A year ago if someone told you you could wear whatever you liked to work, you could rock up in your PJs and it wouldn't matter, you'd probably think it was the best news ever.
Yet here we are a year on and I'm not sure about you but I'm a little over it!
Routines are key to our life, our brains like routine. We like to know what's coming round the corner, we can prepare for that. We can deal with that. Anxiety is often made up of the 'what ifs' and the unknown. Routines give our brain peace of mind, it tells them what is coming next.
We can fall out of routine very quickly just normally however lockdowns have done that almost instantly. Our morning commutes are no more, our trips to the coffee shop have gone, our weekly circuits classes have been cancelled and with it has our need to 'dress up' or change out of our lounge wear.
There have been plenty of studies into uniforms and their importance. At school children loathe their uniforms, but they've stuck for all these years for a reason. Putting on the same uniform as your friends and peers creates a team spirit. No matter what economic background each child is from, uniforms put everyone on the same platform. Which in turn reduces the chances of bullying and segregation.
Uniforms in school also get children in 'work mode'. Ask any Teacher what it's like to teach on non-school uniform days and I'm sure they'll tell you it's a lot harder. It also means that when they come home they can come out of 'work mode'. When they take their uniform off and change back into home clothes it allows them to distinguish between work and relaxation.
Now I will probably be WFH forever, being my own boss means I don't have a uniform or have to be particularly smart for anything. Yet I still like to "dress up", not only because I love fashion and I actually quite enjoy putting on make up (it's an art form in itself!), but because I can notice the difference in my work when I do.
When I'm in my lounge wear I notice how I'm more reluctant to work, I want to be cosy on the sofa and do easy jobs. When I put on a bit of make up and a shirt rather than a hoody I feel like I should be working. My productivity improves. It also means I am able to relax more when I change at the end of my 'work day'. It's apart of my routine. Routine which, like I said before, I need to put my brain at ease.
I mentioned this on my Instagram story last week and lots of you replied saying you did the same and you also noticed the difference. Sometimes it needs someone to say that they do something for others to say that they do to or that they would like to! So this is me, saying that if you are struggling with a loss of routine, or if you've notice your productivity drop when you WFH then why not #getintogear.
Now I'm not suggesting that you need to put a full face of make up on everyday, or get out your jeans/office trousers (there are plenty of smart-ish leggings around! We need some comfort!). But even little things can help. Spraying perfume, (Most perfumes begin to go off after 1 year, we may as well use it up - even if is at home!), putting your 'brows on, doing a different hairstyle other than the 'throw into a bun', or my personal fave smart up, comfy down (leggings with a shirt and blow dried hair).
Sophie (from @sophiescountrycalender) and I have agreed that at least twice a week we will #getintogear and see what a difference it makes. Want to join us? Why not make it Monday and Wednesday? Allow a comfy Friday, but start the week off as productively as possible. If not for your work productivity, but for those clothes which have been sat in wardrobes up and down the country yearning to be worn but having no place to do so.
Let us know how you get on, or show off your nice outfits over on social media by tagging us both @doodlinglucy5 and @sophiescountrycalender and use the #getintogear .
Then of course, at the end of your working day you can reach for one of the many matching lounge sets you've accumulated over the last year and feel like you can switch off from work!