Having an workplace dress code in your workplace will often depend on where it is that you work. For example, working in a business office or law firm will require you to dress professionally. Meanwhile, working at a grocery store, warehouse, restaurant or even in the army will almost always require you to wear a uniform. Now the question is - are these clothing choices beneficial to the workplace in general? I'll quickly go through the benefits of both a workplace dress code and wearing a uniform.
Uniforms in the Workplace
Often, when people wear a uniform, we know exactly where they work and what they do. However, people who wear uniforms can also be "looked down upon" because a uniform can imply that they work at a low-paying job, although this is no longer the case. It happens though, regardless of whether or not it is true. But the benefits of uniforms are numerous to all businesses, regardless of the industry and as a business owner you could consider introducing them after discussing it with your employees! :)
Professional Image - Uniforms make you look professional and you only get one chance to make a first good impression. A smart look instantly creates a good impression and a good impression guarantees more sales and happy clients.
Sense of Belonging and Equality - We're in this together! Uniforms often are the key to successful teamwork and team building. On top of that, uniforms make employees feel equal to one another, once again reinforcing the team spirit
Productivity - Studies suggest that wearing a uniform can increase the overall level of productivity within companies. Employees tend to associate uniform wearing to a certain mind set that allows them to work more productively.
Pride and Responsibility - As studies show uniforms contribute to employee productivity, employees who wear uniforms have also been found to take higher responsibilities at work and pride themselves with their job.
Of course, it can be argued that unless you are in a customer facing position, there is no need for a uniform, but at least an official dress code can still be implemented.
Workplace Dress Code: Keeping it Professional
Having a workplace dress code usually requires the employees to dress, at the very least, in business casual attire. Business professional is preferred, but some businesses can be more lenient, depending on what the business does. After all, you wouldn't want to see potential clients while lounging in you PJ's, would you?
Having a dress code in the workplace proves to be beneficial from a number of reasons. If you were able to come to work dressed in your most comfortable clothes, chances are you would not get enough work done because you would feel like home. Kevin Sheridan says in the CNN article Decoding the Workplace Dress Code that "Dress code policies walk a fine line between portraying a professional image to clients and customers while allowing employees to feel comfortable". In the same time, Forbes' article Is Casual Dress Killing Your Productivity At Work focuses on the idea that your level of alertness is influenced by what you wear. So what is there to be done then?
Professional is the key word. Any workplace dress code should above everything be professional and represent the business' culture and allow if not empower employees to be at their best.
Benefits to Both
There are obvious benefits to both uniforms and workplace dress code and in the end it's all about your organisation and the values you want to communicate.