Business Style Guide – Home Office
Many of us are now in a very new work environment – working from home. While the occasional home office day was nothing out of the ordinary, suddenly working remotely has become a permanent situation. And at the moment, we do not know yet for how long.
As I mentioned in My Secrets to Working Remotely from Home, routines are very important. One of them is to get dressed and do not look as if you are constantly working in your pyjamas. A “power outfit” is equally important. And yes, you can have such a power outfit during home office. You will need it to function. While it may be a shift dress with funky high heels and bold jewellery at the office, it is a slightly different version. I know you will perform from home, but please make it fashion! And I am sharing my personal favourites to achieve your goals.
There will be different days during your home office. On some, you will have video conferences, on others your meetings will be on the phone and there will be days where you will not see anyone, not even virtually. Unless you prefer to sit at home in your full office apparel (I am all for dressing up, but even that is a bit too much for me), you will need different outfits depending on the tasks of your day. My recommendation: dress in a way you could answer the door if your boss or your most important customer randomly knocks at your door today.
Most of the interaction with the “outside world” will be in front of a screen. Hence, the main focus of the outfit recommendations below is on the upper body. I included some more comfy pants than those you would probably wear to the office – just because we are at home and I do not think it would be comfortable to spend the entire day in those pants. But if you feel like it, wear the same pants or skirts you would wear at the office instead of my comfy recommendations.
Similar to pictures, our face needs more make-up for video conferences than in a normal office setting. You can go bold with eyeliner or lipstick. In contrast to your typical office environment, it will not be too much and you may actually need an extra bit of colour to avoid looking pale during the conference.
Formal Video Conference
If you have a video conference with a customer or with colleagues/superiors for which you would also formally dress up at the office, I recommend to do the same when working from home. I mentioned in my Style Guides for Singapore and Vienna that I am a big fan of colours. Hence, I think you should go for it. I would just stay away from prints, as they can look messy during a video conference.
To wear under a blazer or just simply paired with some bold jewellery, I have chosen some uni tops for you.
As mentioned above, most of the focus will be on your upper body. I, therefore, chose some simple and more comfy pants.
Dresses & Skirts
If you feel like a dress or a skirt, go for it. I actually think that dresses are a great solution for home office. A dress or a skirt makes you look professional and you do not have to think too much about what to match with them. Moreover, if you pick the right material, they are a more comfortable option for your home office and can be pimped up easily with the right jewellery or makeup.
Tunics may not be the first thing coming to your mind. You may think about a hot summer day by the beach. But I have started to make Indian tunics paired with leggings or jeans my go-to apparel for more casual home office days.
Some more inspiration
Of course, I included some casual options. Sorry, no sweatpants – even if you think nobody can see you. You will not feel like a boss in sweats. At least I cannot. 🙂
Shoes & Socks
In many countries, shoes inside the house are a no-go. Hence, I mostly included socks and slippers to wear at home. But I also included options for my American readers who love to wear shoes inside 🙂
More Business Style Guides
Singapore Business Style Guide
Further Home Office Tips
How to Successfully Work Remotely from Home
All information as of the date of publishing/updating. We cannot accept responsibility for the correctness or completeness of the data, or for ensuring that it is up to date. All recommendations are based on the personal experience and opinion of Elisabeth Steiger.