Most employees believe there should be a strict dress code at work

Those who don’t conform could face slow career progression

A study reveals how one in three UK workers are against their peers expressing personal style in the workplace and an unexpected 64.2% of employees believe employers should instate a strict dress code for all staff to follow.

The research reveals a surprisingly conservative employee-attitude and was conducted amongst a cross-section of over 1500 UK workers of all levels. The survey aimed to establish how employees view personal expression in the workplace, and whether details such as tattoos or extreme piercings put workers at the back of the queue when it comes to career progression. Key findings revealed:

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  • Over a third of employees (34.5%) don’t believe their peers should be able to express personal style at work
  • The majority of workers (64.2%) believe that employers should instate a strict dress code at work, regardless of whether they have one or not.
  • Of those that have expressed personal style at work, 17% admitted they felt uncomfortable
  • 13.7% of UK professionals have been advised by a manager that their appearance is unacceptable for the workplace
  • 13.1% of workers believe their appearance is holding them back in their careers
  • 59.4% of workers believe that professionals with extreme piercings or tattoos will face slower career progression

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments:

“Whether we like it or not, we are all judged by our appearances and it’s important that employees seriously consider the consequences of any choices they make when it comes to expressing personal style at work. Whilst everybody should have the freedom to express themselves, it’s important to remember that a place of work is a professional environment, meaning that an employee’s appearance and actions should also be reviewed from a professional perspective.”

When measuring how UK professionals like to express personal style, the most popular ways were through tattoos, extreme piercings and unique dress sense:

  • Almost half (47.5%) of UK professionals have visible tattoos
  • 31.7% of employees have piercings (excluding stud piercings in earlobes)
  • 31% of workers wear unique clothes
  • 44.6% of men have designer facial hair

Interestingly, of the 59.4% of workers that believe visible tattoos and extreme piercings can cause slowed career progression, 39.6% admitted to having piercings and tattoos themselves, indicating that employees are aware that their style decisions may hinder their success at work.

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