Office dress code and its implications on employee productivity and behaviour
After two years away from the office, people are returning to work and are ditching traditional black outfits and replacing them with colouful and stylish workwear to express themselves. Indeed, the dress requirements at work have changed a lot. However, it is clear that a dress code still exists at the business workplace. Whether you’re a male or a female employee, it is important to adhere to a dress code without compromising self-expression and style. At the same time, conforming to the rules will enhance image professionalism because your work attire has an impact on the productivity and reputation of the business.
Expectations for men and women
Proper business attire is vital for every company because it presents a visual image and confirms that the workers are professionals. The dress code for men and women may vary depending on the type of business. In the UK, office attire can be a legitimate part of an employee’s work contract. That means that standards can be used to indicate to workers what clothes should be worn at the office.
For men, dark or grey suits, a shirt and tie, and black shoes constitute a professional business attire. A formal look which is usually reserved for formal occasions and evening events, among others, is a dressier version of the professional attire. For casual outfits, men can wear a polo or t-shirt, suit trousers, and chinos. Women, on the other hand, are expected to wear trouser or skirt suits, smart tops, closed shoes, and modest jewellery. In addition, shapewear can be worn as well by ladies which will not only improve their silhouettes, but also bolster confidence. The slimming garment also improves posture by providing compression and support for the back, helping alleviate lower back pain.
Effects of a dress code
Research indicates varying viewpoints on the effects of dress codes at the workplace. A Stormline study revealed that a workforce would feel more productive if the dress code was not so strict. Dressing casually can also boost performance and morale according to Black & Dinardo, whilst a 1999 survey demonstrated that companies that adopted a casual business attire experienced a 40% increase in productivity. However, the upsurge did not last long as the downsides of casual work attire were felt, such as unfavorable first impressions and perceived lack of professionalism and commitment, to name some. In addition, a survey by Jackson Lewis revealed that 44% of companies that have casual dress polices reported a significant increase in absenteeism and tardiness, whilst 30% saw a rise in flirtatious behaviour.
Conversely, dressing more formally gives out a message of credibility, confidence, and authority. In effect, formal clothing is employed to enhance status and respect. The way an employee dresses in the workplace also affects how they perceive themselves, according to Peluchette & Karl. People in formal attire believe that they can influence others and achieve work-related outcomes. Many studies also demonstrate a correlation between how one dresses and behaviour. When dressed in an appropriate business attire, individuals tend to act in a proper way.
The dress code of an office has an impact on the productivity and morale of employees as well as the company’s reputation. Therefore, dress code expectations and policies must be clear to promote optimum efficiency at the workplace.