With global uncertainty impacting jobs, dressing to create the right impression with clients, prospects and colleagues is one area where individuals can influence the outcome, according to 94% cent of respondents, and 100% of those working in financial services, in a survey of more than 13,000 workers across the UK from workwear specialists Alexandra.
The outcome of the research shows that casual no longer ‘cuts it’ in work-related relationship building with many businesses returning to conventional business suits and ties, uniforms and workwear.
The underlying theme of the study suggests that looking and working smarter is the ‘attire of adversity’ with almost half (46%) of responses saying that a more ‘uniform’ approach will help them win new business and increase sales in difficult times.
'Austerity is now manifesting itself in our attitude to work and what we expect from our workers in terms of what they look like and how they feel about themselves and their long-term job security', said Nick Acaster, marketing director of Alexandra workwear, who is himself a qualified psychologist.
'First impressions have always mattered, but they seem to matter more in these difficult economic times. The way we dress is a significant trigger to how we may perform and how we are perceived in terms of professionalism and trustworthiness. Those who look and feel ‘the business’ are more likely to perform well and be more attractive to prospective customers', he said.
More than 90% argued that what a person is wearing determines how professional and trustworthy they look, while almost 40% said ‘scruffy clothing’ in the work environment impacted performance.
Research using photographic comparisons reveals a staggering 96% chose the model wearing the smart work wear over the casual dress as a signal of ‘trustworthiness’ and ‘professionalism’.
'We are seeing businesses being proactive in safeguarding their futures and many of them see a smart appearance as a good place to start. Casual dress is still out there in some areas but at the moment there is a trend for it to be something for the weekend only in many work environments'. adds Acaster.
Source: Alexandra workwear