Dressing For Work While Working at Home

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you self-employed and working from home? Maybe you’re a SAHM or a WAHM? If so, you’re among a growing population; more and more companies are allowing and even encouraging telecommuting as work option.  But with this option comes an unexpected challenge—what is the appropriate work at home wardrobe?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of throwing on sweats or workout clothes in the morning and staying in them all day long.  After all, these clothes are really comfortable.  Some people even stay in their pajamas all day when they work from home. It’s tempting to be comfortable sitting by your aquarium in the living room with nice aquarium lighting, but unfortunately sweats or pajamas are not the ideal work at home wardrobe.

The way you look directly affects the way you feel and act. If you dress like you are taking the day off, you are subconsciously telling yourself that’s where you’d rather be rather than working. It probably won’t be blatant, but it may come across in your work and in your voice on the phone.

You don’t have to go to the other extreme of dressing in a suit or a skirt just to sit in your home office, but somewhere in the middle of these two is a good compromise. Business casual is a great way to give your body and mind the signal that you are ready to work—no matter what your location.

Business casual presents its own challenges as there is no clear definition of what it means.  In some offices it means literally anything goes. Others have guidelines for example they may have ruled out certain items like capris or flip flops noting them to be not enough “business” and all “casual”.

A good idea is to create a few guidelines for yourself that will keep you in “business mode”.  For example, you might still feel professional in a pair of jeans, but not the paint-stained or ripped ones you wear on the weekends.

Ultimately, the key to your work at home wardrobe is to actually pay attention to it and not let it be an afterthought.


Ellen is a blogger who works at home with her two dogs.   

The WAHM Ambition: Could I? Should I?

I have quite mastered it: the art of staring blankly into space.  For quite some time now, I find myself constantly lost in thought, fixing my gaze on a random object while I’m in the office- with anyone hardly noticing.

Obviously, I’m unhappy at work.  But it’s not because of my boss, as she is heaven sent.  It’s the work itself.  I’ve been slaving away for the longest time, but apparently, any dreams of career advancement will have to fly out the window.  In this company, the position I presently hold is the highest possible position they can give me (and to think I’m a licensed professional!).

I’m stuck in a no-brainer job.

So, my thoughts inadvertently teeter towards those of becoming a WAHM, or work-at-home mom (can also mean write-at-home mom, if you want).  I can almost imagine the sheer bliss of working in my pajamas.  I wouldn’t have to get up early each day, and beg for the extra five minutes in bed.  I will be given the privilege to do something I love and get paid for it.  It won’t feel like work at all.

More than the mediocrity of my job right now, the reason I want to be a WAHM is that I want to spend more time with my daughter on weekdays, as she spends weekends with her dad.

Before I succumb to the lure of WAHM-hood though, I have to admit that there are some trade-offs.  The pay- I think- won’t be as good if I work from home, and I’ll lose the other benefits I enjoy from my current job.

If I compare myself with other WAHMs I know, they’re better off, since their husbands work as well.  I, on the other hand, am a single mom living on a single income.  Money, it seems, should be my top priority.

Does that mean I have to put aside my own happiness? Can’t I work and do something I love at the same time?

Time is gnawing at my youth… I have very limited options, at this point…

Maybe I’ll just find myself a rich guy to marry?