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Home working outfits: comfortably dressed in the "home office"

Jogging pants or business outfit? Formal blazer or hoodie? Working from home means enjoying a certain degree of freedom. The same applies to your outfit. However, when choosing what to wear at the "home office", you should remember that your clothes impact on the quality of your work.

What exactly is a "home office"?

"Home office" means that you are working from home. It usually means sitting at a desk and working on a computer. You'll still make and take calls, and will participate in online meetings and video conferences instead of face to face meetings. If this is the first time you are working from home, you won't have developed a routine yet, and it won't be easy to switch to work mode in your own cosy four walls. To make it easier for you to start the day in your "home office" successfully, we have compiled a brief guide for beginners. Here are the basic rules for working from home focused and effectively:

Your outfit impacts on the way you work

Clothes maketh the man - there's a lot of truth in this phrase: clothes impact on your image and make an impression on the people you meet. In actual fact, many freelancers don't dress business-like when they work from home. What most of them don't realise is that the impression they give also works from the outside in. So please, don't forget: how you dress has an influence on your individual approach to work.

In front of the PC in your pyjamas?

The most extreme case would be to stay in your pyjamas after getting up and to sit down to work in them. That's not a good idea, as your mind and body associate nightwear with rest and relaxation. You run the risk of working less focused and less productively in an outfit that is all too informal. How would you feel in your pyjamas if you have to take a call from a customer or the bank, and the caller wants to discuss something important with you? Rather insecure, or even unprofessional? Remember, your inner mindset has an impact on your image and can also be sensed on the phone.

Self-management: carefully choose your home working outfit

The right clothing and a suitably well-groomed look promote working effectively. Obviously, this calls for a certain level of self-discipline and self-management. However, the impact this has on the results of your work makes it worth the effort.

The California State University has addressed the question of the degree to which being formally dressed has an impact. It invited 90 students to participate in an association test. Fifty percent of the people tested wore everyday clothes; the others were formally dressed. The test showed that those who were formally dressed were able to think more abstract and saw the bigger picture more clearly.

Business outfit when working from home: necessary or not?

We maintain that a well-chosen "home office" outfit helps you to separate your private from your professional life. Dressing with care when working from home will help you to develop a certain sense of professionalism and delivers better work results. When you wear a business outfit to make calls, you will make a more positive impression on the people you are talking to than you would in clothes that you would wear to lounge around in.

Mini test home working outfit

The following two questions help you to check how suitable your outfit is for working at home.

  • Imagine you are deeply engrossed in your work, and the doorbell rings. You open it and come face to face with your boss. What kind of outfit would you want to have on right now?

  • You are about to hold a video conference with the most important customer and the management board. Initially, you will only be talking on the phone whilst sitting down, but you have forgotten a few documents on the kitchen table and have to get up. The people you are talking to might be able to see you from head to toe. What kind of outfit would you want them to see?

These two questions show that it is important to wear at least a professional-looking top. Depending on your workplace, people might also see your trousers or skirt, your tights and your shoes. We therefore recommend choosing your business outfit carefully.

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Our tips for the perfect home working outfit

What does the perfect home working outfit look like? It's relatively easy to answer this question. If you feel that in your chosen business outfit, you could...

  • spontaneously take part in a video conference,

  • meet a customer face to face and

  • receive your boss at home,

then you are dressed correctly.

Tips for women

A fresh blouse with a slightly flared cut and wide sleeves offers you plenty of room to move and makes you look well-dressed. Rely on natural materials such as cotton, for example; this will make you feel even more comfortable.

Choosing a pair of leisure trousers for your business look is a good idea, as comfy chic and athleisure have long since become acceptable office wear. A pair of women's leisure trousers can be suitable home office wear, as their typical casual style has now become established office wear. Choose a design with cotton, wool or cashmere content. They will make you feel suitably dressed and smart.

A dress is a good alternative to a blouse and trousers. Pick a dress in a neutral colour or with a fashionable pattern, the choice is yours. If you would wear it to "Casual Friday" at the office, then it's also suitable "home office" wear.

What to wear in the "home office"?

When working from home, you wear what it would be OK to wear to work on "Casual Friday". It's fine if the style is all in all more informal. What's important is to ensure that you look well-groomed and generally presentable. For the ladies, this means putting on make-up and doing your hair as usual; men should not neglect beard grooming and hair care.

Tips for men

Men should also rely on a sophisticated casual business style shirt to feel like a professional when working from home. Understated patterns or plain-coloured shirts are a good choice and easy to match.

Choose a pair of comfortable trousers like modern flat fronts with a classic Glen check pattern, for example. Dark jeans with a high stretch content are also suitable for working from home.

Working from home - the art of drawing a clear line between job and home life

It's not difficult to separate your job and your home life when working from home. You can contribute a lot to this by choosing the right outfit and through professional conduct. Wear your jewellery as usual; do you hair and make-up as always.

Invest in one or two comfortable trousers that are suitable office wear in colours that are easy to match as well as two or three matching tops. That should be enough to ensure you're well-equipped for working from home. It is also a good idea to have one "girl boss" or "boy boss" piece in your wardrobe, like a perfectly tailored cool blazer that still offers you plenty of room to move, for example. This piece will lift your mood, give you back your confidence when you hit a motivation low and will instantly help you to switch to work mode.