Productivity, Casual Dress vs Uniforms vs PJs
Yeah, a little misleading but not really. Could have said, “nude” but that isn’t really work attire. While doing some research on telecommuting and working-from-home, stumbled upon a Forbes article in the Forbes Woman section talking about “Is Casual Dress Killing Your Productivity At Work?” by Ruchika Tulshyan. In the article, she discusses what it means to use your clothing as a mental differentiator, both for yourself and for others, in distinguishing the “work self” vs “weekend self” and a few other versions.
Interestingly enough, she cited a study that showed an individual’s alertness is affected by what you wear. Vestex found that people wearing a doctor’s coat displayed heightened attention. When the same people then wore an identical coat, but told it was a painter’s coat, they weren’t as attentive as when they wore (what they perceived to be) the doctor’s coat. The research found: “The influence of clothes thus depends on wearing them and their symbolic meaning.” Although the link to the research in the article on Forbes goes to a buyvestex.com link now…
But in similar fashion, several studies and research programs have found that productivity is impacted by clothing. Uniforms are a symbol of authority, professionalism, and stature; but what about the telecommuter or independent consultant/contractor? These telecommuters and work-from-homers make up about 2.5% of the workforce (according to http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics).
We appear to be in uncharted territory now with so many independent employees. The argument can, and has, been made for uniforms or other professional attire.
For the rest of the workforce still in offices, services, industries or factories it is recommended by many that, “removing the need for individualized outfits can contribute to healthier colleague relationships, eliminating social barriers, and lead to a better, more productive work environment.”
Where do you fall into the bucket of employment? Does your office have a uniform, business casual or relaxed attire policy?