Are you on the hunt for an easy and affordable way to boost productivity and lift employee spirits? If so, it may be time to reconsider your company’s dress code. Allowing employees to wear business casual office attire is a great way to keep your team smiling while encouraging an upbeat work environment. Discover the benefits of a more lenient dress code so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your office.
1. Comfortable Workers Are More Productive
Wearing business professional apparel can be physically limiting, not to mention uncomfortable. Business professional outfits aren’t always designed with comfort as a priority—especially on hot days. You may be surprised to see a jolt in productivity when workers are focused on the task at hand, rather than their itchy suit jacket. You may also want to offer different dress codes depending on the department, tasks being performed, and interaction with the public. For example, you could allow your line workers to wear jeans and T-shirts while still requiring more upscale attire for your sales staff.
2. Reduce Employee Expense Burdens
It’s no secret that business professional clothing costs quite a bit more than business casual attire. Naturally, people don’t want to wear the same outfit every day, so building up a wardrobe can really put a dent in the piggy bank. Besides the high cost of buying clothing, your employees’ dry cleaning bill can also cost a pretty penny. While employee bonuses and pay raises may not always fit into the company budget, loosening the dress code is a great way to put money back into the pockets of your team.
3. Boost Morale
Keeping spirits high keeps the bottom line high. When employees feel good, they naturally work harder. Creating a positive company culture is important to the long-term success of your company, and it plays a major role in employee retention. A strict company dress code often makes employees feel stifled and even unappreciated and undervalued. Relaxing the dress code shows you genuinely care about their comfort and overall experience working with your company. If someone is spending the majority of their day fielding phone calls, they don’t really need to be dressed in their Sunday best.
4. Encourage Individuality
People like being able to express themselves through their outfits, and business professional office attire limits that possibility. A looser dress code shows your company appreciates individuality and creativity. Of course, it’s important you set reasonable boundaries when it comes to revealing and sloppy clothing, but it’s still quite possible for your team to be expressive without being controversial. Say you have an employee who loves wearing vibrant colors. You should encourage that person’s upbeat attitude and sunny demeanor rather than stifle it.
5. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Today’s customers and clients like to support companies that support their employees’ happiness. A strict dress code can create an atmosphere that just feels stuffy to visitors. Your dress code can have a major impact on your company’s overall branding, and a more casual business clothing policy can reflect positively on management’s approach.
Of course, there are some companies where business professional attire is appropriate and expected. If someone is visiting a law firm for the first time, they may be thrown off if the lawyer they’re going to trust with their life savings isn’t dressed the part. However, if someone is meeting with a potential paper supplier, they might find business professional attire to be out of place. Consider your company’s field and typical customer base as well as how often your company interacts with outside visitors. When in doubt, start off with casual Fridays, and take it from there.