Many of us have some flexibility to work from home either full time or some days of the week. And now that I’m building Sonderlier, I do most of my work at home. Working from home can be a blessing or a curse when productivity and your sanity are on the line. There are a million advice columns on how to tackle the struggles, but I believe almost all of them are missing one of the biggest pieces.
What you wear matters. A lot.
Studies show over and over again that when you dress up, you work better. It’s a phenomenon known as psychological cueing. Dressing up puts us in a psychological frame of mind that says “ok, what I’m doing is serious.” We’re less likely to be distracted. We become more efficient. We’re don’t have to redo work that got sloppy. In short, we’re more productive. This is true for the office or the home office, by the way. But it’s probably more crucial when you work from home, because the office has other psychological “get serious” cues while home has exactly the opposite: Relax. Don’t think about work. Take care of the kids. Do something else.
The research also shows that the more beautiful we feel, the more confident we are. When we’re more confident we’re less afraid to take risks, which almost always allows us to perform better. Our comfort zone gets bigger. Remember that feeling that you can just conquer the world when you put on a gorgeous designer piece? That feeling, it turns out, really does help you achieve. And it also helps when you have to video conference that big meeting and a sweatshirt – or self-doubt – just won’t cut it.
There are a lot of things that can help you work well from home. Doing something you love is also key. Planning ahead, creating a separate work space (especially important if you have kids), giving yourself rewards and short breaks, exercising, and making sure to leave the house now and then – they’re all important, and a lot of articles have written about them. But dressing the part seems to get missed. Success is in the mind, and the mind is shaped, so, SO much, by the image of ourself we have in our mind. And THAT is determined, in no small part, by the clothes we have on.
I wanted to create Sonderlier because I believe in that research. No one wants to be uncomfortable. The workplace has moved towards casual wear because of that. But we’re more confident in beautiful and well-fitted attire. I believe we need to bridge that gap with clothing that does it all.
So, take breaks, exercise, create a separate work space, reward yourself and dress the part. And if you can’t find clothes that do all those things, we understand, because we couldn’t either. Hang in there. We’ve just sent our first wave of designs in to the workshops.
Wherever you are, however you work, I believe you in you ❤️