In the current climate, where everyone’s normal is disrupted, it’s important to try and keep calm and carry on as best you can with previous routines and habits. One example is how we get dressed for work.
With lots more people working from home, it can be very tempting to not dress as we would when sharing work spaces with others and to be more casual. In my experience, a lot of people tell me that they have to “dress the part” to feel in work mode. There are some other compelling reasons to continue to dress as if at work, or at least make an effort, and these are below.
We will still be seen
Many people will be keeping in touch with their work colleagues or clients/customers whilst working remotely. In years gone by, that would have just involved a telephone where we couldn’t see each other. Nowadays, the technology and expectation is there to see the person we are communicating with (for instance using Skype, Facetime, Zoom/Conference calls on the internet etc). Therefore, it is important to keep your work mode and appearance as usual, for the sake of others’ expectations about your ability, professionalism and influence.
Think, for a moment, how you will judge your boss, if you are speaking to them and they’re now dressing a lot more casually than you are used to seeing them. Depending on how well you know them, this maybe ok, but do you now see them differently? How will others (including your customers/clients) be viewing you?
Taking the trouble over one’s appearance takes time, and for some time may be in greater demand in these testing times, but for others, they may in fact feel they have more time. What could you do to use that time either more efficiently or effectively, whilst appearing to take the trouble over your appearance? Taking trouble over your appearance gives your clients and customers confidence that you will take the time and trouble over them. It is a subliminal message.
(Please contact me for a complimentary chat if you’d like some ideas!)
Maintain routine/keep life ‘normal’
In challenging times it is good to keep routines and good habits. There is no point upsetting anything more than necessary. Plus, when the crisis is reduced or over, you will want to maintain most or all of the routines you had before. It doesn’t take long for a habit or routine to get disrupted or forgotten, so maintaining the way you dress for work could be one that helps keep things feeling “normal”.
Setting an example
With children at home and you trying to work, dressing for work will help them understand that it isn’t the weekend all the time, just because they aren’t in playgroup, school, college or university. It may help you set boundaries so that everyone will be happy and productively use this unexpected time together.
Keep your work and play attire separate
One of the difficulties for some people is to have a non-work wardrobe if they wear all of their clothes to work.
In my experience, we are dressing down for work more, especially where there isn’t a specified uniform or company dress policy. (Or, it may be the intention to allow more casual dressing at work, and the company Dress Code specifies this.)
If you wear all your clothes to work, they may get damaged, plus if you do not have an extensive wardrobe to choose from, your clothes will wear out faster, but the crucial point is it doesn’t help people mentally grasp what they are doing! They wonder what to wear at the weekend if they’ve worn those clothes to work, and a critical dilemma comes up when it’s a work social (what do I wear, as they’ve seen me in this before?).
So this is about getting your brain in mode for the activity/time of day/day of the week, and for others to grasp your work or play mode too.
Set the mood
Talking of brains, your mood can be directly affected by your clothes. I find that wearing a certain colour can cheer me up, or make me feel energetic, and other colours (or black) will do the opposite. Have you ever noticed that about your clothes?
So, if you want to keep mentally strong in these challenging times, wear the clothes that make you feel good, and if you do not have any of those, please consult me! I will help you cheer up your wardrobe and therefore your mood, and that can be at minimal cost if money is a worry at the moment. Please contact me for a 30 minute no-obligation chat, and see what I can suggest to help you improve everything from your mood to your appearance and confidence, especially necessary in these difficult and challenging times.
Read about how your choice of clothes can help you ace that job interview here.
I do hope that you maintain health during this unprecedented time. We are all in this together, and together we will come through it.
Do contact me if I can help at all.