Many businesses allow employees to dress down on Fridays. Setting aside a day that employees can wear casual wear to work can seem like a very small thing, but it can really be an important 'benefit' to offer.
1. It's a Free Perk
It doesn't cost anything to allow employees to dress down in business casual attire one day each week, yet being able to do so is a perk that many employees enjoy and look forward to.
If you're concerned that your staff will stray from appropriate attire, set guidelines and give examples of business casual. Be specific too - if you will allow dark blue or black jeans, also mention the styles that are welcome on Casual Fridays. Ensure that guidelines apply to both male and female employees.
2. It Can Be a Fun Change of Pace
Allowing employees to dress more casually can be a good way to infuse a sense of fun into the workday without doing anything to detract from productivity.
If appropriate for your office or workplace, you could even have some theme days. Encourage employees to dress in a local sports team's colors one week, or hold a "Fun Accessories" day if you think participation will be high. Just don't overdo it - more than one theme day a month could take away from the basic perk of being able to dress down occasionally.
3. Promotes Team Building
When people are dressed more casually, with workers across all levels wearing similar attire, they may be more likely to interact with people they wouldn't ordinarily feel comfortable approaching. It's easier to chat and share ideas with someone who is dressed similarly to you than with someone in more formal attire than you're wearing.
This can lead to cultivating positive work relationships that will strengthen the overall team, and that's always a good thing for any business.
4. Meets Employee Needs
Employees like to work for companies where they feel like more than 'just a number.' Allowing employees to come to work dressed as they like - within reason - on a designated day is a way of meeting employees' needs to be themselves.
Wearing more casual clothes can also save your staff money in the long run since business attire tends to me more expensive. Giving the more formal outfits a day off each week will extend the lives of the garments and even cut down on dry cleaning bills.
5. An Easy Employee Motivator
Allowing employees to be themselves in terms of how they dress can actually be a motivator. According to Inc.com, "The majority of American workers view casual office attire as a perk that creates a less stratified work environment and puts the emphasis on employees' contributions rather than their wardrobes."
Casual clothes are generally more comfortable, which will result in your employees feeling more themselves while they work. This leads to happier workers, which in turn cuts down on job stress.
6. Reinforce Branding
If your company's approach to Casual Friday involves wearing branded apparel, such as company logo shirts, it can result in branding benefits. Employees become walking billboards for your company when they are seen wearing apparel with your branding message.
If you require branded shirts or other apparel for Casual Friday, ensure that there are several style and size options for employees to choose from. Nothing kills the benefits of dressing down for the day faster than being required to wear something ill-fitting or uncomfortable.
Work Casual Fridays Into Your Week
Casual Friday might not be a good choice for every workplace, but it can certainly be beneficial in many organizations. If you can't work it into every week, consider going casual one Friday a month or on certain designated days throughout the year.