important to continue to dress up well even if you are working from home?
There is a lot of data to suggest that putting a bit of effort pays off, even when you’re working from home and can do your own thing.
- A 2007 study on a group of professionals revealed that they felt most ‘authoritative, competent, and trustworthy’ when dressing formally. The corporate uniform made them feel like they were worth their paycheck and likely to succeed.
- A 2012 study also discovered a positive relationship between clothing choice and cognition. Wearing garments of symbolic importance (a doctor’s lab coat, in this example) enhanced one’s cognitive performance in several areas.
- Finally, a 2014 study found that formally dressed participants achieved more profitable outcomes in negotiation exercises, compared to their peers that dressed less formally.
All studies offer important hints that dressing well can benefit you, and as a result, something worth considering as the world adapts to these unexpected changes.
You are still on the clock.
Besides science, working from home doesn’t mean that you remain unseen. Clients might have concerns that can’t be resolved over the phone, lunch meetings still happen, and you might interview candidates if you have hiring responsibilities.
Moreover, video conferencing has become an essential component of modern business. Even if your workstation is a set of cushions, you’ll be on Skype or Zoom sooner rather than later. Your boss will need to check in, and the boardroom meetings still need to happen in some capacity.
Define Work-Life Separation
Working from home and setting your own work hours is liberating. But work is still work, and boundaries need to be set. Wearing professional clothing during your ‘shift’ can help you separate your working life from your personal life.
Balance is essential. Maintaining some semblance of a uniform can give you a visual identifier that work is work, and fun is fun.