“Must be great to work in your pyjamas every day” Is the most often uttered sentence when I tell people I am an entrepreneur. But I don’t actually do that.
For 16 years I got up every work day and had to dress for the office. Some roles required a suit; others were so casual I rarely wore shoes; one often saw me in jeans and a campaign shirt to raise awareness of the latest fundraiser/event. Still, each day I knew that I had to leave the house, representing myself and my employer.
But what do you wear when you don’t have to leave the house? Or when your employer is you? I mean most days it’s just me, the hubby and the cat so why does it matter? There are two factors that determine what I wear at the home office: is it comfortable/weather appropriate? would it matter if a client saw me wearing it?
I have had more unexpected client meetings as an entrepreneur than I ever did in an office – and having a hubby who also works at home doubles that. Often they are Skype meetings (where I apply the news anchor rule of as long as the top half looks professional the bottom can be leggings) but still, when I am interacting with a client I want them to know I take the work seriously (because I do).
As I mentioned in an earlier post my solution is to have a work uniform. In summer it was simple, comfy dresses but in winter I’ve opted more for leggings/jeans and cosy woollen knits. I bought, in the end, it seems like 100 (but really is only 7) pairs of leggings and depending on how cold it is depends on how many other layers I put on (right now I have a t-shirt, cardigan and scarf keeping me cosy). I am definitely comfortable and warm but I look smart.
I did try to work in my PJs a few times early on, but you know what I found? After working around other people for such a long time being in my PJs meant I got maybe 20% of my to-do list done. I am just more productive when I “dress for work”. If you are just working from home for a day it’s not an issue but when it’s your full-time job that level of productivity is not going to pay the mortgage.
Finally, there is one thing that I quickly realised – in my entrepreneurial life I forgot to budget for wardrobe. It’s not something I ever thought about budgeting for before. I mean if I wanted new clothes I’d just shop but now that I seem to be reinvesting all of my spare cash in the business things like clothes become something we need to think about.
So what do you wear to work every day? Do you have a uniform or are you able to be productive in your PJs?