As we all adjust to the continued flux of lockdown, the way we dress for ‘work’ is changing - particularly for the office / tech worker who now spends most of the day on Zoom/Teams.
Whilst the need for suiting and booting may be changing - there are some reasons to think about how you dress for Zoom.
Suits To Pyjamas To What Next?
Remember when suits were all the rage for work?
Seems like a long time ago when we had to think about ‘suiting and booting’ for work and head in for the commute to the office.
Interestingly, in 2019 The Guardian posted an article on the decline of the shirt and tie in favour of chinos and trainers. It seems even before Covid we were considering a change to the more casual approach.
In particular, The C-Suite of Silicon Valley has driven a culture change for a slightly more casual approach to dress.
Then as Covid hit and the need to suit up for the office took a further nose dive, especially in Europe, the impact on suiting providers really took a hit. Big brands have seen a massive decline in business, sending many into bankruptcy.
The Impact Of Too Casual On Wellbeing
Whilst a relaxation of dress can be seen as a positive to drive a more authentic approach to company culture and your own personal brand, we have to be careful not to be too casual.
Sounds like an obvious point that turning up on a Zoom in your pyjamas may not impress your colleagues - but this also has a big impact on your own wellbeing.
We live in a time where when working from home - we can become a bit of a slave to the desk/laptop and the idea of being too dressed up, seems a little pointless and uncomfortable for the day of sedentary meeting.
However, during the day you will take some breaks and catch yourself in the bathroom mirror.
If too casual….unshaven, unbrushed hair, poorly dressed, what do you see? How do your feel?
Whilst you could be mistaken in thinking this is a vanity point, this is about body image for self esteem.
Many studies have shown that taking pride in your appearance and looking your self determined best does wonders for your self esteem and overall mental health.
Note here I mention - self determined best.
We are not necessarily looking to catch anyone’s eye here in this instance, or dress to impress others, we are just thinking about a little boost of wellbeing as we catch ourselves in the mirror and see someone looking healthy and well looking back.
For some, the prospect of working from home is not so appealing anymore and we will need every trick in the book to boost our own mental wellbeing through the winter.
We all need a little self esteem boost from time to time, and a few extra minutes of dress up in the morning can go a long way.
Dressing Up for Your Career
Another great reason to spend a few extra minutes in the morning boosting your self esteem with a little dress up - is for your career.
I had an interesting conversation the other day which went along the lines of ‘If I have a day of internal meetings - why dress up?’.
It’s a really interesting point, which many of us will have considered.
The meetings are just internal.
Last time I checked though, whilst customers are super important, these internal people make decisions about our careers and enable us to be successful.
So internal is just as important.
I am not suggesting suiting and booting for others' benefit. If your self esteem is boosted, your performance will be boosted too, having a bigger impact on colleagues.
Also we cannot get away from biases.
If we are a little unkept, how might that reflect on other perception of our work?
We are all working hard on our bias right now, and this is one which remains right in the minds eye for hiring talent.
Again, I am not suggesting the extreme here - this is about us feeling good, to perform better to influence others.
Not dressing up for others' benefit.
This is about us feeling confident in our image.
Dress For Yourself
Whilst we navigate these times, it’s important to have a routine to keep yourself happy and healthy.
Dressing for yourself and your career can make a small but impactful difference on your mental health.
Don’t do it for anyone else. Dress to impress… yourself.