Why it’s okay, and even beneficial, to stay comfortable at home
It happened. It really, finally happened. I officially have a reason to stay in my pajamas, or at least in comfy clothes, for the majority of my days.
Now, most assuredly like you, I have had a fair share of people try to convince me that I will be more productive and encouraged to get things done if I change into “everyday clothes.” I am here to tell you not to listen to those nay-sayers. Do what works for you.
Obviously, there are still some reasons that you should get dressed during this quarantine, such as if you are an essential worker, or if you need to do some light grocery shopping. I am not encouraging that because of these special circumstances we throw everything out the window, but I am suggesting that when you work from home, you should stay comfortable.
My first argument is that there is no good reason to waste a good outfit. Everyone has a shirt or pair of pants that they absolutely adore, but with every wash, the quality decreases that a bit more. Why would you waste a wash on clothes that no one, except maybe your family, is going to enjoy.
According to some Daily Mail, shirts can be designed to only be in prime condition for up to 30 or 40 washes. Why, oh why, would you waste two or three of those washes on sitting around the house for a month doing absolutely nothing?
On a more serious note, this conversation is another in the line of “mind over matter.” Since I have been home, my productivity has slightly waivered, and many would say that is due to the fact that I do not have the same morning routine. However, that is a cop out. Furthermore, that is not an argument for changing clothes, but an argument for creating a routine.
Having a routine does things like create structure, make us efficient and cultivate good habits. Changing into everyday clothes does not make us productive, but creating a new kind of temporary lifestyle does. It is mind over matter. If you can convince yourself you need to be productive, it does not matter what you are wearing.
Again, I want to emphasize that you should not be just lounging all day and avoiding all responsibility because the situation of the world has changed. If you are able to be productive, then it is better to be productive and comfortable, rather than wearing jeans that you do not want to because they’re uncomfortable.
Studies have actually shown that this happens to be the case. In an article appropriately titled “If you want productive employees, let them wear sweatpants,” the true benefits of wearing sweats instead of slacks is discussed.
It was found that when people were allowed to dress to their desired comfort level in the workplace, more camaraderie and a healthier work environment are both encouraged and cultivated. If this is the case in an actual office building, then it provides all the more reason to stay comfortable when you are working from home.
Ultimately, whatever makes you the most comfortable is what you should be working in, and I know very few people who would choose jeans over sweats.
My argument is not that you cannot ever change your outfit, or that you should never get ready, but while we have the time and the opportunity, take advantage of being comfortable at home. Don’t worry about wasting outfits, or putting things together. Instead, take a warm shower, throw on your favorite sweater and snuggle in bed with your laptop to get to work.
Don’t be concerned with judgement. Don’t give in to what society says is “more productive.” Find what works for you. Be as comfortable as you can before we have to go back into the work force and dress up every day. Go dig up your favorite sweater and sweatpants, get comfortable and get to work.