The Pros and Cons of the Employee Uniform
If you are or have ever been an employee, chances are, you’ve experienced the tribulations or triumphs of wearing a uniform. For some wearing a uniform is ideal and contributes to a sense of unity within the workplace while for others it leaves them feeling restricted. No matter what end of the spectrum you find yourself in, dress codes are part of the workplace world. So what are the pros and cons of the classic company uniform? Let’s start with the pros:
Easy Identification: Have you ever been in a store or workplace and had a question but didn’t know who to ask because you couldn’t even tell who was an employee? (Hopefully, it’s not just me!) Uniforms eliminate this problem altogether, when employees are dressed the same it makes them stand apart from the crowd, even on your busiest of days.
Say goodbye to inappropriate clothing: This one is simple- a regulated employee uniform removes the issue of inappropriate workplace clothing. Plus, it gets rid of the need for any of those awkward “this is not appropriate for the workplace" conversations!
Bonus advertising: When we think of company uniforms everyone will have a uniform come to mind, whether we remember them for good or bad reasons the important thing is that we REMEMBER them. A good uniform will help identify your brand and becomes subtle advertising.
Uniforms can help your employees save money: Uniforms provide an outfit for the working hours and thus require less money spent on personal clothing upkeep because personal clothing items are not required in the workplace.
Equality: When everyone is dressed the same it creates a feeling of team spirit which can boost company morale! The workplace is cohesive and positive because there is no added pressure of competing over clothing styles.
Not everyone will like it: The most obvious problem with company uniforms is that you cannot please everyone. The uniform cannot be tailored for your whole team's body shape or color preferences so you’ll have to accept that not everyone will be happy. This could contribute to poor performance at work if they’re not feeling comfortable in their uniform.
Higher business cost: Purchasing quality uniforms for your team is an added business expense. Another factor to consider is uniform upkeep, uniforms often experience frequent wear and tear which can lead to replacing them often.
Limits uniqueness: Each member of your employee team is different! By placing them in uniforms, your team will look similar which can lead to a bland or boring feeling, felt by employees and customers alike.
Designing it: Coming up with stylish, quality, and affordable uniforms can be tricky! It’s important to consider if the time and cost of designing them are worth it.
Chain of command: Is everyone going to be in uniform? Will different authority positions have different uniforms? Uniforms can make your chain of command more visible which could lead to employees feeling uncomfortable or underappreciated.
The best way to decide if your company should choose to use company uniforms is by discussing your brand identity and vision. Consider asking your employee’s opinions and invite them to add input on the uniform design. If uniforms would fit well within your organization then go for it! If not, consider the alternative option of creating a company dress code. This dress code can include the option of purchasing branded corporate apparel, this allows them to choose what they will wear while adding a touch of company spirit to their apparel.
*This article was inspired by an article from Thomas Oppong and Chitra Reddy. To check out their respective articles click here: Should Your Employees Wear Uniforms? and Top 20 Pros and Cons of Wearing Uniforms at Work