Work #uniforms, image and perception

Whatever forms they may take, corporate uniforms present an image that garners a perception of an employer from both the point of view of employees and those who interact with them. A landscape gardener is obviously going to wear different staff dress from a software engineer who is employed by IT consultancy, but the business wear is always going to project a variety of factors connected to the image. A smart, functional and appropriate set of corporate clothing communicates an association of organisation, reliability, professionalism, authenticity, reliability and a sense of trust in the business being represented. For an employer (including the self-employed), it is free advertising and suggests that the person wearing cares about what they are doing and so will offer the highest level of service.

Further factors concerning corporate uniforms

In certain industries, the employer is obliged to provide the business wear and in almost all cases no company expects their staff to arrive to work in the latest designer suit. This means that an employee’s expenses on clothing can be significantly reduced. They have five sets of work wear for their duties on a restaurant or shop floor, which means five sets of clean clothes they can wear every day. In a white collar environment, staff can wear appropriate business wear that is also suitable attire for formal occasions that will arise in life outside of the workplace. Coupled with this is the further benefit that staff clothing promotes a sense of identity and membership of a team in the work environment.

How can a uniform be made to work?

The very last thing a corporate uniform should do is make employees feel uncomfortable or humiliated. Staff uniforms need to achieve the opposite without compromising the above considerations. If a staff uniform is being provided then the employer needs to ensure that the material is of suitable quality. Reputable corporate clothing suppliers will have this stipulation as standard. Equally, there has to be consideration of working conditions. This may not be as important in an air-conditioned office, but on a hot, busy day in the middle of summer, the lightness and thickness of business uniforms becomes a factor. Where applicable, an employer will need provide a summer and winter version of their company corporate clothing.

Dress code

Establishing an acceptable dress code is the only tried and tested method for making the wearing of appropriate business wear viable. This is a written code of conduct that is normally very flexible between the employer and employees which details (perhaps paradoxically) that clothing that is not suitable for the workplace. For people who work outside or on shop floors it also details how not to behave in view of customers and the public while the uniform is being worn.

Overall, staff uniforms indicate that employees know their business and obligations to customers, and such will be treated with respect as well promoting the all-important best first impression.