Standards are slipping for British office workers, who are swapping suits for t-shirts and casual clothes – and spending less time getting ready for work.
According to new research, less than a fifth of people said they would still wear a suit for work, suggesting that casual clothes are becoming the new office wear as employees embrace comfier alternatives. A survey of 2000 office workers by Printerland.co.uk revealed that Brits are only spending a meagre 23 minutes a day on their appearance, with one in five spending less than 10 minutes getting ready.
The North East are leading the way for casual wear, with almost half of people opting for a t-shirt or polo shirt instead of traditional shirts or blouses, while those in the North West are sticking with the formal attire – with a third still donning a suit.
Alongside slacking dress codes, workers are spending less time laundering – with one in six happy to wear the same shirt all week. Extraordinarily, a whopping 42% of people claimed to sometimes not wear underwear to work, and 53% of us occasionally don’t bother with socks.
Despite many not putting the effort into their appearance, those surveyed still disapproved of their colleague’s outfits, with 82% saying Ugg boots were inappropriate office wear. A shocking 27% of respondents deemed make-up completely unacceptable at work, while almost half said that high heels are a big no-no and that beards should be banned.
Catherine Bannan, HR Manager at Printerland.co.uk said: “Wearing casual clothes in the workplace can make people feel more comfortable and thereby increase the productivity and creativity of your staff. Offices are taking a much more relaxed approach to work attire these days and some say that being in clothes we find comfortable can spark our imagination. Obviously, you might have a meeting with some important clients and so you would want to dress appropriately for that.”
The survey also found that bosses in Northern Ireland are the strictest when it comes to tattoos and piercings, with over a third of employees told to cover up in the office. However, the Welsh are the most relaxed, with 57% of staff allowed to show piercings and body art.
Despite spending less time and effort on their appearance, Brits still splash out an average of £397 on their work wardrobe, with the over-55s deemed the biggest spenders.
Most unacceptable items to wear in the office:
- Crop tops
- Casual headwear (e.g. baseball cap)
- Jeans with holes
- Low-cut tops
- Ugg boots
- Short skirts
- Tight dress
- Sleeveless tops
- High heels