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Our attire says a lot about us. We can pretty much anticipate what type of day we'll have by how far up we button our shirt. One from the top says we’re ready for anything. Two from the top might indicate that we’re ready for our caffeine fix. But while it’s important to appear and act professional, there are days where the perfectly ironed suit-and-tie simply isn’t going to cut it.
The argument between whether or not to dress casually at work has been a common dispute for many companies. At Rifkin Consulting, we love the polished appearance, the buttoned up, perfectly poised, ready-to-take-on-the-world look. But even the geniuses at our office are dying to dress down once in awhile. If your company is on the fence about whether or not to incorporate casual-dress days, here are three reasons why you should consider it.
1) People are Friendlier
According to a study by the Business Communication Quarterly, casual clothing creates a feeling of friendliness. There are several logical reasons as to why this could be. Without the iron-pressed threads, we don’t feel as much pressure to perform, the extra button isn’t riding our Adam’s apple, and people look normal, which makes us behave normally. Dressing casually helps us feel more comfortable. As a result, we are less concerned about how we look, and more focused on how we work.
2) Bosses are More Approachable
A study by the Society for the Advancement of Management reveals that bosses are more frequently approached when they dress casually, and thus appear less intimidating. It probably has something to do with how when we aren't sweating a deadline, we can look at the boss’s cuffed sleeves without imagining the Vader death grip over our necks. The comforting look of t-shirts, by extension, says, “Want to come to my barbeque?” more loudly than the suit's “I’ll eat you alongside my grape nuts."
3) People Feel Free
Casual attire incites a feeling of freedom within employees. This feeling of freedom prompts creativity by removing the stifling pressure to succeed. Obviously, we don’t want to completely remove the desire to do well in the office (the plot of only every movie involving cubicles). However, the ability to relieve pressure on any project enables us to try things we wouldn’t have otherwise than if we only considered what would be passable in the boss’ eyes.