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Wendy Tunbridge – Uniting
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Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

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corporate

I tell you, one of the highlights of my week is reading through the comments left in our weekly online poll. There is always a marvellous range of responses, from the profound to the very silly indeed.

Our latest poll asked: “If getting your dream job meant wearing a terrible uniform, would you still take it?” 

One response was the deeply philosophical “we all wear silly costumes”. Makes you think, eh? 

And of course, another response was “my dream job involves wearing no uniform” and yes I know who you are … honestly … 

The results were:

Yes – 79%

No – 11%

Other – 10%

Overall, people were fully prepared to “suck it up” and wear whatever uniform was required (within reason!) for their dream job. One respondent commented that a uniform can be a blessing in disguise, saving you the daily hassle of selecting something to wear. Good point. 

And of course, a uniform means that everyone else is wearing it, too, so even if it is ghastly, it’s not as though you’ll be the only one looking like that! Ultimately, if it’s your dream job, you’ll wear anything. As another poll respondent said: “as long as I remained credible in terms of the specific job, and the uniform suited the company’s image, I’d wear a clown suit or whatever was required!” 

So, why do many companies require their employees to wear uniforms? 

A key reason is that a uniform conveys a standard image of a company. It is a form of advertising, it can create a sense of team solidarity, and makes it easy for customers to identify company employees. 

Of course, many employees would prefer to have the opportunity to express their sartorial individuality and see the uniform they are required to wear as an infringement upon their individual rights. I think I would feel quite strange and a bit affronted if my workplace suddenly imposed a work uniform policy. 

However, if you’re starting a new role at a company that has a clearly stated work uniform requirement, then you’re going into it with your eyes wide open and, really, have no recourse to complain. 

I also asked a few friends, informally, during the week about their workplace dress policies, and everyone said that whilst there was no official “uniform”, there was, at the very least, an unspoken yet clear dress code in place, which was obvious the moment you walked in. Some work in super corporate environments where suits for men and women are the minimum standard. Others work for companies where a slightly less corporate vibe might be in place, but where certain levels of appropriate dress and presentation were expected and upheld. 

I would say that most of us, starting a new job, would certainly take our workplace dress cues from those around us, no matter where we were employed, and if that meant feathered headdresses and sequins or gumboots and overalls, that’s what we’d be wearing.

Are you more productive in a noisy or quiet (office) environment? Tell us in our latest online poll and stay tuned for the results in next week’s ChallengeBlog post …________________________________________

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