Magazine article Personnel Journal

Getting Serious about Casual Wear

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Getting Serious about Casual Wear

Article excerpt

EMPLOYEES ARE TOSSING their ties and storing their heels in the back of closets. Today, workers are less likely to dress up for the office than to select clothing they feel most comfortable in. "Casual" is the catchphrase: In a nationwide poll conducted among 500 HR professionals, 67% reported that their companies allow casual wear in the office, either every day or on designated casual days.

Reese Smith, director of employee benefits for San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co., says that a relaxed dress code has become an integral part of his company's corporate culture. "If we went away from casual dress, we'd have a riot," he says. "I could cancel our pension fund faster."

A report by Levi's explains that there are solid benefits to be gained by a relaxed dress policy:

*Casual wear is a cost-free way to give employees a perk, particularly when other benefits such as health care may be whittled down

*Many "casual" companies report that allowing employees to dress for comfort encourages open communication and a more relaxed work environment

*Because casual business wear is less expensive, employees save money by purchasing clothing they can use on workdays and weekends. …

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