Feb 24, 2022 - Economy & Business

Getting to the bottom of the remote-work pajama debate

A hanger
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Remote work means never having to wear hard pants, but does it also mean you show up to the home office every day wearing ... pajamas?

Driving the news: New York City Mayor Eric Adams is urging folks back to the office to help the city's economy. "You can't stay at home in your pajamas all day," he said on Wednesday.

What they're saying: Remote workers say they don't technically wear PJs all day, but a more nuanced wardrobe comprised of comfortable athleisure is common.

  • Close to 72% of respondents to my very unscientific Twitter poll said they never or sometimes wear PJs at work. And 26% said they always wear them. (Really?)
  • "We all know there's daytime athleisure and then actual pajamas," replied Rachel Lobdell, the editorial director at Fortune magazine.
  • "Are they pajamas if they're all my clothes now?" another respondent asked.

"Enclothed harmony," is a term used by Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky to describe how people feel better when wearing clothes that match their environment, he told Marketplace last year.

  • In other words, it's weird to wear a suit when you're sitting in your bedroom on Zoom.

The bottoms* line: Remote and hybrid work are here to stay, and so, to0, is a more casual dress code. It's not all that different from how office wear turned more casual back in the early 2000s with the dotcom boom.

  • *that's a pants joke, folks.
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