Approximately 97% of the public believes uniforms make your employees easier to recognize. Companies throughout the United States are relaxing their dress codes in an effort to adjust to the changing styles of today’s workforce. While it was once unacceptable for workers to have visible tattoos, piercings or brightly colored, dyed hair in a corporate setting, such styles are now becoming much more acceptable in the workplace. As big businesses recognize that employees today dress and accessorize differently than they did even 10 years ago, they are focusing more on ensuring that employees are comfortable in their work environment, rather than enforcing tight restrictions on what employees can and cannot wear.
Among the major companies changing their policies is Starbucks. After an employee started an online petition to make it acceptable to have visible tattoos at work, Starbucks is considering relaxing its dress code. Currently, baristas are not allowed to have any tattoos showing while they are at work.
While times are certainly changing, there is still a fine line that businesses must be careful not to cross when it comes to dress codes. Employee comfort can’t interfere with customer comfort, and employers often fear that the controversial appearance of their employees will deter customers from doing business with them. However, too strict a dress code can increase turnover rates and end up costing the company more money in the end.
“In the greater NYC metro area, we see working professionals in increasing numbers patron our shops for visible tattoos on their wrists, fingers, hands, and forearms. This reflects a relaxation in corporate and academic dress code and an increased acceptance in tattooing as a mainstream form of artistic expression,” says Christina Seeber, Marketing Manager at the Academy of Responsible Tattooing.
Companies also want customers to be able to easily identify employees, which is why Wal-Mart will be requiring employees to wear a blue vest as part of their uniforms as of September 29. At the same time, the new policy will also give employees more flexibility. Until now, khaki pants were mandatory for Wal-Mart employees. The relaxed dress code will make black pants acceptable as well.
PetSmart has also loosened its dress code, changing the company policy earlier this year to allow employees to have tattoos showing on the job as long as they are not offensive.
According to AL.com, one in five Americans has a tattoo, and while many businesses recognize this and are allowing them to be visible in the office, there is still a stigma attached to tattoos that make them a controversial issue in the workplace.
“In the greater NYC metro area, we see working professionals in increasing numbers patron our shops for visible tattoos on their wrists, fingers, hands, and forearms. This reflects a relaxation in corporate and academic dress code and an increased acceptance in tattooing as a mainstream form of artistic expression.” Christina Seeber, Marketing Manager at the Academy of Responsible Tattooing
Although some companies may continue to ban tattoos, piercings and other controversial styles in their work environments, the trend seems to be favoring diversity.