Not long ago I asked home office professionals around the country to describe what they wear when they work from home. The response was mixed.
Half of the group responded that they don’t dress up to work from home, while the other half said that they can’t work without the corporate look. A few people shared their creative twists to their work-from-home wardrobes, while one person put a slight spin on “casual Friday.”
I couldn’t believe the number of e-mails I received about this topic. While I can’t fit all of the responses in this blog post, I’ll share more in future posts.
“I do find that while I can wear whatever I want while working from home, it can impact my work that day. Some days when I feel that there are especially significant tasks to accomplish, I put on the sport coat and/or tie and I do think it helps me focus with greater intensity. A couple of years ago I had two part-time people who embraced this idea, and we instituted “Formal Fridays” where we wore suits, ties, etc. one day each week to see what impact we felt it would have!”
Ryan L. Hamilton, Geared For Imagination
“I’ve been working from home for a dozen years now and I still have ‘work’ clothes and ‘play’ clothes. When I worked full-time in an office, it was in the creative department of ad agencies, so I wore ‘business casual’ every day; except for what I liked to call, ‘T-shirt Fridays.’ After talking to another freelancer who did the same, I decided to keep my business casual look for working at home during the day. This helps keep me in the mood to work rather than goof off, and helps differentiate my ‘work time’ from ‘free time’ every day.”
Mike Pascale, All Ages Media
“When I first began working from home, I got up each day, put on my make-up and dressed nicely (no, not in suits). As time went on, I found myself working my way into the pajama routine. When that happened, I took a step back and decided to change that. Now, I dress very casually until I have to go out into a corporate environment or museum or wherever to conduct my training. All of the prep work is done from my home office, but once I must make that appearance, it’s back to the professional look.”
Sherry Thomas, Palm Beach Etiquette
“My attire for work depends entirely on my day. For the most part, I dress comfortably, although I try to avoid the sweats and slippers avenue because I find that it makes me less productive and more apt to curl up in bed with a good book. I do a decent amount of client meetings via Skype, so I make sure I dress to impress on days I have Skype meetings (at least from the waist up!). I have been known to wear a nice blazer with dress shirt with jeans (since the client can’t see my jeans)!”
Bridget Dean, Dean Communications
“I spent 25 years in corporate marketing and wore a suit and tie for most of that period. Since 2003, I’ve been an independent consultant primarily working out of a home office and I wear sweats or shorts when I am here. I do wear slacks, blazers and/or jeans when I meet with clients or attend networking events – dress varies on the group.”
Michael Sick, Marketing and Business Development Consultant and Writer
“I ALWAYS get dressed for the day before going to my home office, but it’s mom-wear for me…comfortable and casual. Between working and playing the semi-effective role of Super Mom, I have to be ready for anything.”
Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend
“I work in casual clothes and it’s not unheard of that my husband will come home and find me still sitting in my pajamas at 6:00 pm! That’s what happens when you roll out of bed and into your work chair! Luckily for me, as my business is recreational events, I burned my power suits and had T-shirts and polo shirts printed with my company logo on them to wear to business networking events. We give our T-shirts – which have our mascot Wild Harry and the tagline ‘Got a Wild Hare?’ on them – to our clients who LOVE wearing them.”
Lisa Jennings, Wildly Different
“Being in California and of course owning the company and working at home has made shorts and a t-shirt with no shoes the company uniform of sorts. And when it gets really warm, you are looking at shorts with no shirt and sometimes it is literally just boxers when the day just begins jumping into e-mails and a few quick calls before taking a shower.”
Craig Wolfe, CelebriDucks
Now it’s your turn. Does working in sweatpants affect your productivity or inactivity? Do you have to wear a power suit to accomplish anything?