5 Ways Work Uniforms Can Lead To Productivity
You can identify a chef at a restaurant, a nurse at a hospital, a retail worker at a store, and a construction worker at a building site when you see one. Oftentimes, you can easily recognize these people because of what they wear.
Distinctness is one of the qualities work uniforms are known for and this is mainly reflected externally. Walking in any establishment, customers can effortlessly distinguish who to approach or what specific role an employee is assigned to.
However, wearing a uniform is more than just a way to dress workers up a certain way, it is also a way for companies to optimize their operations to improve overall productivity.
Workwear has a long history in terms of changes and diversity. Used for military purposes in the middle ages, uniforms have become a common practice in organizations over the years. But compared to the older times when uniforms were mainly used for symbolic and aesthetic purposes, their contribution to productivity is now widely considered.
In modern times where organizations are becoming more and more relaxed on dress codes by allowing casual attire at the office, resistance to wearing uniforms is becoming prevalent among the workforce.
But before we start the call for individuality and self-expression, here’s a guide in understanding how work uniforms improve worker productivity:
By Saving Time and Money
According to a study, people spend an average of 17 minutes in the morning deciding what to wear – that’s a complete 4 days worth of going through your wardrobe every year!
Time management is an important aspect of having a good work-life balance. If you’re spending your entire day at work, you might want to re-evaluate if you want to allot your remaining time still revolving around it.
Wearing a uniform at work also helps you save money from clothing that you might not necessarily want to purchase. Having a sustainable work wardrobe where items can be used as often as you can is optimum towards financial stability, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Saving time and money on the daily outfit choices means more time and money to put into savings, bonding with friends with family, or enjoying your hobbies. These are all essential practices to keep in order to have a healthy well-being.
By Strengthening The Brand
You can describe how a McDonald’s employee is typically dressed with your eyes closed. This is mainly because of repeated exposure to the soft yellow “M” logo on their red or gray crew shirts.
Having a uniform establishes a company’s presence and legitimacy. It also translates into a trustworthy and service-oriented image to the customers. This can help you gain their trust and confidence which, of course, leads to an increase in sales.
This is also an efficient way for brands to advertise themselves through their employees. Walking, riding the subway, or taking the bus on the way to work gives any company public exposure that is direct and cost-effective compared to more known forms of marketing using media.
By Promoting Cooperation and Unity
Being uniform in clothing could also prompt better teamwork practices among employees. The idea of being part of a “team” with similar goals and mission has a positive impact on any individual’s morale.
This also amplifies each team member’s contribution to a larger scale of work, minimizing the differences in position levels and workload.
Additionally, by being able to feel a sense of belongingness, employees can establish a more positive and friendly work environment. A healthy work environment is an important factor in assessing job satisfaction.
For example, a 2017 research revealed that hospitality management employees feel “closely connected” to their organization because of wearing uniforms. They also shared that this gives them the enthusiasm to accomplish their work.
This similarly shows that, if you’re happy with the work you’re doing and you get along with the people you’re working with, there’s a collective great quality of work that comes naturally.
By Enhancing Professionalism
The psychology of wearing uniforms in a workplace has long been established by various studies. Some of the most discussed effects of work uniforms to employee behavior are stimulating a sense of professionalism and becoming more attentive to work.
The impact of clothing to confidence was also explored in a research from the University of Hertfordshire. It was concluded that the appropriate clothing leads to improved self-esteem and encourages to embody the appropriate behavior in any setting.
Following a certain dress code or uniform suitable for work is like setting a positive outlook for yourself towards your job. If you dress the part, then it will be easier to act the part and do your best at it.
By Providing Safety For Workers
While there are certain industries that can operate just the same when dress codes are removed, other types of work put emphasis on the importance of proper workwear as part of safety and protective measures for the employees.
Uniforms in the construction, health, and cleaning services follow standards to promote safety based on the type of environment workers are exposed to. And so, functionality is primarily considered.
Gone are the days where working with harmful chemicals and being in a high-risk environment is disregarded by companies. Looking after the welfare of the workers is a growing practice among different industries and is beneficial in the long run.
Work uniforms have helped companies in establishing one of the best ways to have a distinctive presence and legitimacy. But aside from how uniforms contribute to their image, they also serve a more meaningful purpose internally.
It allows workers to save time and money, strengthen their brand, promote cooperation and unity, enhance a professional environment, and provide safety for employees. With these in mind, it can be said that work uniforms can lead to overall productivity.