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April 23, 2021
by Tina Arnoldi

Wearing Pajamas When Working From Home May Lead To Poorer Mental Health

April 23, 2021 08:44 by Tina Arnoldi  [About the Author]

Photo by C. Z. Shi on UnsplashA study by the Medical Journal of Australia found that wearing pajamas when working from home may lead to poorer mental health. Researchers reported that “more participants who wore pyjamas during the day at least one day a week reported that their mental health had declined while working from home.”

However, researchers are not sure if wearing pajamas during the day was a cause or effect of mental health decline. Since this work style became common over the past year due to COVID-19, I invited people to share their thoughts on whether pajamas while working was a positive or negative thing

Freelancer Rigel Celeste said “Wearing pajamas while you work is like eating candy: such a happy and indulgent treat! But do it too much and you start to feel sloppy, sluggish, and a little sick.”  Doug Liantonio, Marketing Outreach Analyst, agrees with Celeste. “Working in pajamas puts me in a bad mood because it makes me feel like I haven't done anything all day. Then it makes the rest of the day seem harder than it really is.”

But not everyone agrees, Jerry Han, CMO with Prize Rebel, has often worked in his pajamas over the years. “Working at home has made me completely indifferent to work attire. Not having to change has enabled me to get started on work as soon as I open my eyes and has proven to be even more productive. That extra comfort rids me of the need to unbutton a shirt or lose the tie entirely. With comfort comes complete focus on the task at hand without any restraints.”

However, Han believes that moderation is key, “There are days when a change of scenery is important and human interaction is essential. That’s when the time comes to get out of pajamas, get dressed, leave the house and find a new, refreshing place to work from surrounded by nature or even just other digital nomads to give you the energy you need to be productive.”

Morgan Taylor, Co-Founder of Link Sourcery, thinks it’s about more than what people wear that influences mental health. “The study confirms working remotely can lead to poor mental health, and my best guess is that’s because you’re isolated and have fewer social interactions. But like most things, it varies from person to person. Some are more susceptible to the negative aspects of working from home.” While he sees it working for some, it’s not for him. “Working in pajamas tends to make me feel more relaxed, and a bit out of sorts; mentally down, just not as awake.”

Janet Philbin, LCSW agrees that what works for one person may not work for another. She works with clients to help them balance stress, manage anxiety and improve mood. “Comfortable clothing can calm your anxiety. Good mental health means feeling good in the skin you are in which extends to the clothing we wear. If someone feels good in pajamas and that leads to feeling good about themselves, it will lead to productivity for work. Others need to be dressed for work to feel confident, have good mental health and feel positive about themselves in their clothing. Clothing influences the wearer’s mood and this, combined with lower stress, improves work productivity.”

To wear pajamas or not to wear pajamas offers a choice in a world that feels a bit out of control. “Having a choice in what you wear for your work day helps those with anxiety feel more relaxed, calm and emotionally balanced during the day when they are physically comfortable,” added Philbi. “I encourage clients who work from home to wear what brings them comfort and helps them to feel less stressed.”

And while there were strong opinions on both sides of this argument, none stood out more than a comment from Essie Button, full-time entrepreneur and mother of two. “Here is my response to the study: Are they kidding??? Working from home has meant no daily makeup and dress-up struggle with sartorial decision-making! Which with two young girls to make up and dress up requires major tactical planning. So each day starts with soooooo much less stress. Slobbing around in pajamas all day has immeasurably boosted the mood at home, work performance, and family fun! This sister's loving it!”

About the Author

Tina Arnoldi

Tina Arnoldi, MA is a marketing consultant and freelance writer in Charleston SC. Learn more about her and connect at

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