Working from home is such an odd concept, isn’t it?
I mean, for generations the human race has been conditioned to treat ‘work’ and ‘home’ as two entirely separate entities. Ask any man born before 1970 for advice on work/life balance and they would solemnly say to “‘not bring your work home with you”, as if it was like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters.
And yet, here we are. If you’re reading this, I would guess that you now spend at least part of your week working from home.
It can be tough. You can no longer pop over to someone’s desk for a quick chat, you need to schedule a Zoom call (“you’re on mute!”). You don’t have a commute to help you switch off after a long day, you simply open a door and all of a sudden you’re instantly transformed into a husband, partner or Dad. Oh, and it’s always your turn to make the drinks...
I could go on.
It’s not all bad though - you never miss a delivery. Lunches are cheaper, and you can unload the dishwasher while you’re on the clock. No more commuting costs, and you don’t have to fake interest about the adorable things that Karen-from-accounts’ niece was doing this weekend. And, crucially, you can wear whatever you like!
Getting the right working from home look is no easy feat though. You need to strike the perfect balance between comfort (pyjamas) and professionalism (three-piece suit) - you don’t want to be suddenly expected on a call and be caught with your pants down.
So what do you wear? Here is a quick guide to help you navigate through these potentially tricky waters:
Strong Up Top
As any good football manager would tell you, these days you need to have options up top. If any of your colleagues, or clients, are going to see you, this will be the bit that they see, so it’s important to employ a decent amount of squad rotation.
To drag this metaphor out even further, you should pick the team depending on your opponents. Got an important meeting this morning? Well, a stylish polo shirt or unbuttoned casual shirt might be the way to go.
Got a meeting-free day? Then be comfy! A luxuruous, organic pyjama t-shirt could be the way to go, perhaps with your favourite hoodie or jumper on top if you haven’t yet worked out how to set your thermostat to being on during weekdays.
Finally, don’t ignore the possibility of deploying the ‘working from home trenchcoat’ - A Dressing Gown. That mercurial striker that doesn’t need to train and is often out ‘injured’, but when he gets on the pitch, my word does everyone know about it. Probably not conducive to the most productive of mornings, but sometimes it’s just the best way to start a day.
The (Pyjama) Bottom Line
There are very few rules when it comes to below the waist when you’re working from home.
Wait, that could be misconstrued, and the last thing you need is HR on your case…
I’m talking about trousers.
Look, it’s been very hard for us all to keep fit since all this nonsense started, so there is no judgement here if you’re struggling to fit into your work trousers - you’re not alone. The beauty of this situation is, you don’t really need to! (Although we should all reaffirm that commitment to start running again...just as soon as the weather improves)
As the video that I linked above articulated perfectly, you do need to wear something. After that though, you have pretty much free rein. I am a firm believer in the mantra “happy workers make better workers”, so wear whatever makes you happy.
Comfort is the best way to achieve this, so pyjama bottoms are the way to go. Specifically, these relaxed fit pyjama bottoms that are as stylish as they are comfortable. You’ll be desperate to stand up mid-meeting just to show them off!
Many of your colleagues will wear jogging bottoms, and that’s fine - they will be comfy too, and good to have on the bench. But, if you’re looking for the next level, a really great pair of pyjama bottoms are the way to go.
Sock it to ‘em
I have always found socks to be an incredibly underappreciated item of clothing - but a good pair of socks can really make a difference to your comfort.
Similar to the pyjama bottoms, you could be perfectly fine wearing a standard pair of sport socks, but why not treat yourself to some extra warm, woolen walking socks with a cushioned sole?
Slip into something more comfortable?
I see slippers as an absolute must for the amount of time we are all spending in the house, but without wanting to sound like my grandad (not easy in a section about slippers) things have changed a lot since I was a lad. The range of slippers available on the market blows my tiny mind. Do you want a high heel? A bath slipper? Memory Foam sole? Woollen boots? Knitted?
Or maybe just your basic “luxurious Italian felt upper using only recycled wool, 100% organic wool lining, supportive neoprene heel cradle, adaptable foam footbed and responsibly sourced rubber sole”?
Do yourself a favour and spend 20 minutes finding your perfect slipper - you will not regret it.
We have to accept that whatever happens over the next few months, working from home is going to be a big part of your life going forward. Working in your pyjamas is probably here to stay, so I urge you to embrace it.
Your company will have set some, probably unofficial, guidelines by now, I’m sure, so you will know what you can and can’t get away with. So think of the money you have been saving over the last twelve months on your commute, ‘‘work clothes’ and lunch. It’s time to invest in comfort.