One third of UK workers urge businesses to ditch corporate dress codes

dress code

One third of UK workers have said that businesses should ditch dress codes in the workplace, with a further 36.9 per cent believing that dressing smart at work has become outdated, according to new research.

The survey, which questioned 1,200 UK workers on their views surrounding dress codes within the workplace, found that 82.5 per cent feel that dress codes have changed over the years, with nearly half believing that dress codes will become more casual and relaxed in the future.

The research discovered that nearly two thirds of workers enjoy following a dress code, with this figure rising to 67.3 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds and 69.1 per cent amongst 55-64 year olds. However, employees aged between 35 and 44 were the most likely to think that businesses should ditch dress codes.

Furthermore, when asked why they felt the traditional smart work dress code was outdated, respondents cited that this was because it can make people feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t allow people to show off their personality and because styles are always changing.

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, feeling more professional, keeping everyone equal and because work clothes should be separate to casual wear. A further 2.4 per cent said that dressing smart makes employees more productive.

Biggins continues: “E very workplace is different and the rules are very dependent on the industry or role that a person is working in. T here is no real evidence to suggest that there is a link between standards of behaviour and dress 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.”