Do you wear a tie or a suit to work? Why? Does your office have a uniform? What about jeans on Friday with a contribution “penalty” (generally a gold coin) to a charity your office supports? Now, you are Working from Home. What did you wear today?
Should you wear your uniform at home? Why not? In my last post, I spoke about the need to have a very distinct workspace that could be isolated from your home, hobby and craft space. It is no different for your cloths. Wearing your most comfortable shorts, or your golf shirt while you work will create an association with work for these favourite cloths. Imagine a really awful work situation or event. Now imagine this events happens while you are wearing your golf shirt. Each time you put on that golf shirt from now on, the work memory will pop up. It will eventually fade away, but your golf shirt has been “contaminated” by an event that should have stayed with your uniform.
What about your tie, suit or your cloths you normally wear to work? It all helps to wear the items of clothing you normally wear to work. It is all part of the work vs home mentality or mindset. And are you prepared for your workmates to see you wearing your sweats, cycling kit, that tattoo or scar on your arm that is normally well hidden by long sleeves? Are you prepared to tell the story or answer the “When did you get that?” question that will inevitably follow? Humans are curious by nature! We love to know more and more. You have established a certain image or persona if you like, of the working person that you are. Working from Home has not changed that, but it could if you are not careful.
One particular reason it is good to dress for work when Working from Home, is video conferences. A person I know well was telling me the story of a video conference with their boss. The boss was new to Working from Home. When the video camera was rolling, the boss forgot they were not wearing appropriate items on the bottom half. This became apparent when they decided they needed to grab something from the other side of their workspace and stood up. The camera catches us all out at some point. Just search “bloopers” on your favourite search engine.
If you have a custom in your office of jeans on Friday, keep doing it. But also keep contributing to the office charity. Put it in jar and make the contribution when you are able.
What these strategies are aimed at doing is to maintain the “going to work” mentality and the division between work and home. Working from Home requires much more discipline or it can overtake you. When it overtakes you and the delineation between work and home is not apparent, it is quite unpleasant and takes strong effort to achieve the delineation again.