When working at home, research shows that dressing more professionally increases productivity and collaboration with your team.When you say “working from home,” or “telework,” one of the first things that comes to mind for many of us is the term, “bunny slippers.”

To the people in the office, it’s their way of saying you don’t have to dress professionally. For those of us working from home, it means we’re free to be as comfortable as we want while we get work done.

But does dressing any way you want, really impact the quality of your work?

In a recent article in Fast Company, author Stephanie Vozza, who usually works in yoga pants and other workout gear, started dressing like she was going into the office. Her experience bears out what many experts believe. There are significant changes in the way you behave when you change simple habits like the way you dress in the morning:

  • It signals your brain that you are “going to work now” and helps you block out distractions that normally pop up when you work from home.
  • You’re more willing to engage visually through webcam with your peers.
  • Our body posture actually changes and becomes more “professional” when we dress that way.
  • You send a message to others in the house that you are “at work”.
  • You are complying with your company culture — you are part of the same team as the office corps, even if you don’t have to endure the same commute.

When I started working from home, I indulged my inner slug. What I found though is that I write better, become more assertive about making phone calls, and become more productive when I put away my AC/DC t-shirt to put on business casual clothes. (Full disclosure: I draw the line there. If you see me voluntarily wearing a tie, it’s a cry for help…save me!)

What do you think? Does the way you dress and prepare in the morning impact your creativity and production?


Wayne Turmel--The Remote Leadership Institute

Wayne Turmel
Co-Founder and Product Line Manager

Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute. For twenty years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It – a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Management-Issues.com.

Wayne, along with Kevin Eikenberry, has co-authored the definitive book on leading remotely, The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.

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