Skip to main content

Are Employees Who Wear Cold Shoulder Tops Getting the Cold Shoulder for Promotions?

The weather's getting warmer, and that means more tank tops and fancy flip-flops at work. But could your cold-shoulder blouse mean you'll get the cold shoulder when it comes time for a promotion?

OfficeTeam recently surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. office workers, 300 senior managers, and 300 HR managers and unzipped a startling statistic: 86% of workers and 80% of managers said that an employee's clothing choices affect his or her chances of promotion!

So what is acceptable clothing in today's wash-and-don't-iron workplaces compared to, say, five years ago? Jeans, tennis shoes and leggings have all earned a certain acceptability at work, much to the chagrin of employees who still dare to dress up. However, tank tops, cold-shoulder tops and shorts have lost workplace acceptability over the last five years. Nobody wants to see our shoulders at work, apparently. Wear sleeves.

One thing is for sure: managers would like to avoid this hot topic. Only half of managers who had the unenviable task of speaking with an employee about their questionable clothing choices felt comfortable doing it, while more that one-third (35%) felt awkward doing it. Because there isn't a nice way to ask another adult what they were thinking when they chose this particular outfit for work today. Slightly more than one-third (34%) of managers have sent an employee home to change their clothes.

Do you know that men take more time to get ready for work than women do? By three minutes, to be exact! But the amount of time men and women spend getting ready for work decreases with age. Employees in the coveted 18-to-34 demographic take the most time getting ready for work -- 13 minutes on average -- because they have a reason to care, I guess.

Employees in the not-as-coveted 35-to-54 demographic take an average of 10 minutes getting ready for work. They're hitting middle age, but they still hold out hope that they have "it". By the time employees reach 55+, they've shaved another three minutes off their average morning routine, because they're more comfortable in their own skin and they know that nobody at work is looking at them anymore, except when there are layoffs.

So what have we learned here? Dress for the job you want instead of the job you have. If you want to be head and shoulders above the competition, then know the limits of the casual workplace. And leave the smelly flip-flops at home.


Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…