You Should Still Dress Up To Go To Work, Even If You Work At Home
You may be familiar with the expression "the clothes make the (wo)man." A psychologist might agree with that sentiment, as preliminary studies seem to suggest people adopt traits associated with different styles and fashions.
How many times have you rolled out of bed, turned on your computer, and started working in your pajamas? Did you feel like you were getting stuff done with the same sort of gusto and attention to quality as you would have if you got up, showered, and put on clothes for the day? As Aaron Taube of Business Insider writes, quite a few psychologists (and at least one study) suggest that workers and students who wear professional clothing are more likely to perform better at tasks and on tests than those who dress casually. Maybe the clothes really do make the (wo)man.
What’s the Big Idea?
Taube interviewed Dr. Karen Pine, a fashion psychologist at University of Hertfordshire, about the ways we adapt to the supposed expectations of our dress:
“A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear’, so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”
The study I mentioned earlier, also covered by Taube, came out of Northwestern University in 2012. It determined that subjects who were given lab coats to wear when taking an exam did slightly better than those wearing their normal garb.
That’s not to say we should don lab coats whenever we get ready to teleconference or blog or whatever we do for a living at home. But for goodness sake, throw on a shirt at least.
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