I am a freelance editor who works from home. I typically dart right to the computer in my pyjamas and start my work day. There are pros and cons of working from home. It’s definitely isolating and I miss the informal and fun conversations with co-workers, especially during lunch hour.
Sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself to focus on the job at hand. Do you have any clothing tips for home-based employees?
Signed: Home Alone
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Dear Home Alone,
You are not alone at all; Statistics Canada surveys show that over one million Canadians work from home. Home-based businesses are booming in our economy. According to Wendy Helfenbaum of Take Two Productions, how you dress for work can impact on your efficiency and productivity. JVS Employment Counsellors would also tell you that when you are dressed professionally, even if you are at home, you feel professional and in charge. Below are some tips from blog When The Moon Shines for how to maximize your success when working from home.
1. Building your brand.
Being stylish, up-to-date in your wardrobe, caring about your looks and presentation can make a huge difference in your motivation. Your work from home is not a retirement home for all your faded, ill-fitting and ripped clothes. Plus, you always want to be ready for a last-minute meeting. It is part of your branding, marketing and selling of your skills.
2. Like what you wear.
Essential work-at-home clothes can include: a jacket or blazer, dark jeans or dress pants, a nice sweater or causal blouse, for women. For men, a button-down shirt, a good pair of shoes, good hair grooming, ironed clothes and shined shoes, and colours that flatter you and that they like would be good.
3. Avoid work-out clothes.
Your home wardrobe must not be your gym or work-out clothes. You must have enough outfits in your work from home wardrobe to last you a whole work week, because you are not going to do the washing during work hours (more on that in a future post too) and who the hell can be bothered doing it at night. If you work five days a week at home, you need five sets of clothes.
4. Be comfortable.
Build your wardrobe from the skin up. You need comfortable underwear. Buy comfortable pants. Women might consider buying dressy yoga pants. You need an assortment of shirts: short sleeves, three-quarter sleeves, and long sleeves. I advise going for t-shirts with stretch in them because it is much easier to work in fabric that moves with you.
5. Keep it simple.
Everything needs to go with everything, and your wardrobe needs to be arranged for ease of outfit selection. Make it easy to get dressed and you’re more likely to get out of your PJs and put on something fit for public viewing.
6. Always be professional.
To expand on building your brand, the fundamental, underpinning principle of the work from home wardrobe is this: you have got to be able to leave the house in it, even if only to get milk or go to the post office. You don’t want a delivery guy turning up at your door and finding you in your dressing gown at 3 pm. You also need to be able to Skype or turn on your web cam without looking a mess or that you just rolled out of bed.