In the American workplace, casual Fridays are starting to become a thing of the past.

This isn't to say that bosses are becoming stricter, and that you're no longer able to wear your favorite shirt or outfit to the office. Rather, casual dress is no longer allocated to just Fridays in today's workplace.

In a report just released by job site Indeed, it was revealed that the percentage of U.S. companies that allow employees to wear casual dress every day has rapidly increased, jumping from 32 percent to 50 percent in just the last five years. Even further, 62 percent of companies now allow casual clothing at least one day per week.

Although tech companies are well known for leading the way with this casual dress trend--tech employees have had more outfit freedom than most since the 1980s--it is now no longer just tech companies that are adopting this casual dress code. Many companies today, big and small, have relaxed formal dress codes as a recruiting tactic.

Explains Paul Wolfe, SVP of Human Resources at Indeed.

In today's hiring market, job seekers are looking beyond traditional benefits packages when determining where they want to work. Employees are looking for a company with a total rewards program that offers, among other things, a comfortable and desirable work environment.

Employees find comfort in being part of a company that offers casual dress codes because they gain the opportunity "to reflect their authentic selves in the way that they dress," says Wolfe. A flexible dress code can help workers be more expressive and happier on the job, which paves the way for a more welcoming and more productive work environment.

At the same time, a casual dress code may not make sense for every company. Wolfe notes,

It is important to consider if this offering is right for the nature of your business by determining how formal, or informal, your employees' day-to-day schedule leans. For example, a client may find it jarring to see their lawyer in a meeting dressed in jeans and t-shirt.

Read more of Indeed's report here, which outlines the progression of the trend in the US workforce, how companies incorporate this trend to attract top talent, and how to best establish clear boundaries for a dress code-free working environment.

Published on: Sep 5, 2019
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