Office dress code policies in today’s workplace. Where should employers draw the line? Are ripped jeans, leggings, or open-toed shoes acceptable at work?

What is an appropriate dress code policy for 2019? Randstad US surveyed employees to find out.

“The nature of work — where, when and how it gets done — has changed dramatically over the past several years, and many of those changes (open offices, remote work) have ultimately contributed to a less formal workplace,” said Traci Fiatte, CEO, non-technical staffing, Randstad US. “It’s great to empower your employees to dress for their day, as well as show their personality, but it is equally important for employers to set some clear guidelines to ensure that everyone feels comfortable.”

Office Dress Code Policies in Today’s Workplace

The bulk of employers’ dress code policies (79%) are either business casual (26%), casual (33%) or non-existent (20%). 

While workwear has become more casual overall, most employees are in agreement that there is a limit to what workers can get away with wearing. 

More than 70 percent of workers agree that ripped jeans aren’t appropriate workwear, even in a business casual setting. Over 50 percent feel the same way about leggings. Half of the employees Randstad US surveyed believe very high heels (over three inches) look unprofessional and 40 percent said the same thing about open-toed shoes of any kind.

Nearly 40 percent of employees who are 25 to 35 years old admit they’ve been asked to dress more professionally by their manager or the HR department. 

“There’s an interesting disconnect around younger workers: most associate dressing up with more confidence and better work performance, but nearly 40 percent also report they’ve had a manager speak to them about dressing more professionally,” said Fiatte. 

“The bottom line is, as long as employees dress in a way that’s consistent with their employer’s policies, most managers care less about what their employees wear than about their performance and work output.”

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