Should Your Business Adopt A Relaxed Dress Code?

Most businesses have a dress code and they tend to be quite similar. Business suits for men and smart business attire for women are the norm in most office settings, but is that really the best thing for your company?

In recent years, a lot of businesses have been relaxing their dress codes and allowing people to swap the business suit for jeans, t-shirts and beanies instead. There are business owners out there that believe that strict dress codes are actually damaging to your business and if you give people more freedom with what they wear, it will benefit you in a lot of ways. However, relaxed dress codes are not always the best choice and it’s important that you know the full story before you make any changes. So, should your business adopt a more relaxed dress code or not? 

What Is The Purpose Of A Dress Code?

Most businesses have a dress code in place because they see their employee’s appearance as a reflection of their business. So, if employees are considered to be scruffy and unpresentable, that reflects badly on the company. But does that matter if your employees are not having direct contact with customers anyway? If employees are just working in the office, then it doesn’t matter too much, but if employees are going door to door on sales calls, it may be best to wear a business suit

The other reason that dress codes are considered important is that some business owners believe that dressing for business puts you in the right mindset and has a positive impact on productivity. However, many people say that the opposite is true and a casual dress code is better for your employees. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Relaxed Dress Code? 

Even though strict dress codes are the norm, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best option for your business. These are some of the ways that adopting a relaxed dress code can improve your business. 

It Helps To Attract Talent 

Hiring the best employees is so important to your success, which means that you need to make your company attractive to the best candidates. Things like salary and benefits are obviously important but candidates that have a lot of offers will also prioritize the working environment. Modern companies, especially tech companies, promote a far more relaxed work environment that allows their employees a lot of freedom. Many people want to work for these kinds of companies, especially younger employees, so your dress code can actually be a good way to attract talent to your business. It’s a sign that you are a modern business, and that works in your favor. 

Your Employees Are Happier 

People don’t choose to wear a suit for comfort, which means that people are generally happier when you let them wear what they like. It also shows that you trust them to make the right decisions about their work attire, and when people feel that their employer trusts them, they are much happier in the workplace

Productivity Increases 

Productivity increases linked to casual dress code are, in part, down to increased happiness and satisfaction levels. There are also fewer distractions when people are wearing comfortable clothing, so instead of worrying about their attire, they can focus all of their energy on the task at hand. 

Increased Diversity 

Many people don’t consider how a strict dress code can affect diversity, but it’s important that you do. Women’s dress codes, for example, may require people to wear skirts, high heels, and makeup. But some religions have their own rules about clothing, and if they are in direct contradiction with the business dress code, followers of those religions may feel that they cannot work at your business. 

Many dress codes also restrict piercings, tattoos and colored hair, which restricts even more people. The problem is, you are limiting your potential workforce and there are plenty of amazing candidates out there that won’t work for your business because of the dress code. However, if you relax the dress code, you can increase diversity and make sure that you are hiring people based on their skills and experience, not the clothes they wear. 

A lot of companies are reluctant to change their dress code because they worry that it will have a negative impact. However, the evidence shows that the opposite is true and giving people more freedom with what they wear actually benefits your business in a lot of ways. It will increase diversity, your employees will be happier, and it will be easier to attract the best talent.

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