One third (33 percent) of UK workers say businesses should ditch dress codes in the workplace, with a further 36.9 percent believing that dressing smart at work has become outdated. This is according to the latest data from CV-Library.
The survey questioned 1,200 UK workers on their views surrounding dress codes within the workplace, finds 82.5 percent feel that codes have changed over the years, with nearly half (46.8 percent) believing that office-wear will become more casual and relaxed in the future.
Nearly two thirds (65.5 percent) of workers enjoy wearing office clothes, with this figure rising to 67.3 percent amongst 18-24 year olds and 69.1 percent amongst 55-64 year olds. But, employees aged between 35 and 44 are the most likely to think that businesses should ditch office clothes (42.7 percent).
Furthermore, when asked why they felt the traditional smart work code was outdated, respondents cited that this was because it can make people feel uncomfortable (27.8 percent), it doesn’t allow people to show off their personality (23.9 percent) and because styles are always changing (18.3 percent).
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments, ‘There continues to be a lot of debate around dress codes in the workplace and whether it’s still a necessity to dress smart. Dress codes mean different things to different people: some people prefer to dress smart, while others see it as a perk to be able to wear more casual clothes. We now have more flexibility in what we can wear to work and if your workplace has the option, then stick to what feels best for you!
’That said, of those that favour a smarter dress code, the reasoning behind this included: looking more professional for customers (55.6 percent), feeling more professional (25.9 percent), keeping everyone equal (8.9 percent) and because work clothes should be separate to casual wear (7.2 percent). A further 2.4 percent said that dressing smart makes employees more productive.
Biggins continues, ‘Every workplace is different and the rules are very dependent on the industry or role that a person is working in. There is no real evidence to suggest that there is a link between standards of behaviour and codes, though I personally believe that you should always dress smart if you’re in an external facing role or meeting with a client, customer or supplier.’
In some businesses dress-down Fridays are a way to reward employees on an ongoing basis. Dress-down days can be the occasion for company-wide charity fundraisers that help bring employees together in support of a good cause. Casual days can also be a reward for reaching a sales goal, successfully concluding a major project or completing an achievement.
At ZenOffice, every Friday is dress-down Friday. The dress code is relaxed, which allows people to project their personality using their clothes. Wearing casual clothing in the office on a Friday is also a way to promote team building, as workers across all levels are wearing similar attire.