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Casual dress in the workplace

Casual dress valued in Australian workplaces

A study of 6,000 respondents by secretarial/administrative recruitment firm, TMP Worldwide, reveals that 51.3% of males and 60% of females value being able to dress casually on Fridays. Evidence shows that standards of dress in the Australian workplace are slipping. So much so, that many employers have found themselves having to issue warnings about bare flesh, cleanliness and what is considered to be appropriate corporate casual. Kathryn Devine, CEO of Alectus Recruitment, TMP Worldwide, says there is no doubt that corporate dress generates more respect than casual attire. As a result, organisations are now hiring trainers/presenters to provide guidance as to the correct way to dress for work. “The issue of dress in the workplace is becoming an emotional and sensitive subject, especially when females are managed by males,” says Devine.

According to the survey, younger employees are more likely to appreciate the opportunity to dress down for work. 69.3% of 19-24 year olds and 61.9% of 25-34 year olds believe that dressing casual on Fridays is an essential part of the Australian workplace, while only 44% of those in the 45-54 age bracket said they value the practice. White-collar employees in the Construction industry love dressing down on Fridays with 81.2% saying they value the informality. 66.3% of Banking/Finance personnel agree, as do 62.5% of Advertising staff. Those in the Legal industry are least likely to participate in ‘Casual Fridays’, with only 38.5% choosing to dress casually. “The survey clearly shows that employees value the sense of freedom dressing casual provides,” says Devine. “However, there are those critics who believe that casual dressing results in decreased productivity and casual attitudes to go with the casual attire.

(This article no longer available on-line)

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