Focus (English version)

Coronavirus breeds “corona-comfort”

The year 2020 is definitely “one for the books”.  The presence of Covid-19 in our society has prompted multiple lockdowns, forced millions of job losses and resulted in cancellations of countless special events and holiday gatherings.

People are spending more time at home.  It is only natural to seek some comfort in familiar surroundings during times of uncertainty. Those who are fortunate enough and have the means to work from home may choose to do so in a more relaxed and comfortable fashion.

Pre-pandemic, the morning routine might have consisted of time spent in the closet searching for an appropriate outfit that would meet workplace standards. The internal debate was real: is a blazer too much or is denim too casual?

The thought of dressing in a comfy pair of sweats for the office would never cross the mind.  However, a home office environment does not come with such constraints.  As the “virtual workspace” movement gains traction, what does that mean for one’s sense of style and formality?

While more Canadians are adapting to a work from home arrangement, a survey conducted by ClickMeeting found that 56% said they enjoy remote work.  Perhaps it is the freedom to dress more casuallythat people find enjoyable. These sentiments are not just those of Canadians, but shared by many around the world.

For instance, according to the latest survey by Ipsos MORI, 67% of Britons say they are dressing more casually since the pandemic started. Another 59% agree working from home makes the decision to “dress-down” an easy one.

Half of all participants in the survey admit to wearing loungewear (joggers, leggings, gym wear) as the clothing of choice for daily wear. It’s not surprising then that 43% said they dress in conventional business attire less frequently.

After all, what is the need when the home-office environment is less formal and one does not need to meet in-person to conduct business.Even during a virtual business meeting, one can simply choose to switch off the video, especially if they are improperly dressed.

Although people may be relaxing their standards in personal attire,the areas of personal hygiene and grooming routine are another situation.Thankfully, a large proportion of respondents are sticking to a healthy hygiene routine.  However, one out of every fouradmit they are less likely to shower each morning, compared to before the pandemic.

Covid-19 has introduced many challenges in our livesand disrupted some of our habits and daily routine. It has prompted changes in the way we work, the way we dress, and the way we interact with others.

As with any lifestyle change, it is good to stick to a regime, after all, there is comfort in that. So, wake up, wash up, get dressed and show up for work, even if it is a few steps from the bed to the workspace.

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