Freedom: Casual/Comfortable Attire

Portrait of six co-workers in casual clothes

Business casual is a popular dress code for the workplace in the Western hemisphere. Business casual, also known as smart casual, has partially replaced business formal attire for the new standard in the workplace. Almost half of non self employed workers in the United States wear business casual attire to work. For men, a combination of a collared shirt (with a blazer being optional) and cotton trousers with a belt is appropriate business casual attire. Neckties are generally not required, and jeans can be acceptable depending on the employer and company. For women, trousers or a reasonable length skirt with a top is the typical attire. Miniskirts, flip flops, t-shirts and any kind of rippled clothing is unacceptable for a business casual dress code.

Advantages to Employees

There are many advantages to employees for a business casual workplace dress code. Business casual limits costs. Obviously business suits are expensive, costing you more money than casual clothing does, but you also have to get them cleaned since they can’t go in the washing machine, adding to your expenses. This also forces you to drive to the cleaners, adding another errand to your schedule. Business casual attire is also more practical. Some workplaces occasionally require physically demanding tasks, which can be difficult for an employee wearing a suit, or a skirt and heels. Business casual also means less time to get ready in the morning, which could mean some extra sleep for the employee, increasing their productivity. Business casual is also much more practical for after work social engagements, eliminating the need to go home after work to change. For example, going to an after work barbeque in a suit and tie would be uncomfortable. Wearing a polo shirt and khakis, which is acceptable under business casual, is much more appropriate, meaning you could stay at work longer and get more done if you so desired, as you eliminated the extra time needed to go home and change. Lastly, business casual allows you to still look professional without being uncomfortable or awkward, which can happen when wearing a suit. Business casual is also more comfortable, which can lead to higher productivity.

Advantages to Employers

Having a business casual dress code could help improve employee moral. Employees may appreciate and enjoy the relaxed dress code, giving them more freedom of choice, and thus their work production may improve. The perception of the business also changes. If management wears casual attire, this may make bosses seem more approachable, ultimately sending the message that the employees and their comfort are important to the supervisors. It also promotes equality. In the past, labourers and white collar workers were often distinguished by differences in their attire. Business casual attire creates no such hierarchy, suggesting that everyone is equal. It can also increase productivity. Employees tend to perform better in casual clothing, even thinking more creatively or increasing their focus. The workplace environment also becomes a more attractive place for staff members. Employees won’t need extra sets of clothing, or clothing that can only be worn in the office and no where else. Lastly, a comfortable employee is a happy employee, and a happy employee makes the work environment much more enjoyable and productive.

Pros & Cons

When looking at possible job opportunities it is always a good idea to write down a pros and cons list. This can help you to determine what aspects of the job you might like and what aspects you may want to change.

Some important job aspects to consider include possible travel, team outings, casual attire, flexible hours, working from home and more.

Workplace Culture

A workplace culture can have a big impact on your everyday life. If you enjoy work you will be more likely to perform better and stay interested in the tasks at hand.

Some of the ways that companies today are helping to foster a positive work environment is to allow employees access to free food and drink, showers, gym memberships, nap areas and gaming rooms.