Years ago, dressing for work at an office or almost any establishment meant a tie, high heels and other clothing that fit with that look. But times do change. Should you be forcing your staff to wear business outfits or can you do everyone a favour and adjust the policy to smart casual, using corporate polo shirts in bright colours? Should you even care what management and team members wear?
Whether you’re looking for a new position or managing others in theirs, here’s what to know about office attire in 2022.
Benefits of Wearing Business Attire—Even in 2022
Firstly, it is vital to create an office policy around office outfits. You may wonder why is business attire important, but there are multiple ways this influences your brand, reputation and even the efficiency of a business.
Then, business attire can take many forms, so you do need to consider which dressing style—business or casual—will work for you. But more about that below. The following benefits show the importance of why employees and employers shouldn’t ignore this topic.
Talk Without Saying a Word
Even though society has relaxed considerably and don’t expect suits and ties all the time anymore, what you wear is still an important method to send a message. By wearing a neat outfit you’re telling others you prioritise professionalism and have an eye for finer details.
Even if you purchase less expensive and less formal items, if they fit you well and colours work well together, others will be impressed.
You can even convey a message about your company by having employees use branded items. When they engage with anyone else, their clothing can say something about your brand. A logo can serve as marketing and if you make sure team members are always neat and won’t wear shirts with frayed collars, it will reflect well on the company.
And of course, remember that first impressions do last. Make sure the first message people capture about you, is a positive, impressive one. You may not get a chance to share your views or talk about business, but your clothing already speaks volumes.
And that’s why it does matter what you wear!
Get the Respect You Deserve
In simple terms, very few people will trust and respect someone who looks scruffy. If you can’t prove with your clothing that you respect yourself, many won’t take a chance on respecting you.
Therefore, whether you’re going to an interview or talking to your team, your clothes will determine how others feel and think about you.
Boost Office Productivity
Another reason to always dress up and set certain policies about office attire is that it can have an effect on people’s mindset while at the office. If you dress for the part, it’s easier to stay in the mode of ‘let’s get things done’.
If you want to deliver your best each day or want to boost your team’s productivity, using clothing could make more of an impact than you think.
Enhance Team Spirit
The mindset that clothing helps work environments, also relates to how we feel about each other. People who feel they’re in unity usually deliver better work. Dressing in a similar way because of a policy or providing the team with branded work shirts can go a long way in improving office morale. Everyone will feel included, at least in some way and a positive atmosphere improves productivity.
Get More Confident
Lastly, doesn’t a stylish outfit just make you feel amazing? For individuals who want to move forward in their careers or for leaders who need to manage team, boost your own confidence by dressing like the boss you want to be.
What Should YOU Be Wearing?
Let’s be clear. All these benefits don’t mean you have to wear a suit and tie to work or that ladies must don a pencil skirt each day. In today’s business market, luckily the term ‘work attire’ covers a very broad range of outfits.
If you’re wondering what to wear to work so you can demand respect or what team wear you should invest in to improve productivity, first consider your industry. For certain professional services, a more formal look will still be ideal. Here we’re talking about accountants, lawyers and the like.
However, for many other positions you can make your work attire a little more comfortable and casual. For example, office workers in any general office may find polo shirts a welcome—comfortable—change, helping them get more done, even on a hot day. This is especially relevant if these workers don’t interact with clients on a regular basis.
And no need to worry, because consumers and other businesses have long accepted that business attire has changed for many industries. You won’t be harming your reputation by relaxing the rules.
Yet, even for those seeing your client base each day, more comfortable polo or open collared shirts will suffice. For instance, from grocery store workers to the team providing a service at people’s homes will all perform their tasks faster thanks to feeling unencumbered. And they still look neat enough to garner respect for your brand.
If you’re joining a new team, you can easily over or underdress. While you can do an interview in your best business suit, why not do some digging before your first day, so you know what the business culture is. Dressing the part will help you fit in and connect with the new team from the start.
So, it’s clear why business attire is important. But the definition may be unique for your niche. Will you pick business casual, business informal or smart casual to make the impact you want to?