What are you wearing?

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit, many organisations and workforces were moved to homeworking arrangements virtually overnight. The message also continues to be ‘work from home if you can’, with this likely to be the norm for many for the foreseeable future.

To keep employees connected when they are working from home, technology such as emails, messaging platforms, phone calls and video meetings have enabled teams to communicate and continue working as normal. But, without being in a physical office and embarking on the daily commute, many employees have opted for more comfortable clothing while working from home – mainly because, for the most part, they aren’t visible to colleagues and bosses. If workers are required to take part in work Zoom calls, they may opt for more comfortable and casual attire on the bottom half, with a more professional look from the top up that can be seen on screen.

The NDP Group discovered that of those working from home in March, 48% said that they wear leisurewear all day, while 46% said that they wear pyjamas or loungewear all day. Elsewhere, 31% said that they wore a bra less than usual, so working from home has significantly influenced a change in clothing habits for remote employees!!

And it seems that this move towards more comfortable homeworking attire has spurred on fashion labels to design outfits for video calls.. The BBC recently reported that a “waist-up” focus has been spotted at both Milan and London Fashion Weeks, with detailed necklines and relaxed trousers. This was further evidenced with luxury fashion brand Prada featuring large coats pulled around shoulders like a blanket and the Prada logo placed near the tops of its collars. A spokesperson for the brand said “Fashion is about reacting to reality. During lockdown,we realised how important technology is and how it is impactful for us, and in some ways, an extension of ourselves.” She added: “This year has been all about ‘waist-up dressing’. Having spent a lot of time on video conference calls, the top half of our outfit has become significantly more important than our bottom half.”

Something I am sure some employers have never considered when implementing a dress code policy!

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