What you wear to work may be preventing you from getting a promotion
Climbing the corporate leader requires the right gear, new research suggests. The majority of professionals (83 per cent) and managers (78 per cent) surveyed said clothing choices affect someone's chances of being promoted.
"What you wear to work speaks to your credibility and overall fit within the company," said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district director for OfficeTeam. "Dressing professionally, even in a casual office environment, helps employees distinguish themselves as capable, confident and ready to take on new challenges or growth opportunities."
Added Vasilopoulos, "It's up to managers to give staff a benchmark for what is appropriate by clearly communicating company policies and leading by example through their own attire."
Time Well Spent?
The study also found that workers spend an average of seven minutes a day selecting an outfit for the office. Employees ages 18 to 34 spend the most time deciding what to wear (9 minutes) compared to those ages 35 to 54 (7 minutes) and 55 and older (5 minutes).
One thing that may make choosing an outfit faster is keeping a separate work wardrobe, like 63 per cent of the professionals surveyed said they do.
Wear This, Not That
What items are office-appropriate? According to HR managers, piercings other than on the earlobe, visible tattoos, jeans and leggings top the list of things that are more acceptable at work now than five years ago. In the same timeframe, employers have become less tolerant of flip-flops, shorts and tank tops.
Addressing Employee Dressing
It seems supervisors may not always do much in response to employees who don't dress to impress. Only eight per cent of senior managers have talked to an employee about their inappropriate attire, while another eight per cent have sent staff home based on what they were wearing. Of those executives who did speak with an employee or told someone to leave and change clothes, nearly half (48 per cent) felt awkward stepping in, and another 15 per cent didn't want to have the conversation at all. Thirty-seven per cent said they were comfortable bringing it up with the employee.