Why uniforms are still important in a changing workplace

Workplaces are changing at a phenomenal rate, moving from one dominated by structure and convention to a focus on collaboration and flexibility. The new workplace is about creating spaces that spark innovation and communication, a focus on team wellness and openness a mix of full time, casual and flex hour employees.

The changes are evident in office and store fit-outs right down to marketing and brand material. Companies want to be perceived as on-trend, embracing this change and as leaders in their field. Company uniforms are an effective and cost-efficient way to shout out to the world and your team what your company is about and imperative to ensure your brand image is being correctly presented.

Today, more than ever, businesses are aware of the importance of a strong purpose and culture and its direct impact on staff morale, sales and performance. A company uniform defines what you are about as a business and ensures, regardless of whether customer-facing or not, that your team is on exactly the same page. Team members will wake up each day and be reminded when getting dressed who they work for and what that represents. Are they excited and motivated to put on their uniform? Does it resonate with what your company stands for?

A great uniform reflects the changing market, exudes confidence, has a contemporary feel and inspires employees. Like any element of brand and marketing a uniform design and implementation needs to be well thought out and take into consideration:

Purpose

Uniforms should always reflect a company’s brand and purpose and ensure a client can relate to what the company is about through what the staff are wearing. Each employee is an individual and would therefore have an individual style but whilst at work, they are a part of a company/team with a common purpose. Reflecting the culture and values of a brand through the uniform ensures a unified team with a strong image.

Practicality

Depending on the client we often find there is either too much of a focus on the look and not enough on practicality or vice versa! There is a significant difference between weekend wear and work wear and whilst uniforms need to be fashion-forward, they also have to be functional and fit for purpose.

Picture perfect

Tell the whole story from top to toe. If you spend time creating a look it needs to consider all factors. Will staff need a winter wear option? What trousers are they expected to wear? Is there a requirement for a cap or beanie? There is no point creating a fabulous shirt or polo only to have it covered up by a Hot Pink Jumper which is off-brand.

Policy

The devil is in the detail. Ensure there is a company uniform policy outlining dress standards. Should the shirt be worn tucked in or out? What type and colour shoes are acceptable? What is the jewellery policy? Unfortunately, common sense isn’t always common and when taking the time to create your team image through uniform it is even more important to follow that through with the detail of how it should or shouldn’t be worn.

There is without doubt a correlation between performance and dress. A Lazy outfit equals lazy output equals lazy impression. Staff who take pride in their dress sense take pride in their work. An outfit can speak a thousand words and when repeated correctly by each employee, the message to clients and the public is priceless.

Pamela Jabbour, CEO, Total Image Group

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