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Forget the Zoom Shirt: Get Dressed for Productivity!

When I read about Zoom shirts in the New York Times, my heart sank. “Zoom shirts,” if you haven’t heard of them, are shirts that people keep on hand to quickly put on for video meetings. The point of a Zoom shirt is to cover up the fact that you’ve been working in your PJs.  I get […]

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When I read about Zoom shirts in the New York Times, my heart sank.

“Zoom shirts,” if you haven’t heard of them, are shirts that people keep on hand to quickly put on for video meetings.

The point of a Zoom shirt is to cover up the fact that you’ve been working in your PJs. 

I get it! It’s so tempting to wear sweatpants when you’re not going into the office. And with so many people working from home because of COVID-19, the Zoom shirt is having a moment.

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Plus as a video and media expert this is a trick that anchors have been using for years. My husband being one of them! I remember the days when he’d be on the anchor desk to deliver the latest sports news and he’d have shorts and flip flops on. But also a tie, jacket and button down shirt on top! That’s because the camera shot would never capture his legs under the anchor desk. 

But as a productivity expert, with all of us working from home — I know that not getting dressed doesn’t help you get work done. In fact, having a Zoom shirt will make you less productive and more stressed out. 

No one needs that!

Getting fully dressed puts you in the right mindset for working, which can be really tricky to do when you’re not in the office. I’ve been working from home for a few years, and I know it’s possible to make a home office work for you. All my tips for setting up a productive remote office are in my new LinkedIn Learning course — you can check them out there.

But even if you have a great home office, PJs will sabotage your productivity. 

Forget the Zoom shirt — here are some ways to be cozy AND professional while creating healthy boundaries between work and your personal life: 

CONSIDER COMFORT

Looking your best helps you feel your best, which will translate to your job. The goal is to find outfits that put you in a mindset to get work done — without sacrificing comfort.

Wearing sweatpants isn’t the only way to be comfortable when you’re working remotely. Look in your closet and see what you have. Elastic-waist slacks could work well, for example. Try a soft sweater over your blouse, or think about adding some statement earrings to a flowy dress.

You don’t necessarily have to buy anything new. Just think about combining your clothes in a way that keeps you comfortable but also looks put-together. 

For more inspiration check out my friend Cassandra Sethi’s advice on Instagram “Next Level Wardrobe” and her blog. She’s a personal stylist and has some really great and fashionable ideas! 

DO YOUR MAKEUP

When Zoom calls happen, you want to be ready. You never know when one will pop up these days. I learned early on when I started working for myself from home that I needed to be ready for anything. So I always get ready every single day. 

While doing your hair or makeup might seem like a waste of time if you’re not going outside, it can actually be a way for you to reclaim some time for yourself.

If you’re the kind of person who used to enjoy doing makeup and hair for work, don’t feel like you have to abandon that because you’re working from home. You can set aside some time to create a video-ready look. Investing time into making yourself feel confident is always a good idea. 

CLOCK OUT

When your living room is also your office, you can start to feel like you’re always at work. And wearing the same outfit during work hours and free time doesn’t help.

A big part of creating a productive workspace at home is putting your brain in “work mode.” This is something I touch on in my LinkedIn Learning course about setting up a remote office. You need to create a remote office that works for you, but you also have to set yourself up for success in that space. That means getting dressed!

If you get dressed for work, you can change into comfier clothes when the workday ends. This change marks the end of your working time, and it’s a helpful psychological trick to allow you to relax and feel “off the clock” when you’re working from home. And then you can really enjoy those sweatpants!

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NEW COURSE: Want to learn more about how to adjust to working remotely? You can check out my new LinkedIn Learning course, Organizing Your Remote Office for Maximum Productivity. Click here for access!

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