The workplace dress code that requires more formal attire continues to go out of style, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam shows.

Half of senior managers interviewed said employees wear less formal clothing than they did five years ago.

In addition, nearly one-third (31%) of office workers stated they would prefer to be at a company with a business casual dress code; 27% favor a casual dress code or no dress code at all.

But there are limits to what passes as acceptable office attire. When senior managers were asked about the most common dress code violation at work, wearing overly casual clothing was the top response (47%), followed by showing too much skin (32%).

Senior managers were asked, "Do you think employees at your company dress more or less formally than they did five years ago?" Their responses:

  • Much more formally—7%
  • Somewhat more formally—10%
  • No more or less formally—33%
  • Somewhat less formally—32%
  • Much less formally—18%

Senior managers were also asked, "Which of the following is the most appearance violation at your company?" Their responses:

  • Dressing too casually—47%
  • Showing too much skin—32%
  • Having visible tattoos or piercings—6%
  • Having ungroomed facial hair—5%
  • Wearing excessive accessories—4%
  • Having extreme hair colors/styles—3%
  • Don't know/no answer—3%

Employees' Perspective

Workers were asked, "Which of the following statements most closely describes how a company's dress code impacts your decision to work there?" Their responses:

  • I would prefer to work at a company that has a formal dress code—18%
  • I would prefer to work at a company that has a business casual dress code—31%
  • I would prefer to work at a company that has a casual dress code or none—27%
  • A company's dress code doesn't impact my decision to work there—23%

    The surveys of senior managers and workers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 350 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.

Filed Under: Workplace Culture

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