Warm, fuzzy slippers... Does reading those words evoke images of cuddling up on the sofa in front of the fireplace? I bet it doesn’t conjure up images of working hard for the money. That’s because we are what we wear and our outfits affect our productivity.
In this generation, where lawyers left and right are moving their downtown locations into virtual offices, we have to remember that working from home, or the beach in Maui, might still necessitate dressing up for work.
Life coaches suggest when people switch gears at the end of the workday, they should also change their clothes. Putting on something more comfortable actually helps people relax, both physically and mentally. In her book, Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion, Professor Karen Pine argues that a person’s clothing affects his or her mindset in a tangible way. Pine says “when we put on a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.” The right outfit, according to one reader, helped her “become considerably more confident, attractive, and powerful.”
There was a post circulating around LinkedIn awhile back showing a photo of three businessmen on an airplane. Instead of sporting sweatpants, they were all dressed to the nines. One of the subjects wrote that he wears his suit on flights so he can have the feeling of being at work up in the friendly skies. Another bonus is that when you land, you’re ready for your first meeting in the event the airline sends your luggage to a faraway land. Plus, flights are fabulous for networking. The people have nowhere to go!
So the next time you sit down to start working where colleagues can’t see your pajama pants under the Skype screen, you may want to actually get dressed to make the most of your billable time. And the reverse is also true. Once you are finished working for the day (your workday should end at some point!), take off your work clothes and shoes to get into that relaxation mode.
Lawyer and legal writer, Julie worked primarily in real estate law before focusing her career on the social media and marketing aspects of the legal industry.