The concept of work-life balance is more than a trend. Now, as many businesses are adopting a hybrid work model, this balance is flowing into how we dress for work. This new style is called workleisure and is a dressed-up, yet still comfortable version of athleisure. This is an unexpected, yet welcome trend in many professional office settings. However, workleisure is making the work-from-home to office transition easier for many employees. Below are all the details you need to know about this trend and its possible effects on employees.
This new clothing style is a cross between professional apparel and leisure wear. Think, dress pants with an elastic waist and tapered ankles, similar style to a jogger. Loose flowing shirts, polo shirts, nice yet decorative glasses and vests are also appropriate workleisure items. As they are made from traditional work wear fabrics, these comfy outfits still look professional and put together. Gone are the days of uncomfortable heels, and rigid work shoes, now there are many leather sneaker and flats that look just as professional.
Professional workplaces have slowly been relaxing their dress code over the past decade or so. The changes first started with the introduction of casual Fridays in most offices. With this change, came excitement and enthusiasm for the end of the workweek. Many workplaces saw an increase in Friday attendance and a boost in productivity. However, this also depended on the casual dress code.
With the introduction of workleisure to the workplace, younger employees are more likely to be happier. However, workplaces should ensure that they have a set dress code even with the move towards workleisure. This is to ensure that all employees are still dressing professionally to represent your business and brand.
The effect of clothing on productivity varies from person to person. However, employees are likely to be more productive if they feel comfortable and confident. What they are wearing can greatly influence their mood, thus affecting their work. Many of your employees may still choose to wear more traditional work attire, even with the introduction of workleisure to the dress code. Especially, those who like to create a clear distinction between work and home.
By having a less strict dress code, employees can better express themselves, which can lead to more creative problem solving and creative thinking. Additionally, when employees feel creative, they are happier, often leading to higher quality work. Office dynamics can also be improved, especially the relationships between managers and employees. For many employees, they feel much more comfortable bringing up issues with their manager in a more casual environment. Relaxing the dress code could lead to better collaboration and teamwork through added confidence. Furthermore, encouraging employees to accessorize however they would like, with fun jewelry, eyeglasses, shoes, and more can help with increasing creativity.
Obviously, many companies have had their employees working from home over the past few years. Many employees were then working in joggers and comfortable clothing for the most part, maybe putting on a dress shirt for video conferencing. Thus, relaxing the dress code when returning to the office simply makes sense for most companies. However, it is still recommended that you set a dress code for employees to follow while in office. For example, you may not want to allow chinos, however, a nice pair of dress shorts may be appropriate, especially in warmer climates. Specify what is allowed, and what isn’t so that employees know for certain.