Benefits of Dressing Professionally When You Work or Study from Home

studying at home

You plan on working or studying from home today. To prepare for the occasion, you break out your comfiest pajamas, your laptop, and your favorite snacks and perch on your bed, ready to work. Since no one will see you while you're at home, what's the point of dressing up? Besides, one of the perks of working or studying from home is enjoying the comfort of your surroundings, right?

Wrong. It turns out that dressing professionally – even while you're working from home – could be more beneficial than you might think.

Be More Productive

Research shows that how we feel is affected by what we wear, because clothes carry both a practical and symbolic meaning that can impact our behavior. Wearing more professional attire makes you feel more focused and productive. Loungewear like pajamas, baggy sweaters, and sweatpants can put you in a less attentive state, since you usually wear these clothes when you're trying to relax. Put a little effort into looking put together when you work or study from home, even if you keep it office casual. Your focus and your memory will thank you, and you'll never have to worry about how you look when a remote conference call or study session breaks out.

Create Boundaries

There is a time for work and a time for play, and our clothes actually play a role in distinguishing between them. Changing into gym clothes when we're ready to work out and into loungewear when we're ready to relax actually sends our brains signals that help us mentally prepare us for the activity ahead, even before we get started. Switching from one outfit to another can therefore help you switch gears, whether you're ready to start work after a long night of sleep, hit the gym after a long day at work, or hit the books after finishing a big meal. On the other hand, wearing relaxed clothes while you're actually trying to be productive could blur the lines between work and play and ultimately make it harder to focus.

Feel More Confident

Let's face it, studying or working in comfy clothes makes you feel more like shutting your eyes than engaging your brain. Putting on professional attire while you work or study at home can change the way you think and behave. You'll feel more powerful and more confident that you can achieve your goals. In fact, new research shows that wearing formal wear like suits can help us think more broadly and holistically. Being open-minded while you absorb information can make it easier to connect seemingly disparate ideas and discover innovative solutions. People feel more inspired and empowered to use abstract processing while wearing formal wear, which paves the way for more ideas.

Although dressing up just to stay at home may not sound very appealing, it could actually help you make the most of your time. So next time you set up to work or study from home, try dressing up for the occasion. You may be surprised to discover the difference your clothes make!

Written by Ashford University staff.

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