Are Uniforms Good for Your Business?
Your business is your brand. You are communicating every little detail to your clients and your customers, so naturally, you want to give off the right impression, inside. The debate rages on about communicating your best practices to clients and customers. When you are showing an explainer video, or you have clients come to site, your ethos and culture will define whether a client wants to do business with you or make a purchase from you. And so, this debate goes down to every little detail, including what your staff wears. There are two sides to the clothing coin – casual clothing, or smart clothing. Everyone has their own opinions on this, but let’s weigh it up, and see which really is better.
It seems that the overriding factor when it comes to smart clothing or uniforms is that it provides a sense of order, and inspires productivity. You could run the risk of turning your interiors into a homogenized version of your business. Lots of startup companies thrive on the idea of individuality and creativity. As a new business owner, you’ll want to ask yourself if this dress code works.
Some people feel that they need to differentiate between their work life and their home life. As a result, they may feel that putting a uniform or suit on, and going to work helps them to focus their mindset on work. Across many industries – from retail to the medical industry, it’s vital to have a uniform when you are dealing with the public. This sense of division makes it easier for the customer or the general person to differentiate who is who.
If you are considering bringing in a uniform or a smart dress code, the concern may be if it’s to the expense of your productivity. It doesn’t have to be. Med Couture scrubs communicates in their advertising a stylish, almost fashionable approach to medical scrubs. There are many businesses that thrive on a sense of order with uniforms, but it’s very important to ensure it doesn’t undermine the overall productivity. It’s a delicate balance. For some businesses, the reason there are uniforms is that it is part of the dress code. If you considered abolishing uniforms, the best way to integrate this first is to have a casual or dress down day. Check the numbers and see if productivity is as high, if not higher, and then you can begin to make the transition.
Casual clothing seems to be a mainstay of younger businesses or the younger generation. What are the predominant factors of casual clothing, and does it mean a better business overall? The first thing to consider is the industry in which you’re operating. If you are dealing with the public, and you’ve got staff members who look like the public, does this cause a lot of confusion? Ultimately, it makes for a smooth transaction when a customer sets foot into a retail store that they can differentiate between a staff member and a normal person.
In an office environment with no face-to-face interaction with the public, casual clothing could be vital to the improvement of the business. As previously mentioned, if you integrate a dress down day and it works, then you can increase the amount of dress down days.
There are some workers who wear casual clothes and adopt a casual mindset. This begs the question: shouldn’t workers adopt a casual mindset to their work, so therefore they will be more relaxed and productive? Creativity should be encouraged in business. Creating a relaxed workplace culture is a goal every organization should strive to achieve. One of the best ways to embody this is to have a relaxed setup, where every staff member can wear what they want.
Ultimately, if there are people not pulling their weight, you should have appropriate measures in place. If you are making the change from smart clothing to casual clothing, you might expect a little dip in productivity. That’s likely to be because it’s a novelty. As soon as the novelty has worn off, productivity will likely go back to the way it used to be.
Which Is Best?
Which is better? Two factors to consider would be the industry in which you’re operating and what you want to communicate. The reason uniforms work well in certain environments is that they create a sense of order. One reason why people wear uniforms in different environments is because it communicates a difference between one group and the next. The whole suit and tie setup is so a business looks presentable. If you have employees that don’t work well in that manner – especially if you are running a creative business – you’ve got to let that creativity flow. Still you should have methods in place to manage this creativity.
Today there’s a focus on the holistic aspects of a business, where the old-school approach of running a business like “I’m the boss and you’re the workers”, simply doesn’t work. If your goal is to keep up with the times and run a modern business, but you are still using a dress code, you should ask if you’re holding your business back. Many people view uniforms as an antiquated notion and believe that workers should wear whatever they want . Others feel that work needs to be different from life. With increasing working hours, and more people spending around 39 hours a week in work, surely it’s time to continue this conversation and remove barriers that inhibit productivity and creativity.