When you’re working from home, do you have your video on or off when you have a work call?
I personally believe that for business calls, best practise is to have your video on. You see, people build relationships with people. Even though we’re currently all working from different locations, it’s important to remember that if you were in the office, you would be having face-to-face meetings. You wouldn’t be drawing the blinds down between you and the people you’re talking to.
So, my next question is this. Why are you turning your video off? Is it because you don’t look “meeting ready”? Or perhaps you don’t want anyone to see that you haven’t brushed your hair or put any makeup on? Or maybe you’re still sitting in your PJs?
The reality is we don’t know how long we’ll be working from home. Some companies have already told their workforce that this year they’ll continue to work like this. Many people have adjusted well to this new way of working. They’ve got their home work station all set up and are in a groove with new routines and have established a new style for how they dress each day now they’re not in the office.
For others though, this change in the working environment has been a lot trickier. It can be particularly challenging when you have a client facing role and are now spending a lot of your time on video conferencing calls.
I noticed these challenges with some of the professional women who joined me in my “Style with Confidence” program. Dressing from home is very different to how they would most probably dress going to work.
So, how can you look successful, stylish and also be comfortable?
Get up and get ready for working from home
I know, this sounds simple and easy – and it is, that’s why it works!
What I want you to do, even if you’ve no plans to have any meetings that day, is to get up and get ready as you would normally do if you were going into the office.
Believe me it makes such a difference to your mindset. It’s like making your bed in the morning. When you make the bed you just feel complete and ready to move on with your day.
Get dressed, put on some makeup, brush and style your hair and add a few pieces of jewellery to finish off your look.
“When we dress the part we’re more likely to perform better and focus on the task in hand”
I know there was a pyjama trend happening last year, and there’s still a sweat pant one as we’ve rolled into this year, but I want you to dress the part. And make sure you put a bra on. You would wear one going to work, so do the same at home.
And finally, get some working from home shoes that are comfortable but also make you feel like you’re fully dressed.
For more on this download my free “Working from Home Outfit Formulas” guide.
There are multiple studies that show when we dress the part we’re more likely to perform better and focus on the task in hand, so make this a priority.
Find your style vs comfort balance
When I talk about getting dressed I don’t mean you have to wear a full-on suit or your roll necks with a leather skirt. You need to be comfortable and not awkward in what you wear in your environment. This is about finding that healthy balance between looking smart and being comfortable.
For us ladies it’s much easier than it is for men because we can put on a nice top and comfortable stretchy trousers or silk pants. If you want to wear leggings, make sure you go for good quality ones that look like trousers, and wear them with a longer top.
“You need to be comfortable and not awkward in what you wear”
We can also get away with wearing a dress that does everything. A great comfortable option is a shift dress or a modern-day house dress.
A nice, fitted cardigan is a good substitute for a blazer and gives enough structure to your outfit to still look smart.
For more examples of dressing for style and comfort, download my free “Working from Home Outfit Formulas” guide.
Establish a working from home uniform
I’m a big believer in having a Signature Style because it definitely makes it easier when you’re getting ready every morning.
“A home uniform gives you structure and switches your mind in and out of work mode”
Having high quality, essential pieces that you can mix and match easily, and re-wear often in different ways, makes choosing your daily outfit much simpler.
Having a home uniform gives you structure and helps to switch your mind in and out of work mode.
For example, a go to uniform might be solid leggings and a great long white shirt. Or it could be a silk top worn with comfortable stretchy jeans and a cardigan. Having these basic pieces in a few different colours, means you can wear the same uniform outfit but feel like you’re changing it up each day.
Life’s brighter with colour
Wearing colour is great for video calls. The camera loves colour and wearing colours that suit you will make you glow and radiate as they reflect upwards to your face. A great colour will also make you stand out on screen from the usual sea of navy, grey and blues.
“Wearing colour brightens your day and puts you in a better mood”
Studies show that wearing colour brightens your day and puts you in a better mood, and who doesn’t need a bit of mood lifting during lockdown!
One thing’s for sure, even when restrictions are lifted and some level of normality returns, working from home in some way will likely still remain for the foreseeable future. So, rather than keep resisting this new reality, let’s embrace it with both hands and adapt our style so we can look and feel great wherever we are.
If you’d like more details of what to wear, download my “Working from Home Outfit Formulas” guide, and feel free to share it with your work colleagues and friends and family too.