Why Working in Your Pajamas Doesn't Work

by Savannah O'Leary

There are plenty of studies indicating that what you wear affects what your employer thinks of you. Researchers have gone so far as to suggest that even the color you wear to a job interview affects your chances. But what about the impact your clothing has on your work output?

A 2012 study explored on David McRaney's " You Are Not So Smart" podcast this week found that working from home might be damaging your productivity in ways you never imagined, in part because of what you wear while you're there. Though you might feel cozy in your bunny slippers and pajamas, safe from the scrutiny of your coworkers, the clothes you don in the privacy of your own home could be affecting your attention span.

The study, conducted by researchers Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky, found that people who were dressed in a doctor’s lab coat appeared to be more attentive then when they were told the identical coat was a painter’s coat. In other words, you're only as attentive as the task you're dressed for would demand you be.

The findings led Adam and Galinsky to develop their theory of “enclothed cognition," the idea that your behavior, thoughts, and judgments are connected to the clothes you wear. So if you wear pajamas all day, you're going to be about as attentive and tuned in as you are on a lazy Saturday morning.

Point being: even when you're home alone, dress to impress.