Remote work dress code: Casual Monday through Friday

The graphic shows a calendar with casual written across it.

RNI, the Remote Nation Institute, is holding a series of half-hour webinars to help you help your employees work remotely, efficiently, and happily. As part of these learnings, we offer tips, based on years of remote work experience.

Every day, we’ll give you one concrete action you can take with your team to keep your people focused and on task.

Sophaya’s Tip of the Day

If you’ve been working a while, you probably remember when working meant working in an office — with people. It also meant wearing a suit — not just for the interview, but every day. Of course, there are still companies that require employees to wear suits, but even having a dress code is rarer now than it’s ever been. Business casual tends to be the working uniform of today.

Now that most office employees are working from home, what’s the dress code?

Most folks are probably wearing a more comfortable version of what they usually wear to work. A button-down shirt becomes a polo. A well-tailored suit (Yes, we still see those.) morphs into a pair of slacks and a blouse. Khaki-like pants and a nice shirt/blouse/sweater combo transforms into jeans and a t-shirt. As the weather warms, we’ll see more shorts, cropped linen pants, and casual skirts. Of course, there will always be the Oxford shirt on top, pajama pants and bunny slippers on the bottom look.

My extended team members have curated their own collections of remote work attire.

Roberta, a member of my extended team, wears a lot of black. So much that she’s trying to see how many days she can sport different entirely black ensembles. I think she’s up to two weeks! Roberta hums I Walk the Line a tiny bit.

Kath, a film nut who usually attends film festivals in the spring, wears a different film-related t-shirt every day to keep her connected to her hobby and share it with her team.

Stephanie runs every morning. She’s dedicated! She dresses in comfortable and sporty clothes after her post-run shower while treating us to her fabulous online cooking show. Honestly, it all looks delicious. I hope when all this is over, we have a potluck brunch so I can taste her awesome breakfast potatoes.

Caroline dresses in yoga pants and a funny t-shirt to work from home. We all look forward to having a laugh at a tee from her collection each day.

For remote teams, comfort is king — and queen

Whether your remote team members inject themes into their wardrobes or just dress in a more laid-back version of their regular office selves, comfort is the rule of the day. If you’re working at the dining room table while a toddler watches Frozen for the 14th time this week (and it’s only Monday), and tripping on Legos on your way to join a conference call, it makes sense to wear clothes that move with you. It might also make sense to have a little fun with it just to show your human side.

If members of your team seem reticent to share during your weekly meetings, you might suggest a day when everyone wears a certain color, or shirts with place names, or concert or sports-related tees.

Remote ≠ sloppy

What I do every day is wake up, shower, dress, and dry my hair. It makes me feel more awake and ready for my day. I also change when I shut down my computer. It differentiates work from home better than just leaving my office and walking over to the couch or into the kitchen to make dinner. Remote work calls for work-life integration, but it still feels good to turn it off and have family or me time.

To learn more about managing a remote workforce, join us for our RNI Remote Work Series: You sent them home to work remotely, NOW WHAT?

Cool graphic, right? Check out the Remote Nation site for more fun remote work items.