How colour psychology can improve productivity when working from home


As people around the globe make the switch to working from home, many people have been faced with the issue of what to wear when you don’t have to stick to a corporate dress code.

It is generally accepted that there are three distinct dress codes that people fall back on when working from home. Many of us opt for the ‘casual’ look; over the last decade the rise of ‘athleisure’ has meant that comfortable, often elasticated, clothing has crept its way into the wardrobe on a regular basis and is no longer exclusively for exercise or gym sessions.

Best described by Deirdre Clemente, a fashion historian at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she said: “One hundred years ago, you would have day clothes for the street, dinner clothes for the restaurant, theatre clothes and so many genres of dress. Those barriers have come down; athleisure is the ultimate breaking down of barriers.”

Casual clothing represents freedom of choice for some, giving them more time and energy for tackling the challenges of home-working, particularly if they share an office with pets or children! However, adjusting to working from home can be challenging, and some people prefer to dress in their usual work wardrobe as part of maintaining their morning routine, which can help to mentally prepare them for the day ahead. Research has also found that people feel more competent when wearing business dress.

However, being suited and booted may not be wholly practical when working from home and can sometimes be uncomfortable, therefore, most people choose to wear a combination of casual and corporate clothing.  A straw poll of the Dimensions team, saw that almost 70% of those that will be taking part in regular video conference calls will be sporting the ‘business-casual’ look; office wear from the waist up, but more comfortable casual clothing from the waist down.  Many choosing to pair their favourite jeans or leggings with a t-shirt & blazer, open neck shirt or loose fitting top.

Your choice of ‘uniform’ when working from home can significantly influence your productivity, as can your choice of colour. Depending on the colour you choose to wear, it can have a positive impact on your day and it can make a difference to how you feel:

  • Red is a dramatic colour and is most commonly associated with energy, power and confidence
  • Green has been shown to inspire creativity and productivity, as it is a restful colour for eyes
  • Orange is a colour of stimulation and enthusiasm and has been proved to produce an energising effect as it increases oxygen supply to the brain
  • Yellow has a warming effect and is known to encourage creativity, cheerfulness and positivity

It’s very easy to add a splash of colour to your daily outfit, just add bright accessories, such as a pair of earrings or an eye-catching belt.

Lastly, it is very easy for people to disengage from their work when they are at home, but clothing choice can help with this. When you leave the ‘office’ simply change out of your work clothes to signal that you are now at home. By developing a capsule working-from-home wardrobe and being creative with ways to look professional whilst being comfortable, you can dress for success and not have the worry of what to wear each morning.

What you wear does make a difference, but most importantly is how your clothes make you feel! Experiment with styles and combinations to find out what suits you, so that you can love how you look at work, even when you are working from home!



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