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A Word On Dressing For Work From Home

December 9, 2009

I was just a wee lad during the early ‘80s, knee high to a cat’s ass. But my Father has recounted to me on a number of occasions about a time in those days when he was unemployed, during which his regular routine was to wake up, bright and early, shower up, put on his suit and tie, and head straight to the basement to pour through classified job ads, write cover letters, build his resume, and whatever else he could do to chase down employment.

If you ask my mother, she’ll say my Dad was being ‘eccentric’ or just plain weird. But I greatly respect my Father’s thinking and his actions. He had a wife and kids to support, and like a good Father he knew what he had to do.

man-dressed-for-success.jpgYes, he could have sat around in his underwear while performing all of those tasks, but the question is would he have performed them with as much efficiency, as much energy, and as much focus as he possibly could have?

Many days now I’ll don a pair of wool slacks, black socks to match, and a good button-down shirt only to take twenty steps into my home office.

It’s not a daily routine, and there are days when I definitely enjoy dressing down (or not at all). But as much as I’d like to hate on the expressions “clothes make the man” and “dress for success”, I feel there is something appreciable to be said for it all.

When dressing casually becomes habitual, there is a risk in that you may begin to take on a more casual attitude towards your work. That is to say, it becomes easier to let trivial and mundane distractions creep in to steal away your time.

Maybe one could ask, “Are you working casually, or casually working?”

Of course, sometimes any change is a good change. If you’re the cubicle warrior who’s forced to wear a suit and tie to the office every day then Hawaiian shirt Friday’s may be your antidote.

But if you work for yourself and there’s no one holding you to high standards of dress on a daily routine, and you find yourself getting caught up in a daily humdrum of unfocused activities then might I suggest that tomorrow you rock out in your best attire and see how well it suits you (pun intended.)

You may find it a welcome change-up that helps to sharpen your focus and put you back on track to being more productive.

At the end of the day, regardless of how you dress, it’s all about your mindset. Do you believe that sloppy dress leads to sloppy thinking, or that clothes really do make the woman or man?.

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