According to recent research carried out by Travelodge, just 50% of workplaces have a dress code policy in place, and a massive 76% of these workplaces say their dress code is actually casual dress.
Travelodge found that comfort dressing triumphed over power dressing as 69% of workers reported that dressing casually for work makes them feel more comfortable and 22% reported that they could express their personality through casual dress.
6 in 10 people said that they believed a more laid back dress code enables a more relaxed office environment and that they felt colleagues were friendlier towards each other.
In fact, 43% of workers said that the business suit no longer had a place in the office and if they saw a colleague wearing a suit they would stand out.
So why is it happening?
Professor Karen Pine, Psychologist at Hertfordshire University said the changes to dress codes reflect under changes to business culture.
‘The biggest changes have included decline of hierarchy, the boss being less of an authority figure and more of a coach, all colleagues being called by their first name and the biggest change, the transition from a formal dress code to a casual one.
Having a dress down Friday, every day enables workers to the independent and showcase their personality & attributes by how they dress rather than the position they hold. This leads to stronger bonds between co-workers to remove barriers, enabling everyone to get on with their jobs.’
What causes culture change?
With the development of young, hip and exciting technology – businesses may be trying to mimic it and so develop the culture and aesthetic that comes with new technology.
Millennial and Generation X
Some believe the reason for a more relaxed dress code within businesses is due to handing over the economies reigns to the millennial generation. Millennial’ or ‘Generation X’ have relaxed social standards when compared to previous generations and so businesses are changing as their employees do.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of casual dress in the office?
- Improves morale – by allowing room for freedom and expression, many employees are much happier.
- Increases business attractiveness – by keeping your employees happy within the workplace, you are likely to build your business reputation which is a great tool during recruitment as it attracts candidates to your business.
- Improved effectiveness – some studies have shown that employees feel happier and so perform better in the workplace.
- Some companies have actually noted a decline in employee performance. They believe that by allowing casual dress, employees act more relaxed and so are less likely to meet deadlines.
- Clothes may reflect badly on the firm – with client facing businesses, it is important to ensure there is still some level of professionalism within the workplace as many clients may prefer business dress at all times.
- Confusion about what is appropriate – Difficulty in establishing a clear policy around casual attire can damage employee/employer relationships.
So what do you think?
Many businesses are run differently, and just because something works for your company may not mean it works for everybody else. Does your company embody a casual dress code every day – or is it just on Fridays? Or do you not get casual dress? Let us know what you think works best!
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