One Thing You Can Do to Be More Productive When WFH (and 5 Reasons You Should Do It)
We are all facing a completely new normal and video conferencing has become a workplace necessity. You may be one of the lucky ones working from the comfort of your own home, apartment, yurt, etc. and trying to act like nothing has changed in the way of our work productivity.
Except everything has changed. Now, we don’t have commutes, we don’t have offices, we don’t see our entire suite of coworkers everyday (though, you may have new coworkers that present different challenges, but that’s a different story).
How can you ensure you are doing everything you can to show up for work?
Short answer: dress up.
You don’t have to go full Gone With the Wind (but hey, if that is your thing then I’m all for it and we should set up a video chat soon). Dressing up means more than yoga pants, tshirt, messy bun and hoodie. BELIEVE ME that is the weekend, at-home, go-to outfit. I get it. Same here. Especially with my new, smaller coworkers (re: difficulties above). But that won’t cut it for work.
It’s almost a guarantee that if you show up like that, your head’s not in it.
You know how on flights they always ask you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others? This is like that.
Here are five reasons why you should be dressing up everyday for work:
- You Look Good. It’s no doubt that dressing up makes you look good. Everyone loves a good makeover story, but even changing yoga pants to jeans can help improve the overall look of an outfit and immediately make it more dressed up and a little more serious.
- You Smell Good. This is the perfect time to train your hair to not need shampoo everyday. If you haven’t done this already, sis, NOW IS YOUR TIME! Washed hair or not, you should still shower. The act of changing clothes from pajamas to jeans or to literally anything else other than what you slept in, makes you consider hygiene. A quick rinse never hurt anyone. And it probably has helped a lot of people.
- You Work Good. (I know it’s improper grammar, but I’m going for consistency here). Put on a casual button up, flowy blouse or (for my serious women) a pair of slacks. This changes your mindset into one that is more professional. More professional mindset = more professional productivity. Just in the way you dress for a big meeting or to go to the office everyday, you are putting on your work ‘armor’. This is also a nicer visual for your coworkers when video chatting. And if you ever talk to your boss, it lets her know you are still on top of it, just like you were BC (before Coronavirus*).
- You Feel Good. Numero uno, most important. Highlight, underline and bold this one. This seismic shift is hard. Whoever you are, whatever situation you are in, it’s a big change for us all. Period. And that takes a toll mentally. Now more than ever, you need to focus on your mental health. Your mindset. Dressing up can directly correlate to your mood. If you look good, smell good and get a lot of work done, you feel good. It sounds frivolous, but try it. Do an experiment for yourself and figure out where you are most productive. I know that if I have on workout gear, I better be working out. If I try to work with workout gear, I have a skewed mentality and am not as professional or productive. Give me some better clothes, some combed hair and eyelashes and I am ready to go! All jokes aside, it is hard to feel like ourselves during this time. Do whatever you can, as silly as it may seem, to keep some semblance of normalcy. Changing clothes is a routine, something you’ve done for years. Keep that.
- Your Kids Will Be Good. Mmmkay, so I can’t promise this. Our house has been an invariable circus for the past four weeks. BUT when I dress up for work, it’s a signal to the kids that this is work time, just like before. Then, when I am done for the day, I change out into something more casual. Just like before. And that signals that it’s time to focus on family and play. It’s not foolproof (2-year-olds really don’t give a s*&^ what you are wearing), but for older kids it can definitely help signal those times of transition to break up the day.
This is hard. The only way through this is together. And the only way to do this together is if you take care of yourself. Put your oxygen mask on first. Get up, dress up and show up.
*Thanks, mom for letting me steal this joke. :)